General surgery refers to the treatment of diseases which affect almost any area of the body and as such crosses a broad spectrum of surgical conditions. The general surgeon determines the diagnosis and provides the pre-surgical, surgical, and post-surgical care to his or her patients. The general surgeon has both the medical knowledge and surgical skills to treat many conditions, whether located in the head or neck, abdominal cavity, or the extremities. The surgeries may be gastrointestinal or vascular in nature. General surgeons are trained to recognize complex problems, wherein he or she may need to refer the patient to specialist.
Common general surgical treatments include surgery involving inflammation of the gallbladder, appendicitis, bowel resection, hemorrhoids or hernias. The general surgeon may perform laparoscopic surgeries or procedures, which involve minimally invasive surgical techniques using smaller surgical incisions and a laparoscope. Minimally invasive surgery significantly reduces the amount of time a patient may spend in the hospital and promotes a patient's quicker recovery.