A general surgeon is a doctor that manages a patient's care from the diagnostic to the post-operative stage. They are also highly skilled surgeons that perform a variety of procedures.
Here are four common procedures a general surgeon performs.
During this procedure, a general surgeon removes the appendix. An appendectomy treats a condition called appendicitis, which is when the appendix becomes inflamed. If the appendix is not removed in a timely manner, it will fill with pus and can rupture. If the appendix bursts, it can cause a systemic infection. General surgeons perform more than 250,000 appendectomies a year.
2. Breast Surgery
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life. Many of these women who get diagnosed with breast cancer will have to undergo breast surgery.
Some of the most common types of breast surgeries performed by general surgeons include:
- Breast biopsy. Removal of breast tissue.
- Lumpectomy. Removal of a tumor in the breast.
- Mastectomy. Removal of one or both breasts.
In many cases, breast surgeries give women the best chance of stopping the spread of cancer.
3. Hernia Repair
When an organ of the body pushes through a muscle, it's called a hernia. Three out of every four hernias occur in the groin area. The two types of groin hernias include inguinal and femoral.
Other types of hernias include:
- Umbilical. More common in newborns but adults get them as well.
- Incisional. Occurs after a surgeon makes an opening in the stomach.
- Hiatal. Involves the diaphragm and is most common in pregnant women.
When left untreated, a hernia can cause pain and potentially serious complications. This is why it's necessary for general surgeons to perform hernia repairs.
4. Gastroenterology Procedures
According to a recent survey, 74 percent of Americans have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. For some with these symptoms, it could signify a serious gastrointestinal disorder. To properly diagnose or treat gastrointestinal disorders, a general surgeon may have to perform a diagnostic test or procedure.
Some of the most common gastroenterology tests and procedures include:
- Upper GI endoscopy. Performed with an endoscope to see the inside of the upper GI tract.
- Nissen fundoplication. Performed to treat severe cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Abdominal surgery. Performed to treat a variety of digestive issues that involve the stomach or small intestine.
One more gastrointestinal procedure that a general surgeon performs is gastric bypass surgery, which treats obesity.
For more information on any of these procedures, reach out to a local general surgeon.