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March 18, 2024

10 Common Surgical Procedures – A Quick Glance

10 Common General Surgeries

Whenever we think of surgery we feel a little scared, don’t we? Some of us want to know what options we have other than surgery, just so we don’t have to go under the knife. But in most cases, surgery becomes essential and can’t be avoided.

Are all surgeries serious? Not necessarily. Basically, there are two types of surgeries – general and specialised. General surgery is used to treat common ailments such as those related to the breast, head and neck, abdomen, blood vessels, digestive tract, injuries, deformities and others. Performing a general surgery requires a core knowledge of anatomy, physiology, immunology, metabolism, pathology, wound healing, and others.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common general surgeries:

1. Appendectomy

Removal of the appendix surgically is known as appendectomy. Appendix, a small tube that branches off the large intestine, can get inflamed due to infection. This can put the body at risk of severe pain or infection, thus needing it to be removed.

This surgery is done either as an open procedure or as a laparoscopic procedure.

2. Cataract Surgery

Cataracts cause the lens of our eye to become cloudy and can eventually affect vision. Through cataract surgery, the lens of the eye is removed and, in most cases, replaced with an artificial lens.

Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor, commonly known as an ophthalmologist.

3. Caesarean Section

A caesarean section (also known as C-section or caesarean delivery) is a surgical procedure through which a baby is delivered through incisions in the abdomen and uterus.

This procedure is usually done when the doctors determine it to be safer than vaginal delivery for the mother and baby or both.

4. Gallbladder Surgery

The surgical removal of the gallbladder is known as cholecystectomy. Our gallbladder is an organ located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. A digestive fluid made by the bile is collected and stored in the gallbladder.

Gallbladder surgery is usually performed when one has painful stones in the gallbladder. These stones can be formed due to an imbalance of substances that make up the bile. Gallbladder surgery usually carries only a small risk of complications. Usually, it is done using a small incision.

5. Hernia Surgery

Another common surgical procedure, hernia surgery is performed to repair a hernia. A hernia occurs when the lining that protects the internal organs and keeps them in place develops a tiny hole. The most common way to treat a hernia is through surgery.

In most cases, hernias form in the abdomen or groin area. Through hernia surgery, the surgeon pushes the organ and the herniated tissue back into place and repairs the barrier that holds it using stitches and surgical mesh.

6. Carotid endarterectomy

Located in the neck, our carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. At times, the carotid arteries may get blocked with fatty and waxy deposits known as plaque. This blockage can disrupt the blood flow to the brain, which can ultimately lead to a stroke. Through carotid endarterectomy, the blockage in the carotid arteries is removed.

Removing the plaque can reduce the risk of stroke considerably and improve flow in the carotid artery.

7. Coronary artery bypass

A coronary artery bypass or bypass surgery is done on people who have chest pain (angina) and coronary artery disease (where substances are deposited in the arteries).

During this surgery, a bypass is created by grafting a piece of vein above and below the blocked area to enable the blood to flow around the obstruction. This new pathway improves the blood flow to the heart muscle.

8. Mastectomy

Another common general surgical procedure, mastectomy is done to remove all or part of the breast. It is usually done to treat breast cancer. Mastectomies can be of different types:

  • Partial mastectomy is where the cancer cells and a larger portion of the normal breast tissue around the cancer are removed.
  • Total mastectomy is where the entire breast is removed including the nipple, areola and the skin. Sometimes some of the lymph nodes are also removed.
  • Modified radical mastectomy where the entire breast, a few of the lymph nodes and the chest muscle lining are removed.

9. Prostatectomy

The prostate gland is located in the male pelvis, below the urinary bladder. It surrounds the urethra, which carries the urine from the bladder to the penis. The surgical removal of part or all of the prostate gland is called Prostatectomy.

Prostatectomy is a common procedure to treat various conditions affecting the prostate including prostate cancer. Prostatectomy can be performed as a minimally invasive surgery or as a traditional open surgery, based on the condition of the patient.

10. Tonsillectomy

Tonsils are two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat, with one on each side. They are our immune system’s first line of defence against viruses and bacteria and are prone to infection and inflammation.

The surgical removal of tonsils is tonsillectomy. It is a common procedure usually performed to treat infection and inflammation related to the tonsils. It can also be used to treat sleep-related disorders and other breathing-related problems if required.

Common Surgical Procedures – Risks and Complications

One of the most common questions asked about common surgical procedures is the risks associated with them. While there is a certain degree of risk associated with all kinds of surgeries, an understanding of possible complications is useful in making informed decisions regarding whether or not to go for a surgery.

Some of the possible risks associated with common surgeries are anaesthesia, infection, nerve damage and post-operative pain. However it is important to remember that severe complications are relatively uncommon. Most patients face minor postoperative side effects such as sore throat, nausea, vomiting or incision pain. Having an open and honest conversation with your doctor and the healthcare team can help you get a clear understanding of what to expect during your surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 10 common surgeries?

Some of the most common surgeries include:
1) Appendectomy
2) Cataract Surgery
3) Caesarean Section
4) Gallbladder Surgery
5) Hernia Surgery
6) Carotid endarterectomy
7) Coronary artery bypass
8) Mastectomy
9) Prostatectomy
10) Tonsillectomy

What is included in general surgery?

General Surgery encompasses a fundamental body of knowledge that includes anatomy, metabolism, physiology, pathology, immunology, nutrition, wound healing, shock and resuscitation, intensive care, and neoplasia, all of which form the foundation for various surgical specialities.

Does general surgery mean an operation?

Yes, general surgery is an operation used to address a broad spectrum of medical conditions, including those affecting the breast, head and neck, abdomen, blood vessels, digestive tract, injuries, deformities, and more.

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