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Types of Surgery

At one time having surgery meant having to stay in the hospital a few days. Today, advancements in minimally invasive procedures, pain control and anesthesia often make it possible to go home the same day.

Technology has transformed what it means to have surgery, in many cases eliminating the need for large incisions and long healing times. Some surgeries are considered inpatient, meaning you need to be admitted to the hospital for recovery and monitoring. Others are considered outpatient, or ambulatory, allowing you to go home the day of your procedure. Your doctor will determine the best approach for you, based on your diagnosis and health needs.

Learn more about outpatient surgery.

Learn more about general emergency surgery and trauma surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery

Minimally invasive techniques involve smaller incisions, often leading to a quicker recovery with less pain and scarring. Not all conditions are suitable for minimally invasive surgery, but more are being performed than ever before. Examples of minimally invasive surgery include robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

Open surgery 

Your condition may require open, or traditional, surgery, which means a surgeon must make incisions to provide a full view of the structures or organs involved. Like minimally invasive surgery, open surgery has benefited from strides in technology that improve outcomes and shorten recovery times.

One type of open surgery is known as exploratory laparotomy, an emergency open abdominal surgery used to evaluate your injuries.

Interventional radiology

For many conditions, interventional radiology provides an alternative to conventional surgery. In this medical specialty, doctors use imaging and catheters (flexible tubes) or wires to diagnose and treat conditions.

Learn more about interventional radiology.

Endoscopic procedures

During an endoscopy, a small, flexible tube with an attached camera is used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, from digestive to bronchial issues. These minimally invasive procedures are typically performed under mild sedation, and you’re able to go home the same day.

Learn more about endoscopy.

Laser surgery

A laser sends out a concentrated beam of light, allowing surgeons to cut through tissue without damaging nearby cells. Laser beams can seal a wound, repair damaged tissue or destroy certain cells. They may be used in eye surgery, gynecologic procedures and the removal of skin marks and small tumors.

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