General Surgery Abroad
General surgery is the specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of surgical abdominal diseases as well as other surgical conditions of other specialties requiring special techniques such as traumas, vascular, urological, thoracic, endocrine, gynecological or oncological surgery.
General surgery is always changing as it continues to reinvent itself to the benefit of the patient. Thanks to today's high-tech instrumentation and advanced technology, procedures such as major abdominal surgery or heart surgery are now replaced with minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques that often reduce pain, cost and the recuperation period without sacrificing good outcomes. Surgical research into disease processes such as immunology and genetics have redefined treatment options specific to individual patients, opening doors to better understanding the etiologies of disease and its progression.
What is a general surgeon?
A general surgeon is a physician specialized in evaluating and treating a variety of conditions and diseases that may require surgical treatment. They primarily operate in the torso region of the body, including the large and small intestines, stomach, esophagus, spleen, gallbladder, and liver.
Their responsibility may start with diagnosing a patient who has a condition that requires surgery by performing a physical exam and order various tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, in order to confirm a diagnosis. When the surgeon determines surgery is needed, he also has to decide if a patient is a good candidate for surgery. This means determining if the patient is healthy enough for surgery. Pre-operative tests, including blood work and an EKG, are often ordered to rule out health problems that may make surgery too risky to perform.
In addition to caring for patients pre-operatively and doing the actual surgery, general surgeons also monitor patients post-operatively, examining patients’ incisions, monitoring their recovery and managing any post-operative pain.
A general surgeon has specialized knowledge and experience related to the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management, including the management of complications, in nine primary components of surgery, all of which are essential to the education of a broadly based surgeon:
- Alimentary tract
- Abdomen and its contents
- Breast, skin, and soft tissue
- Head and neck, including trauma, vascular, endocrine, congenital and oncologic disorders - particular tumors of the skin, salivary glands, thyroid, parathyroid, and the oral cavity
- Vascular system, excluding the intracranial vessels and heart
- Endocrine system, including thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and endocrine pancreas
- Surgical oncology, including coordinated multimodality management of the cancer patient by screening, surveillance, surgical adjunctive therapy, rehabilitation, and follow-up
- Comprehensive management of trauma, including musculoskeletal, hand, and head injuries. The responsibility for all phases of care of the injured patient is an essential component of general surgery.
- Complete care of critically ill patients with underlying surgical conditions, in the emergency room, intensive care unit, and trauma/burn units
How to find a good general surgeon?
Each state has a medical board that licenses physicians and participates in disciplinary action for surgeons who have issues with their practice. Take the time to look up recommended surgeons on the website for the state medical board. Do they have a license to practice in the state where you plan to have surgery? Look for a surgeon who has undergone the necessary training, even after being in clinical practice, to maintain board certification in his or her specialty.
Questions to ask the surgeon
Here are some of the questions that you should ask the general surgeon before choosing him.
- Is surgery really necessary?
- Is your board certification up to date?
- What's your experience?
- What are your success, failure, and complication rates?
- What's the hospital's infection rate?
Trusting your surgeon is crucial for the outcome of your procedure. We can help you find trustworthy, experienced and highly skilled surgeons all over the place. Contact us and get all the information you need to make a safe choice.