Despite the name, a general surgeon is a highly skilled doctor who specializes in a variety of surgical procedures, including minimally invasive surgery. Though they may go on to specialize further in one area of the body, all surgeons start out in general surgery and require rigorous training to know:
General surgeons are also trained to operate on various parts of the body, including:
What conditions does a general surgeon treat?
General surgeons treat a broad range of conditions, including:
To find out if a general surgeon near you treats your condition, we recommend contacting the hospital or clinic where they provide care.
What procedures does a general surgeon perform?
General surgeons are trained in a variety of procedures, including:
To learn the complete list of procedures a general surgeon performs near you, we recommend contacting the hospital or clinic where they provide care.
When should I go to see a general surgeon?
There are many situations where you might go to a general surgeon, including elective surgeries, medical emergencies, or because other treatments for your condition haven’t worked.
Elective surgeries are typically non-life-threatening procedures that you and your surgeon schedule in advance to alleviate pain, manage a condition, and help you live more comfortably.
Medical emergencies include any procedure that needs immediate attention, such as trauma to the body, hernias, appendicitis, and more.
If your primary care physician believes that non-surgical care isn’t enough to alleviate your symptoms or improve your condition, they may refer you to a general surgeon.
What can I expect during my general surgery appointment?
A typical visit to a general surgeon will include an evaluation to make sure surgery is the best option for you. You can expect your general surgeon to explain any recommended procedures and answer any questions you have about those procedures. You’ll also be given instructions on how to prepare for your operation, including:
In addition to these instructions, your surgeon will walk you through what to expect during your recovery. If surgery requires you to stay at the hospital after, you’ll find out how long you can expect to be in the hospital and be given post-operative instructions for when you return home.
What questions should I ask my general surgeon?
Going into an appointment with a surgeon can be a nerve-wracking experience. By preparing beforehand, you can walk into and out of your appointment feeling more confident about your options. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled this list of great questions for you to ask your surgeon:
Before your procedure, make sure you communicate any feelings, concerns, or questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to take notes, bring a family member with you, or ask for additional resources you can take home with you.