What Does Surgery Mean?

Understand the True Definition of Surgery

surgery, surgery image, laparoscopic surgery image
Surgery Performed Laparoscopically. Surgery Image: ADAM

Definition: Surgery is the specialty of medicine that treats diseases and disorders by cutting, removing or changing the body with an operative procedure that opens the body for therapy.  This definition is slowly changing, as new procedures, such as the NOTES procedures, do not require an opening into the body to perform procedures.  

Operation or Surgery?

The term operation is a synonym for surgery, some individuals may say "I need to have an operation" and others will say "I'm planning to have surgery." Both terms are correct but the term surgery is more current language.

What Surgery Means

Surgery simply means opening the human body and cutting tissues to treat problems that arise in the body.  This may mean removing tissue, altering tissue or simply changing the way the human body works  with treatments performed inside the body, typically under anesthesia.

Surgery can mean a minor outpatient procedure that take hours or days for a full recovery (such as a carpal tunnel release), or may be a major procedure that treats life-threatening issues, such as a heart transplant.

Who Performs Surgery

Surgery is performed by a surgeon, a physician who has undergone extensive training including medical school, a general surgery residency five years in length, and may include further training in a specialty that may last several years.  There are many surgical specialties providing treatment in all areas of the human body including the heart, brain, organs, tissues and bones.

More Related Information:

Before Your Surgery

Common Questions About Surgery

Common Misspellings: surgrey, surgury, sugery, sugrery,

Examples: Chad realized he would need surgery after he was diagnosed with appendicitis, but was concerned that the operation would be painful. 

Continue Reading