General surgery

What is General Surgery?

General surgery is the treatment of injury, deformity, and disease using operative procedures.

It is frequently performed to alleviate suffering when a cure is unlikely through medication alone. It can be used for such routine procedures performed in a physician’s office, as vasectomy, or for more complicated operations requiring a medical team in a hospital setting, such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). Areas of the body treated by general surgery include the stomach, liver, intestines, appendix, breasts, thyroid gland, salivary glands, some arteries and veins, and the skin. The brain, heart, lungs, eyes, feet, kidneys, bladder, and reproductive organs, to name only a few, are areas that require specialized surgical repair.

New methods and techniques are less invasive than older practices, permitting procedures that were considered impossible in the past.

With technical advances today, surgery does not necessarily mean large incisions, as in the past. Depending on the type of surgery, there are several surgery methods that may be performed:

Open surgery – an “open” surgery means the cutting of skin and tissues so that the surgeon has a full view of the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery are the removal of the organs, such as the gallbladder or kidneys.

Minimally invasive surgery – minimally invasive surgery is any technique involved in surgery that does not require a large incision. This relatively new approach allows the patient to recuperate faster with less pain. Not all conditions are suitable for minimally invasive surgery.

Many surgery techniques now fall under minimally invasive surgery:

  • Laparoscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Arthroscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Cystoscopy
  • Gastroscopy
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy

In addition to using traditional surgical knives in surgery, both open and minimally invasive surgery can use the following alternative techniques, depending on diagnosis:

  • Laser surgery
  • Electro-surgery