Surgery

Surgery, whether elective or urgent, is done for a multitude of reasons. A patient may have surgery to:

  • Further explore a condition for the purpose of diagnosis
  • Take a biopsy of a suspicious lump
  • Remove or repair diseased tissues or organs
  • Remove an obstruction
  • Reposition structures to their normal position
  • Redirect blood vessels (bypass surgery)
  • Transplant tissue or whole organs
  • Implant mechanical or electronic devices
  • Improve physical appearance
  • Remove a tumor
  • Repair injured bones, joints or other parts of the skeletal system

Surgery may be performed in a traditional hospital setting or in an outpatient facility. Patients may go home on the day of surgery after a minimal time of recovery, or an inpatient stay may be required.

Depending on the type of surgery being performed, there are several surgical methods that may be used, including:

  • General or Open surgery, where the surgeon cuts skin and tissues to get a full view of the structures or organs involved
  • Minimally invasive surgery, which involves small incisions and the use of tiny instruments like video cameras and cutting tools
  • Robotic surgery, using small tools attached to a robotic arm that the surgeon controls with a computer 

There are many variables involved in any surgical procedure, including type of anesthesia, pre- and post-operative care and testing, recovery time, rehabilitation needs, etc.

The American College of Surgeons recognizes 14 surgical specialties:

  • Cardiothoracic surgery – for conditions within the chest such as coronary artery disease, cancers of the lung, esophagus or chest wall, heart valve and vessel issues, etc.
  • Colon and rectal surgery – treating diseases of the intestinal tract, colon, rectum, anus and other related organs and tissues
  • General surgery – a broad spectrum of surgical conditions affecting almost any part of the body
  • Gynecological and obstetrics – providing medical and surgical care for the pregnant patient, delivering babies and treating conditions of the female reproductive system
  • Gynecological oncology – surgical care of patients who have cancer affecting the female reproductive system
  • Neurological surgery – deals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, pituitary gland and other nervous system conditions
  • Ophthalmic surgery – providing comprehensive care for all eye and vision problems
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery – treating a wide variety of diseases and injuries to the head, neck, face, jaw and hard and soft tissues of mouth and facial areas
  • Orthopedic surgery – devoted to the care of bones, joints, muscles and related nerves, arteries and skin
  • Otorhinolaryngology – ear, nose and throat conditions
  • Pediatric surgery – focuses on providing surgical care for all problems affecting children from newborn through the teenage years
  • Plastic and maxillofacial surgery – repair, replacement and reconstruction of defects in the form and/or function of the face and other body coverings, as well as the underlying musculoskeletal system (often cosmetic in nature)
  • Urology – deals with disorders of the adrenal gland, along with the reproductive and urinary systems
  • Vascular surgery – treating patients with diseases affecting the arteries and veins such as atherosclerosis, strokes, aneurysms, blood clots, etc.

Technologies for Surgery

Back to Overview

What to Expect for Surgery

Back to Overview

Side Effects and Risk Factors for Surgery

Back to Overview

Education and Resources for Surgery

Back to Overview

Learn More about Surgery

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.