You all probably know what is surgery, but before starting, we are going to write some basics first. Surgery or operation or surgical procedure is a specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate or treat a pathological condition such as a disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance or to repair unwanted ruptured areas. We will try to write everything about surgeries that you need to know.
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Surgery is always done by doctors who are specialized in exact part of medicine. Depends on what type of surgery you need to do (on which body part), you will go to a doctor that is specialized for it.
A lot of parts of medicine is coming together when it is about surgery. Before surgery, everyone needs to do different kinds of tests/diagnosis that will confirm that the person is eligible for surgical procedure. You need to perform blood and urine test, coagulogram, check heart, visit anesthesiologist etc. Depends on what kind of surgery you are going, but these are some basics.
Types of Surgery
There are numbers of different types of surgeries. People talk about surgeries in different ways:
- How long it takes
- Whether it was planned or not
- The type of surgical procedure
Length of Stay For Surgery
Day surgical operation is happening the same day as the patient arrives in hospital. Also, patient usually leaves hospital the same day as well. If you are having day surgery you will probably be asked to prepare for it (not drinking, not eating etc).
If you are not being asked to prepare, that probably means that you will stay overnight and wait for a surgery. It is always good to ask doctor will you stay overnight or not so you can prepare.
Planned or Unplanned Surgery
Most surgeries are Elective surgery. That means that surgical operation was planned in advance. You will be scheduled at exact time and date for an operation.
Emergency surgery is a term used for operations that require immediate admission to hospital, usually through the accident and emergency department. It is usually done within 24 hours and may be done immediately or during the night for serious and life-threatening conditions.
Types of Surgical Procedure
When it comes to exact types of operations, we can divide types of surgeries in more categories:
Open surgery is the most common type of surgery and characterized by the staples or stitches used to close the incision. “Open” means the cutting of skin and tissues so that the surgeon has a full view of the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery are the removal of the organs, such as the gallbladder or kidneys.
Minimally invasive – it is a technique involved in operation that does not require a large incision/cut. This is relatively new approach which is still in phase of researching and is progressing very quick in last few years. This kind of operation allows patient to recover faster with less pain. Of course, not all conditions are suitable for minimally invasive surgery.
Many surgery techniques now fall under minimally invasive surgery, such as: Laparoscopy, Endoscopy, Arthroscopy, Bronchoscopy, Cystoscopy, Gastroscopy, Hysteroscopy, Laryngoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy.
In addition to using traditional surgical knives in surgery, both open and minimally invasive surgery can use the following alternative techniques, depending on diagnosis: Laser surgery and Electrical surgery.
Another part of surgical operation, which is not very often is Plastic surgery. It is a operation where person chooses to have an operation, or invasive medical procedure, to change their physical appearance for cosmetic rather than medical reasons. Mostly, plastic surgeries are done in private clinics.
General vs Local Anesthesia
There are two types of anesthesia: General and Local. Depending on type of surgery and body part that is being operated, you will get either general or local anesthesia.
General anesthesia is a combination of medications that put you in a sleep-like state before a surgical operation or other medical procedure. Under general anesthesia you do not feel pain because you are completely unconscious. General anesthesia usually uses a combination of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses (anesthetics).
An anesthesiologist is a specially trained doctor who specializes in anesthesia. While you’re under anesthesia on the surgical operation, the anesthesiologist monitors your body’s vital functions and manages your breathing. After the operation is done, after a decent time, you will wake up from anesthesia.
Local Anesthesia involves numbing an area of the body using a type of medication called a local anesthetic. These medications can be used to treat painful conditions, prevent pain during a procedure or operation, or relieve pain after surgery. This means that local anesthesia is generally safer, do not normally require any special preparation before it is used, and you can recover from it more quickly. Depending on what they are being used for, local anesthetics can be given as injection, creams, gels, sprays or ointments.
Side Effects of Anesthesia
Side effects or general anesthesia are pretty rare, but can happen. Some of them are: temporary confusion and memory loss, dizziness, difficulty passing urine, bruising or soreness, nausea and vomiting, shivering and feeling cold, sore throat (due to the breathing tube).
Some people experience temporary side effects from a local anesthetic, such as: dizziness, headache, blurred vision, twitching muscles, weakness etc. Of course, this is very rare.
I need to emphasize, both general and local anesthesia are very safe and you do not need to be afraid of them. It is very rare that some complications happens. So, anesthesia risks are reduced almost to zero.
After the Surgery
After the operation is done, your doctor will determine should you go home or you shall stay in hospital to rest a bit. Most of the time, you will stay overnight so nurses can track your progress and help you if you need a hand. Also, you will get advice what to do when you leave hospital.
When you leave hospital, then the recovery from surgery begins. This is a time when you will be very carefully, visiting doctor for checks, going to a physiotherapist or other specialists, train if needed, eat healthy, using some medicament, vitamins etc.
We tried to explain you a little about surgical operations. As you read before, this is nothing dangerous and you do not have to be afraid of anything. It is 21st century and health care did very big progress in last few decades. Most of the surgeries are routine ones.
Honestly, I was not afraid until they brought me to the operation room. Then I had some fear, but after surgery was done, I saw that there was nothing to worry about. I would like that nobody ever needs to go to a surgical operation, but trust me, there is nothing to be scared of. Good Luck!