General surgery is a surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal contents including esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland (depending on the availability of head and neck surgery specialists). They also deal with diseases involving the skin, breast, soft tissue, and hernias.
General surgeons may sub-specialize into one or more of the following disciplines:
This is a relatively new specialty dealing with minimal access techniques using cameras and small instruments inserted through 0.3 to 1 cm incisions. Robotic surgery is now evolving from this concept . Gallbladders, appendices, and colons can all be removed with this technique. Hernias are now repaired mostly laparoscopically. Mostbariatric surgery is performed laparoscopically. General surgeons that are trained today are expected to be proficient in laparoscopic procedures.
General surgeons treat a wide variety of major and minor colon and rectal diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease),diverticulitis, colon and rectal cancer, gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhoids.
General surgeons perform a majority of all non-cosmetic breast surgery from lumpectomy to mastectomy, especially pertaining to the evaluation and diagnosis, of breast cancer.
General surgeons are trained to remove all or part of the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the neck and the adrenal glands just above each kidney in the abdomen. Endocrine Surgery is a specialized surgical field where procedures are performed on endocrine glands to achieve a hormonal or anti-hormonal effect in the body. Almost always, this entails operating to remove a tumor which has grown on or within an endocrine gland.
General surgeons perform a wide variety of skin-related surgeries ranging from removing suspicious moles to treating major burns. General surgeons also remove tumors that often grow just below the skin such as fatty tumors or tumors that arise in muscles or other soft tissues. General surgeons also treat more complex skin or subcutaneous infections including necrotizing fasciitis and will often employ skin grafts to cover defects in the skin resulting from burns, trauma, or infections.
Thoracic surgeons provide state-of-the-art surgical techniques and cancer therapies, with a major focus in research of early diagnosis, better cancer staging, and prediction of recurrent disease in lung and esophageal cancer.