General Surgery

General surgery is a specialty that concentrates on the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and the thyroid gland. This specialty also deals with skin, breast, soft tissue and hernia related diseases.

General Surgeons have the opportunity to subspecialize in one or more of the following:

Trauma Surgery: Trauma surgery is the specialty that performs invasive procedures for physical injuries in an emergency. This subspecialty holds the responsibility of the primary stabilization of the patient. The surgeon is also in charge of continued evaluation and management as well as leading the trauma team.

Laparoscopic Surgery: This is a specialty dealing with noninvasive techniques using cameras and very small instruments used in incisions smaller than one cm. Laparoscopic Surgery can remove gallbladders, appendices, and colons. Hernias can now be repaired mostly laparoscopically.

Colorectal Surgery: A variety of colon and rectal diseases, both major and minor, are treated by general surgeons such as inflammatory bowel diseases, colon and rectal cancer, gastrointestinal bleeding, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

Breast Surgery: This subspecialty performs surgeries on the breasts that are non-cosmetic and more of a health factor.

Vascular Surgery: A subspecialty that deals with diseases with in the arteries, veins or other parts of the vascular system. These diseases are treated through minimal to noninvasive procedures involving catheters, medical therapy and surgical reconstruction.

Endocrine Surgery: The removal of the parathyroid and thyroid glands in the neck and the adrenal glands above the kidneys. In many communities, these are the only surgeons that are qualified to perform these procedures.

Dermatological Surgery: General surgeons remove fatty tumors, tumors in the muscle, or other soft tissue tumors. They also perform skin related surgeries ranging from suspicious moles to major burns. This subspecialty also uses skin grafts to cover imperfections in the skin caused by burns, trauma or infections.

Image Caption: Image of a surgeon operating on a patient. Credit: US Army/Wikipedia