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General surgery is a specialization in the field of surgery and only deals with the abdominal region. The organs a general surgeon performs procedures on include esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile duct and in some cases, the thyroid gland.
General surgery requires years of training and bold decision making skills. There are a number of sub-specialties under general surgery and one surgeon is more likely to be trained in one or more of these specialties. The sub-specialties include:
- Trauma surgery - Nearly all general surgeons are trained to deal with trauma.
- Laparoscopic surgery - This technique involves eliminating the need to open up the patient and performing the surgery with laparoscopic tools with only one incision.
- Colorectal surgery - A number of diseases including inflamed bowel diseases and colon cancer fall under this specialty.
- Breast surgery - Surgeries in relation to breast cancer fall under general surgery.
- Vascular surgery - Although there are specialists who deal with vascular diseases, a general surgeon is trained in dealing with minor vascular diseases.
- Endocrine surgery - A general surgeon deals specifically with the thyroid gland, which includes the removal of the glands.
- Transplants - Most organs in the abdominal region can be transplanted. A general surgeon is responsible for the surgery as well as the pre-op and post-op care of the patient.
- Surgical oncology - This specialty deals with cancer and its many types. Some kind of cancer surgeries of the abdominal organs are very complex and takes years of training, expertise and experience to master the art.
- Cardiothoracic surgery - This is usually a field that falls under cardio but before a surgeon specializes in cardiothoracic, he must complete general surgery training.
- Pediatric surgery - Pediatric surgeons work on minors but this specialty falls under general surgery.