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Surgery Research

(Stanford University - Jaclyn Chen)


- Overview

Surgery is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a person to investigate or treat a pathological condition such as a disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance or to repair unwanted ruptured areas. Surgery is an invasive technique with the fundamental principle of physical intervention on organs/organ systems/tissues for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons.  

As a general rule, a procedure is considered surgical when it involves cutting of a person's tissues or closure of a previously sustained wound. Other procedures that do not necessarily fall under this rubric, such as angioplasty or endoscopy, may be considered surgery if they involve "common" surgical procedure or settings, such as use of a sterile environment, anesthesia, antiseptic conditions, typical surgical instruments, and suturing or stapling. All forms of surgery are considered invasive procedures; so-called "noninvasive surgery" usually refers to an excision that does not penetrate the structure being excised (e.g. laser ablation of the cornea) or to a radiosurgical procedure (e.g. irradiation of a tumor).  

Surgical procedures are commonly categorized by urgency, type of procedure, body system involved, the degree of invasiveness, and special instrumentation.


- The Surgical Specialties

The American College of Surgeons recognizes 14 surgical specialties: 

  • cardiothoracic surgery 
  • colon and rectal surgery 
  • general surgery
  • gynecology and obstetrics 
  • gynecologic oncology
  • neurological surgery 
  • ophthalmic surgery 
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • orthopaedic surgery
  • otorhinolaryngology
  • pediatric surgery
  • plastic and maxillofacial surgery
  • urology 
  • vascular surgery


Check out the [American College of Surgeons: The Surgical Specialties] for more details.

[More to come ...]

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