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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Medical Surgery

In medicine, surgery (from the Greek and latin chirurgiae meaning "hand work") is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance, or sometimes for some other reason. An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical procedure, operation, or simply surgery. In this context, the verb operating means performing surgery. The adjective surgical means pertaining to surgery; e.g. surgical instruments or surgical nurse. The patient or subject that the surgery is being performed on can be a person or an animal. A surgeon is a person who performs surgery on patients. Persons described as surgeons are commonly medical practitioners, but the term is also applied to dentists and veterinarians. Surgery can last from minutes to hours, but is typically not an ongoing or periodic type of treatment.

The term surgery can also refer to the place where surgery is performed, or simply the office of a physician, dentist, or veterinarian.

Overview of modern surgery

Although it is sometimes difficult to determine when a medical procedure is considered surgery, a medical treatment that involves a cutting of a patient's live tissue (e.g., hair and nails are dead tissue) is usually considered surgery of some sort. A medical procedure involving a drilling of live tissue in a body would often be considered surgery, but mere piercing of a body is not necessarily surgery since piercing is often done for taking samples or draining fluids from or injecting materials into the body, or setting up intravenous drip, and usually does not require suturing to close the pierced opening. Even if a medical procedure or treatment does not include cutting or drilling of live tissue in a body, it may be considered surgery, if it involves common surgical procedure or a setting, such as use of an operating room or table in a hospital, anesthesia, antiseptic conditions, typical surgical instruments, and suturing or stapling. Surgery is considered an invasive procedure. Examples of surgery without cutting the body may include debridement or closing (suturing or stapling) an open wound or applying skin grafts if done under typical surgical conditions. Many types of more complicated or involved surgery are obviously considered surgery, since they involve common surgical procedure or setting as mentioned above. A medical procedure may be surgery even if not all of the typical surgical conditions or procedures mentioned above are used.

A few general types of surgery

Surgery can be categorized in many ways, a few of which are mentioned as follows. Some surgery may be required to save the life of a patient. Elective surgery is surgery not needed to save the life of the patient, but is expected to provide some other benefit. Emergency surgery is surgery which must be done quickly to save life, limb, or other capacity such as eyesight. Exploratory surgery is for investigating a patient's medical condition or making a diagnosis. Therapeutic surgery is for treating a patient. Surgery may start out as exploratory and become therapeutic. Amputation involves cutting off a body part; for example, a limb or digit. Replantation, an often difficult type of surgery more recently developed, involves reattaching a severed body part. Reconstructive surgery involves reconstruction of an injured, mutilated, or deformed part of the body. Reconstructive surgery is for reshaping of certain bodily tissues including bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, and skin that have been previously damanged by trauma or are congenitally abnormal. Cosmetic surgery, a common type of elective surgery that is done to improve the appearance of the patient. Excision is the cutting out of an organ or other body part from the patient. Transplant surgery is the replacement of an organ or body part by insertion of another from different human (or animal) into the patient. Removing an organ or body part from a live human or animal for use in transplant is also a type of surgery. Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller outer incision(s) to insert some sort of endoscope, which is tube-like equipment, to perform surgery. There are also many types of more specific surgeries. Laser surgery involves use of a laser for cutting tissue instead of a scalpel or similar surgical instruments. Microsurgery is fine surgery with the aid of a microscope for the surgeon to see better. Bariatric surgery is a class of surgery for treating obesity, a common example of which is gastric bypass surgery. Surgery is also used for sterilization to prevent reproduction, although it is a rather simple procedure for males.

Suffixes used for some surgical procedures:

* Excision surgery names often start with a name for the organ to be excised (cut out) and end in -ectomy.
* Procedures involving cutting into an organ or tissue end in -otomy. A surgical procedure cutting through the abdominal wall to gain access to the abdominal cavity is a laparotomy.
* Minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions through which an endoscope is inserted end in -oscopy. For example, such surgery in the abdominal cavity is called laparoscopy.
* Procedures for formation of a permanent or semi-permanent opening called a stoma in the body end in -ostomy.
* Reconstruction or Cosmetic surgery of a body part starts with a name for the body part to be reconstructed and ends in -oplasty. Rhino is used as a prefix for "nose", so rhinoplasty is basically reconstructive or cosmetic surgery for the nose.

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