General Surgery

The surgical diagnosis

Unless it is an emergency, you and your doctor can discuss surgery as a way to correct the condition at diagnosis. This decision is based on a careful assessment of your personal health history and subsequent medical tests such as blood tests, X-rays, MRI, CT scan, electrocardiogram, or other laboratory work to determine the exact diagnosis.

What are the different types of surgery?

Depending on the diagnosis, a patient has several surgical options:

Optional or elective surgery
A procedure you choose to have, which may not necessarily be essential to keep a good quality of life. An example would be unsightly mole or a wart.

Required Surgery
A procedure needs to be done to ensure the quality of life in the future. An example would be to have kidney stones removed if other forms of medications and treatments do not work. Required surgery, unlike emergency surgery, does not have to done immediately.

Urgent or emergency surgery
This type of surgery is performed in response to a medical emergency, such as acute appendicitis.

The Surgical Setting

In the past, surgery may have meant a lengthy hospital stay to recover. With modern medical advances, the patient now has several options, depending on the diagnosis:

Inpatient surgery

Some of the more intensive surgeries still require patients to stay overnight or longer in a hospital setting. This allows clinical staff to monitor the patient’s recovery and ensures immediate medical attention in case of complications.

Outpatient surgery

Because of advances in surgical procedures and anesthesia, many surgeries performed today allow the patient to recover and go home on the same day. Outpatient surgery, when appropriate, has proven to reduce costs, reduce stress for the patient, speed up the process of healing and reduce the time lost from work and family life. Outpatient surgery may also be called same-day surgery, in-and-out surgery, and ambulatory surgery. And, outpatient surgery is often done in what are called specialty surgical centers.

Ambulatory surgery

Ambulatory surgery, also called outpatient surgery, is done without admitting the patient to the hospital. The surgery may be performed in the outpatient section of the hospital, in an outpatient surgical center, or in a physician’s office.

Specialty surgery centers. Certain medical specialties, such as ophthalmology, may be located in their own office settings, away from the hospital. These specialty centers are comprehensive in their care, including offering outpatient surgery.