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General Surgery

Experienced Surgeons for the Whole Patient for Various Body Systems

As a skilled surgical specialty, general surgery is more specific than it sounds. General surgeons perform surgeries for common ailments before, during, and after operations of the GI tract, abdominal contents, breasts, skin, soft tissue, and endocrine system. This includes surgery of the head and neck, pediatrics, critical care medicine for children, and the endocrine system. They may be called on for surgical oncology, trauma and burn care, organ transplants, and vascular surgery. General surgeons may practice various subspecialties and limit their practice.

General surgeons are highly skilled and typically operate on abdominal abnormalities complaints such as appendicitis, hernia, stomach, and intestinal issues. The abdomen is not their only focus, though, as they often treat other problems such as complex tumors and burns that require working on multiple body areas. This may lead them to operate on various organ systems, abnormalities of the body such as gland removal, and surgery on those who have suffered severe physical trauma. General surgeons from RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group provide surgical care that affects the whole body.

Various Conditions General Surgeons See, Diagnosis, Treat, & Manage

Although the name is vague, general surgeons have a specific subspecialty and complete extensive training to work with patients. They are trained extensively after medical school in a fellowship and residency that includes rounds in the operating room, emergency department, and intensive care unit (ICU), among others. Their exact experience depends on their specific focus within the hospital.

Your general surgeon first establishes a diagnosis before providing preoperative, operative, and postoperative care. Trauma victims and critically care patients are often seen by general surgeons for comprehensive management of their cases. Many procedures can be done with a laparoscope to perform both minor and more complex operations with only small incisions in the abdomen. A laparoscope includes a long, flexible, one-time-use tube that is inserted through a tiny incision, with a camera at the end. The camera displays images on a TV in the operating room to magnify the body area where the surgeon is operating. This allows them to be much more precise than if they were doing a traditional “open” surgery.

General Surgeons Are Vital to Healthcare Systems

All hospitals need general surgeons to run, and there is no such thing as a hospital without a general surgeon or general surgery team. The biggest misconception is they are generalists rather than specialists, it’s just they have training in a breadth of areas. Those who want to be general surgeons must do tasks that must be done to make the patient better or save their lives in dire circumstances. General surgeons work in oncology and can immediately affect their patients' lives upon removing their tumors so they can live better lives.

Diagnosis, treatment, and recovery are all important phases of a general surgeon’s work with patients. They aren’t just doctors who perform operations. They also connect with patients when they can help. General surgeons are educated, trained, and caring professionals respected worldwide for their specialist expertise.

If you need a general surgeon, your primary care doctor, emergency department doctor, oncologist, or another physician will refer you. We encourage you to reach out to us with questions about your treatment or the treatment of a loved one.