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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
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General Surgery Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy The general surgeon is that doctor qualified to operate in most areas of the body. Usually, the nervous system and the cardiovascular system are left to neurosurgeons and cardiovascular surgeons, and complicated plastic repairs are left to plastic surgeons. The rest is fair game for the general surgeon.

The types of surgery performed by general surgeons can be categorized in many ways:

  • Elective surgery is surgery not needed to save the life of the patient, but is expected to provide some benefit.
  • Emergency surgery must be done quickly to save life, limb, or other capacity such as eyesight.
  • Exploratory surgery is for investigating a patient's medical condition or making a diagnosis.
  • Cosmetic surgery, a common type of elective surgery that is done to improve the appearance of the patient and is more often done by plastic surgeons.
  • Therapeutic surgery is for treating a patient. Surgery may start out as exploratory and become therapeutic.
  • Replantation, an often difficult type of surgery more recently developed, involves reattaching a severed body part.
  • Amputation involves cutting off a body part; for example, a limb or digit.
  • Reconstructive surgery involves reconstruction of an injured, mutilated, or deformed part of the body. Reconstructive surgery is for reshaping of certain bodily tissues including bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, and skin that have been previously damanged by trauma or are congenitally abnormal.
  • Excisional surgery is the cutting out of an organ or other body part from the patient.
  • Laser surgery involves use of a laser for cutting tissue in place of a scalpel.
  • Microsurgery is performed with the aid of a microscope.
  • Transplant surgery is the replacement of an organ or body part by insertion of another from different human (or animal) into the patient. (Removing an organ or body part from a live human or animal for use in transplant is also a type of surgery.)
  • Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller outer incision(s) to insert, for example, an endoscope, a tube-like instrument, to visualize internal structures and sometimes surgery is performed through the endoscope.
  • Bariatric surgery is a class of surgery for treating obesity, a common example of which is gastric bypass surgery. Sterilization Surgery is done to prevent reproduction, although it is a rather simple procedure for males.


The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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