General surgery is a discipline with knowledge and experience with diagnosis, operative, and postoperative management in several areas. These include the digestive tract, abdomen, breast and skin, head and neck, vascular system, endocrine system, surgical oncology, and trauma.
While general surgery offers broad training, it involves specialized training in all disciplines of surgery and medicine. It is an ever growing field. General surgeons have knowledge of and responsibility for the preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of patients with a broad spectrum of diseases.
Some require nonoperative, elective, or emergency surgical treatment. Some common procedures include the appendectomy and breast biopsy, to name a few. All general surgeons are also trained in emergency surgery. Elected surgeries are optional, meaning it is not necessary to continue a good quality of life. Required surgeries need to be done to ensure quality of life.
Visiting with a general surgeon does not mean surgery will happen. Whether elected or required, surgery is performed for a variety of reasons. It may be to further explore a condition and formulate a diagnosis, including biopsies. It could be to remove diseased tissues or obstructions. General surgeons are trained in a wide range of disciplines along with basic clinical care.