In earlier times, surgery was a dangerous and dirty practice. Until the middle of the 19th century, as many patients died of surgery as were cured. With the discovery and development of general anesthesia in the mid-1800s, surgery became more humane. And as knowledge about infections grew, surgery became more successful as sterile practices were introduced into the operating room. The last 50 years of the 20th century have seen continued advancements.
Types of General Surgery
General surgery experienced major advances with the introduction of the endoscope. This is an instrument for visualizing the interior of a body canal or a hollow organ. Endoscopic surgery relies on this pencil-thin instrument, capable of its own lighting system and small video camera. The endoscope is inserted through tiny incisions called portals. While viewing the procedure on a video screen, the surgeon then operates with various other small, precise instruments inserted through one or more of the portals. The specific area of the body treated determines the type of endoscopic surgery performed. For example, colonoscopy uses an endoscope, which can be equipped with a device for obtaining tissue samples for visual examination of the colon. Gastroscopy uses an endoscope inserted through the mouth to examine the interior of the stomach. Arthroscopy refers to joint surgery, and abdominal procedures are called laparoscopies.
Endoscopy is used in both treatment and diagnosis especially involving the digestive and female reproductive systems. Endoscopy has advantages over many other surgical procedures, resulting in a quicker recovery and shorter hospital stay. This non-invasive technique is being used for appendectomies, gallbladder surgery, hysterectomies and the repair of shoulder and knee ligaments. However, endoscopy does not come without limitations such as complications and high operating expense. Also, endoscopy doesn't offer advantages over conventional surgery in all procedures. Some literature states that as general surgeons become more experienced in their prospective fields, additional non-invasive surgery will be a more common option to patients.
ONE-DAY SURGERY. One-day surgery is also termed same-day, or outpatient surgery. Surgical procedures usually take two hours or less and involve minimal blood loss and a short recovery time. In the majority of surgical cases, oral medications control postoperative pain. Cataract removal, laparoscopy, tonsillectomy, repair of broken bones, hernia repair, and a wide range of cosmetic procedures are common same-day surgical procedures. Many individuals prefer the convenience and atmosphere of one-day surgery centers, as there is less competition for attention with more serious surgical cases. These centers are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
Jeffrey P. Larson RPT, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,