General Surgery covers a broad range of many surgical conditions and in the past, a general surgeon would perform an extensive range of operations from breast cancer surgery, to vascular surgery, to bowel surgery and the like; today that is no longer the case.

Most general surgeons nowadays still perform different types of operations, but the diversity is often smaller and for good reason. Good outcomes are a result of being well trained, working in the right environment with the right equipment and performing the same types of operations often. Therefore, most general surgeons have an “area or areas of interest” which is to say they have an area of surgery that they enjoy and have focused their training and practice on. In addition to that, a general surgeon often deals with conditions that don’t fall into a classic “subspecialty” such as removing skin lumps and bumps, operating on ingrown toenails and dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Whilst not exhaustive, the list below are the common conditions that I treat. Whilst I’m a surgeon and one of the jobs of a surgeon is to operate, some of the conditions below do not always require an operation. The decision to recommend an operation is made after taking a comprehensive history, examining the patient and ensuring the right tests have been performed. It is only after this has been done, that a decision should be made.

Other Conditions that I treat:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Skin Lesions
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Bowel Cancer
  • Requests for circumcision
  • Appendicitis
  • Ingrown Toenail
  • Abscesses
  • Pilonidal Sinus Disease

Common Symptoms and Problems that I investigate:

Sometimes, a patient is referred without an actual diagnosis but rather a symptom instead. In this situation, certain tests (eg Xrays, ultrasound or blood tests) may be required or in other cases a procedure (eg a colonoscopy for rectal bleeding) may be performed to look for an answer. The following list are common symptoms I see many patients for.

1. Abdominal pain
2. Iron deficiency anaemia
3. Positive faecal occult blood test
4. Rectal bleeding
5. Change in bowel habit

6. Unexplained weight loss
7. Swallowing problems
8. Heartburn
9. A strong family history of bowel or gastric cancer
10. Groin pain

Sometimes, there is a problem that may require further management or surgery on my part but occasionally, a problem is identified that may require seeing another specialist if needed, depending on the results of tests.
In any case, your GP will have determined that first up, your symptoms or diagnosis are best investigated and managed by a surgeon who works in that area of practice.

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