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Surgery

Also called: Operation

Summary

There are many reasons to have surgery. Some operations can relieve or prevent pain. Others can reduce a symptom of a problem or improve some body function. Some surgeries are done to find a problem. For example, a surgeon may do a biopsy, which involves removing a piece of tissue to examine under a microscope. Some surgeries, like heart surgery, can save your life.

Some operations that once needed large incisions (cuts in the body) can now be done using much smaller cuts. This is called laparoscopic surgery. Surgeons insert a thin tube with a camera to see, and use small tools to do the surgery.

After surgery there can be a risk of complications, including infection, too much bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, or accidental injury. There is almost always some pain with surgery.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Start Here

  • (American College of Surgeons)
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.) Also in

Specifics

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF
  • (American College of Surgeons)
  • (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) Also in
  • (American College of Surgeons)
  • (American Society for Reproductive Medicine)
  • (Joint Commission) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Images

Health Check Tools

  • (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Videos and Tutorials

Games

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (Society of Interventional Radiology)

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Patient Handouts