HomeSurgery ArticlesA Comprehensive List of Surgical Specialties (13) and What They Do

A Comprehensive List of Surgical Specialties (13) and What They Do

            Operating teams are vital to hospitals and to the lives of people who need critical and surgical care. But the surgical field is not at all about just cutting up people and taking out what went wrong in their system. Surgery is specialized in various subdivisions, focusing on different parts of the human anatomy. Here is a list of surgical specialties.

General Surgery

            General surgery is the broadest specialization in the field. General surgeons can manage and conduct surgery in different parts of the body, including the head, the neck, the chest area, the skin, the gastrointestinal system, and the vascular system. They are trained to diagnose care before, during, and after the surgery. Moreover, general surgeons are prepared to treat physical trauma victims.

Thoracic Surgery

            Thoracic surgery is specialized in chest conditions and operations. Doctors here can conduct surgery on lung cancers, heart valve abnormalities, coronary diseases, and congenital heart and lung diseases. Their extensive knowledge of cardiorespiratory anatomy and surgery also allows them to operate on chest injuries, diaphragm diseases, and thoracic defects. Thoracic surgery also covers the maintenance of pacemakers, respiratory support, circulatory devices, and other machines that help patients with cardiorespiratory ailments.

Colon and Rectal Surgery

            Patients with intestinal and digestive diseases who need an operation can go to colon and rectal surgery. Equipped with advanced experience, doctors specialized in this field can diagnose, treat, and operate on ailments in the gut as long as they are related to intestinal diseases. Hence, colon and rectal surgeons perform surgery on the intestines, liver, and urinary tract. They can treat anal infections, hemorrhoids, and abscesses. Surgeons in this specialization can also operate on bowel cancer, inflammation, tumors, ulcer, and colitis.

Obstetrics and Gynecology

            The specialization in obstetrics and gynecology covers the medical treatment for pregnant women and babies. Surgical doctors in these fields can also treat conditions in infertility, the female reproductive system, prenatal health, and delivery of babies. Also, they operate reproductive infections, critical pregnancies, and conditions that pose a risk both to the mother and the unborn child. Obstetrics and gynecology surgeons in some high-status hospitals facilitate in vitro fertilization.

            Related to the aforementioned specialization is gynecologic oncology. Surgeons in this field can manage and operate on cancers in a woman’s reproductive system.

Neurological Surgery

            Neurological surgery is a specialization on diseases in the central and autonomic nervous systems. Surgeons in this field can also operate on the blood vessels and spinal structures that support the said system. They can also treat the pituitary gland.

Ophthalmic Surgery

            Doctors in ophthalmic surgery can diagnose diseases and ailments related to the eyes and a person’s vision. Other than conducting operations to treat these, ophthalmic surgeons can provide contact lenses and prescribe glasses.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

            Oral and maxillofacial surgery can help those who have injuries and diseases in the face, neck, and oral tissues. Their specialization is closely related to dentistry. They can inject anesthesia, pull out wisdom teeth, operate on oral tumors, perform surgery on the gums, and treat jaw defects and misalignment.

Orthopedic Surgery

            Orthopedic surgery is diverse, each with their different respective special interest fields. They can operate on the skeletal and muscular systems, including the skin, nerves, and blood vessels that surround them. Other than performing surgery, orthopedic surgeons can prepare and apply braces and casts. They can also perform physical therapy on patients with stroke, cerebral palsy, and muscular problems brought by damages in the nervous system. Doctors in a career in orthopedic surgery are prepared to operate on patients with skeletal and muscular abnormalities, whether they are traumatic injuries, deformities, tumors, and infections.

            Because orthopedic surgery has multiple areas, doctors in this specialization can focus further on the following:

  1. Hand surgery. It includes attaching amputated fingers and treating wrist and hand injuries and diseases through surgery.
  2. Sports medicine. This subfield of orthopedic surgery is closely related to athletics. Sports medicine surgeons treat athletes and players when they get injured or if they want to condition their bodies.
  3. Pediatric orthopedic surgery. Children’s skeletal systems are delicate, especially if they have deformities and physical trauma. Pediatric orthopedic surgeons can help children with cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and clubfoot, among many others.
  4. Spinal surgery. This specialization is intertwined with neurology.
  5. Foot and ankle orthopedics.
  6. Joint replacement. Joints can degenerate and tear over time, causing grave pain to those who have them. Surgeons who are specialized in joint replacement can prepare and apply artificial joints that will alleviate pain and bone damage.


            Otolaryngology is centered on operating on people with disorders in the ears, nose, and throat. They are also trained in speech pathology, treatment of allergies, and head and neck neurology. Moreover, otolaryngology is involved in facial plastic surgery.

Pediatric Surgery

Pediatric surgery involves operating on children, from neonatal stages to early teenage years. Doctors trained in this specialization know if surgical treatment is appropriate for a child’s condition. They also collaborate with paediatricians and family doctors in carrying out their medical practice. This field of surgery is also subdivided into the following:

  1. Prenatal pediatric surgery. Doctors in this expertise can conduct fetal surgeries, which is a new specialty still under experimentation.
  2. Neonatal pediatric surgery involves correcting birth defects and congenital disorders.
  3. Trauma. Surgeons trained in this subfield can help children with critical injuries.
  4. Pediatric oncology. This includes treating and operating on young people with tumors.

Plastic Surgery

            Plastic surgery is one of the trendiest surgical treatment nowadays. It includes operating on the face, limbs, neck, breasts, and even genitalia. They can also enhance patients’ body parts to meet beauty standards. Doctors who specialize in plastic surgery are trained to reconstruct tissues, perform skin transfer, treat complicated wounds, and execute complex stitches and cuts.

Urological Surgery

            Urological surgery is conducted on adrenal gland disorders and diseases that require an operation. Surgical doctors specialized in urology are also effective in treating conditions involving the reproductive system.

Vascular Surgery

            Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Because of this, vascular surgery is valuable. Surgeons specialized here can treat strokes, diseases in the arteries and veins, blood clots, and aneurysm. They are also trained to diagnose probable victims of stroke and blockage of arteries and veins which can be fatal.

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