Surgery deals with the surgical treatment of diseases. This mainly involves the recognition - i.e. diagnosis -, the treatment and the rehabilitation of diseases and injuries. The treatment of malformations is also a part of the field of surgery.

Like many medical terms, the word comes from the Greek, it means craftsmanship in the original sense. Even though many people generally equate surgery with operations: surgery is by no means the only specialty in which people operate.

The surgical spectrum is extensive. It mainly covers surgical and non-surgical basic and standard care. Surgeons are therefore often the ideal candidates for emergency medicine. As a result, surgeons are usually very well informed about the basics of accident, visceral and vascular surgery.

So whether it's about bone fractures, accidental injuries, herniated discs or even varicose veins - these are all cases for surgery. The Greeks were not wrong: in fact, technical skill and an eye for esthetics are part of surgery.

In medicine, there are a total of eight surgical disciplines or specializations. Of course, these areas overlap each other all the time. By the way: For the sake of a better overview, we have divided visceral surgery into two parts and additionally listed hernia surgery as a subspecialty.

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Surgery - Further information

Information about surgery

As a medical specialty, surgery attends to the surgial treatment of disorders, injuries, sequelae and malformations requiring attention by a surgeon. Surgical treatment thus is an invasive treatment form, most commonly just called surgery.

Experts for surgery

In surgery, sick organs can be completely or partially be removed, injured body parts be stitched together, congested organ system cleared and new organs and prothesis implanted. This can be performed in either minimally invasive or open surgery.

The medical field of surgery and its subspecialties

Several subspecialties have developed in the field of surgery: vascular surgery, heart surgery, thoracic surgery, visceral surgery, bariatric surgery, pediatric surgery, trauma surgery, neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery and plastic and esthetic surgery:

  • In the area of heart surgery, surgical cardiac interventions such as bypass surgery or heart transplantation are performed.
  • Vascular surgery attends to the surgical treatment of vascular diseases such as peripheral artery occlusive disease.
  • Surgery of the chest, lungs, bronchia, mediastinum, pleura and diaphragm is carried out in thoracic surgery.
  • The clinical focus area of visceral surgery is the surgery of the abdominal organs, say stomach, intestines, liver, spleen and gallbladder.
  • Common interventions in bariatric surgery, the area of surgery which is specialized in the treatment of obesity, are gastric bypass, gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy.
  • Neurosurgery is specialized in surgical interventions of the brain, spinal cord, spine and nerves, such as the treatment of brain tumors or slipped intervertebral discs.
  • In plastic and esthetic surgery, shape-changing and reconstructive surgery such as facelift, nose correction and breast augmentation are performed.
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