Types of Surgical Procedures

Surgery is a branch of medicine that uses physical intervention on the afflicted parts.  These physical interventions usually involve in making cuts or incisions to repair the damaged tissues and are often termed as ‘surgical procedures’.

There are different types of surgical procedures based on the urgency, organs involves, type of procedure, invasiveness, instruments used etc. Accordingly, the following are the most common classifications of surgery types:

Types of Surgery Based on the Urgency (timing)

  • Emergency surgery has to be performed immediately without wasting time as any delay could be fatal to the patient.
  • Elective surgery can be performed within a larger time frame, usually not emergencies that need not be treated urgently and can be postponed for a long period.

Types of Surgery Based on the Procedure

  • Amputation is a procedure that removes a part of the body (external) such as a limb.
  • Replantation is another procedure that attaches a severed part of the body.
  • Reconstructive surgery essentially reconstructs a deformed part of the body like in the case of burns and severe bruises.
  • Cosmetic surgery improves the external appearance of the individual.
  • Transplant surgery is done to replace a damaged organ of the patient with that of an organ donor.

Types of Surgery Based on the Organ or Organ System Involved

  • Cardiac surgeries are procedures performed on the heart
  • Orthopedic surgeries are procedures performed on joints, bones and muscles attached to them.
  • Gastrointestinal surgeries are procedures performed on the organs of the digestive system and intestines.
  • Urological surgeries are procures performed on the urinary tract and kidneys.

Types of Surgeries Based on the Degree of Invasion

  • Minimally invasive surgeries need only very small incisions to perform the procedure as in angioplasty and laparoscopic surgeries.
  • Invasive surgeries, also known as laprotomy require larger incisions to reach the affected area. Open heart surgery or bypass is one such laprotomy.

Types of Surgeries Based on the Equipment Used

  • Laser surgeries use laser rays for making cuts instead of scalpels. It is commonly used in eye surgery.
  • Microsurgeries are performed using microscopes to view the area, especially vascular tissues and hair implants.
  • Robotic surgeries make use of robots for the surgery where the instrument is guided by an experienced surgeon.

Some Terminologies used to Name Surgeries

  • Surgeries that involve the excision of an organ begin with the organ name and end with –ectomy
  • Procedures involving cutting into a tissue or organ end in –otomy
  • Minimal invasive surgeries end in –oscopy as they use an endoscope for the procedure.
  • Surgeries that leave an opening after the surgery end in –ostomy.
  • Reconstructive surgeries end with –oplasty.
  • Reparative surgeries end with –rraphy.