Surgery (from the Greek "cheirourgia" meaning "hand work") is the medical specialty that treats diseases or injuries by operative manual and instrumental treatment. General surgery deals with surgical treatment of abdominal organs, e.g. intestines inclusive esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts, and furthermore of the thyroid gland (depending on the availability of head and neck surgery specialists) and hernia.
Stereotaxic surgery uses a three-dimensional system of coordinates obtained by X-ray photography to accurately focus high-intensity radiation, cold, heat, or chemicals on tumours located deep in the brain that could not otherwise be reached. Cryosurgery uses extreme cold to destroy warts and precancerous and cancerous skin lesions and to remove cataracts. In the late 20th century, some traditional techniques of open surgery were being replaced by the use of a thin, flexible fibre-optic tube equipped with a light and a video connection; the tube, or endoscope, is inserted into various bodily passages and provides views of the interior of hollow organs or vessels. Accessories added to the endoscope allow small surgical procedures to be executed inside the body without making a major incision (Johanson, 1994).
Surgery of each abdominal organ is dealt with separately in connection with the description of that organ (see stomach, kidney, liver, etc.) Diseases affecting the abdominal cavity are dealt with generally under their own names (e.g. appendicitis). The three most common abdominal surgeries are described below.
In a diagnostic laparotomy, the nature of the disease is un ...