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Glossary

Picture of male surgeon in the operating room

Surgery is the treatment of disease, injury, or other disorders by direct physical intervention, usually with instruments.

Surgery involves cutting into the skin or other organs to help restore the body to a healthy state.

This may include further exploring the condition to make a diagnosis, taking a biopsy of a suspicious lump, or removing diseased tissues or organs. In addition, your doctor may perform surgery to remove an obstruction, reposition structures to their normal location, redirect channels, or transplant tissue or whole organs.

You may need surgery to implant mechanical or electronic devices; improve physical appearance; repair an area that has been injured or affected by trauma, overuse, or disease; restore proper function; or relieve pain.

Many people in the U.S. undergo surgery every year, both by choice (elective) and in cases of emergency. When facing surgery, you should expect to go through 4 phases;

  • Diagnosis. After certain tests, you are diagnosed with a condition that needs surgery.

  • Before surgery. This phases lasts from the time surgery is decided on to when you enter the operating room.

  • Surgery. This phase lasts from the time you enter the operating room until you are brought to the recovery room.

  • After surgery. This phase lasts from the time you enter the recovery room until a follow-up appointment with your health care provider.

 
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