General Surgical Types

General Surgical Types By Body Region

Surgery falls under several specialty fields, depending on the region of the body involved.

Cardiovascular: This specialty deals with work on the heart and circulatory system.

General: This field covers a very wide range of surgical procedures. It is the precursor in medical teaching to all other specialized procedures. The doctors who perform general surgery are called “general surgeons.” They also may do specialized surgery. In the ear, nose and throat region, for example, a general surgeon might perform a tonsillectomy or a laryngectomy, but not venture into microscopic ear operations.

Gynecology (Gynecological): This is the specialty dealing with female diseases of the external and internal genitalia. Sometimes obstetricians specialize in gynecology and sometimes gynecologic surgery is a specialty.

Neurosurgery: The specialty dealing with lesions, injuries, and diseases of the nervous system.

Obstetrics: The specialty that deals with infant delivery. Sometimes delivery is spontaneous, and other times, instruments are required. Forceps are spoon-like instruments placed about the infant head to facilitate delivery by rotation of the head or actual extraction. Other extractors are available, and, of course, Cesarean sections are not unusual.

Ophthalmology: The surgical specialty in ophthalmology deals with diseases and abnormalities of the eyes, including the eyelids, ocular muscles and lacrimal system (though lid surgery is mostly done by plastic surgeons). The orbit of the eye is the primary domain of ophthalmological surgeons.

Orthopedic: This surgical specialty is concerned with preservation, restoration and articulation of the bones and their associated ligaments and muscles and has the largest vocabulary of all the specialties.

Otolaryngology – Ear, Nose and Throat: This specialty is concerned with inflammatory and surgical lesions of the ears, nose and throat. The otolaryngologist also frequently performs surgery on the neck with the exception of thyroidectomy which is usually done by a general surgeon. Laryngology includes studies and/or operations on both the throat and the larynx.

Reconstructive – Plastic Surgery: This is the specialty for repair and reconstruction of congenital, traumatic and developmental deformities, (sometimes real and sometimes perceived) using a variety of techniques, including grafts, implants, and transplants. Plastic repairs include face-lifts, eyelid correction, hairlip repairs, scar-tattoo removals, hair transplants, breast reduction or augmentation, congenital malformations of female/male anatomy (hypospadias).

Thoracic: This specialty includes procedures on the trachea, bronchus, lungs and mediastinum. Various tests and scopic procedures are performed for evaluation and medical and surgical planning. Scoping the tracheobronchial tree and doing endobronchial maneuvers include taking specimens for culture, biopsy and removing foreign bodies.

Urology – (Urological): As the name implies, urology deals with the male and female urologic systems.
Sample reports, both audio and visual, are available in the Meditec Surgical Compendium. The Surgical Compendium is included with the Medical Transcription Courses (both CORE & MEGA), but it may also be ordered separately by students enrolled in any of our other medical career training courses.