What is general surgery?
Modern surgery is highly developed and such is the level of knowledge, understanding and technical competency that many surgeons opt to specialise in a particular area of the body or in using a special surgical technique. Some surgeons may also specialise in operating on a particular type of patient. The Royal College of Surgeons lists ten surgical specialities, one of which is general surgery. General surgery encompasses a wide range of surgery that also includes a number of sub-specialities. Typically, modern general surgeons are equipped to deal with many types of surgical operations and emergencies, and will also carry out a wide range of elective procedures. The vast majority of elective operations in the UK are carried out by general surgeons, who will deal with everything from hernia repairs to conditions of the gall bladder.
Laparoscopic surgery, more commonly referred to as ‘keyhole’ surgery, has been one of the great advances in general surgery and this minimally invasive procedure is widely practised by surgeons in hospitals around the world. Recognised as an integral part of a surgeon’s training today, this type of procedure and its application is developing all the time as new advances are made. Keyhole surgery is highly efficient and is characterised by the minimally invasive techniques deployed which results in reduced pain for patients, as well as generally improved outcomes and quicker post-operation recovery times. Today, for instance, virtually all types of abdominal surgery, including hernia repairs, malignant tumour removal from the bowel, and procedures for morbid obesity, can be performed using this technique.
Laparoscopic hand instruments used in general surgery
Subspecialties of general surgery
The range of procedures that falls under general surgery is distinguished by a number of subspecialties, such as:
Upper gastrointestinal surgery – includes surgery for diseases of the liver, stomach, and oesophagus, as well as procedures for obesity.
Colorectal surgery – this is surgery for a range of diseases affecting the colon, anal canal, and rectum, including cancer of the rectum.
Breast surgery – this involves surgery for breast cancers including some reconstructive procedures, and assessing a range of breast symptoms.
Endocrine surgery – this involves surgery for diseases affecting the thyroid and endocrine glands.
Please ensure you consult a healthcare professional before making decisions about your health.
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0161 495 7756