General Surgery is a clinical discipline devoted to diagnosis and management of a broad range of diseases and conditions that may require surgical treatment. The scope of general surgery is vast and encompasses most of the major organ systems and tissues of the body, including the:
- Gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, intestines, and rectum)
- Abdomen and abdominal organs (gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and spleen)
- Skin and soft tissues
- Adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands
- Blood vessels (arteries and veins)
In addition, general surgery includes principles and practices related to organ transplantation, care of critically ill patients, care of injured or burned patients, and surgical care of patients with known or suspected cancerous tumors in organs and tissues noted above.
General surgeons are technically proficient in performing many types of operations and procedures, including laparoscopic and other minimally invasive forms of surgery as well as endoscopy. Following are a few of the operations and procedures performed by general surgeons:
- Tissue and tumor biopsy
- Hernia repair
- Surgical removal of the gallbladder, appendix, or spleen
- Surgical treatment of breast cancer (e.g., mastectomy)
- Hemorrhoid surgery
- Lower extremity amputations
But general surgeons do much more than perform surgery. They are involved in evaluating patients, diagnosing disorders, and providing preoperative and postoperative care for patients whose disorders require surgery. They also provide initial care for patients with urgent conditions that require treatment by other surgical specialists.
To effectively do their jobs, general surgeons require in-depth knowledge about anatomy, organ function, metabolism, immunology, causes of disease, appropriate diagnostic imaging studies and interpretation of imaging results, wound healing, causes and treatment of infection, nutrition, intensive care, management of postoperative pain, fluid management, and much more.
General surgeons are important members of the medical team. For example, they are part of the interdisciplinary team of physicians involved in treating certain forms of cancer and many chronic diseases that cause organ or tissue damage. They also are involved in treating morbidly obese patients and in providing care and comfort for terminally ill patients.
General Surgery and Chester County Hospital
For more information about general surgeons on the Medical Staff at Chester County Hospital, call our Physician Referral Service at 800-789-PENN (7366) or visit the Find a Doctor section of our website.