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Types of Surgery

What is surgical diagnosis?

As part of your diagnosis, you and your healthcare provider may discuss surgery as a way to correct your condition. This decision is based on looking carefully at your health history. It is also based on the results of tests you have. These include blood tests, X-rays, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, and electrocardiogram. Other lab tests may also be done to make a diagnosis.

What are the different types of surgery?

Two broad types of surgery exist, depending on your diagnosis.

Elective surgery

An elective surgery doesn't always mean it's optional. It means that the surgery isn't an emergency and can be scheduled in advance. It may be a surgery you choose to have for a better quality of life, but not for a life-threatening condition. But in some cases it may be for a serious condition, such as cancer. Examples of elective surgery include removing a mole or wart and having kidney stones removed. It may also be done if other forms of treatment aren't working. 

Urgent or emergency surgery

This type of surgery is done because of an urgent medical condition that needs attention right away. The condition may even be life-threatening. Examples are acute appendicitis and trauma.

Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Campbell MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2021
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.