Whether you’re planning surgery or need an unexpected procedure, our general surgeons treat both common and complex medical conditions, so you get care when you need it most.
What is general surgery?
A general surgeon is a doctor trained to perform a wide range of surgical procedures. All surgeons are trained extensively in general surgery, then they can continue to further their education in a specialty area.
General surgery training includes being able to diagnose, treat and perform a variety of surgical procedures, including:
- Abdominal wall surgery (including hernias)
- Appendectomy (to treat appendicitis)
- Endocrine system treatment
- Gallbladder surgery
- Intestine surgery, including the small bowel and colon
- Skin and soft tissue surgery
- Stomach surgery
Our general surgeons provide a wide range of surgical subspecialties and treatments. General surgeons also perform surgery to treat conditions including:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Melanoma and skin cancer
Because of their breadth of knowledge, general surgeons also perform emergency procedures for people who go to the ER in need of emergency surgery — whether from trauma or sudden illness.
General surgery at Geisinger
Our general surgeons act fast with surgical intervention when needed, providing you with care from diagnosis through post-operation. Our team is trained to perform a number of specialized procedures, including:
Our comprehensive weight-loss program connects you with a compassionate, experienced weight-management team that includes registered dietitians, nutritionists, obesity medicine doctors and bariatric surgeons. We’re here to partner with you for life on your weight-loss and bariatric surgery journey.
Our bariatric surgeons perform:
- Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass)
- Sleeve gastrectomy
- BPD-DS (Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch)
- Gastric balloon
- Management of laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands
- Adolescent bariatric surgery
Learn more about bariatric surgery.
Surgical oncology is a specialty field where surgery is used to diagnose and treat cancers. A surgical oncologist can diagnose cancer with a biopsy — where a small sample of tissue is removed during a surgical procedure for testing — and perform surgery as a treatment. Whenever possible, our surgeons use minimally invasive options, which can shorten your hospital stay and help you heal faster.
Our surgical oncologists treat:
- Esophageal and stomach cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Liver and bile duct cancer
- Pancreatic and biliary cystic lesions
- Small bowel cancers and pre-cancers
- Sarcomas and masses of the abdomen
- Thyroid cancer and nodules
- Adrenal conditions
Learn more about cancer treatment.
Colorectal surgery, also known as colon and rectal surgery, treats conditions that affect the lower digestive tract, including the small intestines, colon, rectum and anus. Colorectal surgeons offer surgical and nonsurgical treatment for the following colorectal conditions and diseases:
- Colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Colorectal polyps (malignant and premalignant)
- Fecal incontinence
- Rectal cancer
- Ulcerative colitis
- And more
Learn more about colorectal surgery.
Our comprehensive breast health team partners to create a customized treatment plan built around your breast surgery needs. Whether you need breast surgery to treat cancer or cosmetic breast surgery, our general surgeons perform a variety of breast surgeries, including:
- Breast conserving surgery (BCS)
- Total mastectomy, including nipple-sparing mastectomies
- Lymph node biopsy
- Reconstructive breast surgery
Learn more about breast surgery.
Sometimes, emergency surgery may be required for patients who come into the ER with injuries from external force such as car crashes, falls, burns or violence.
Our trauma surgeons treat some of the hospital’s most critically injured patients with injuries of the neck, chest, abdomen and extremities. In addition to performing procedures, they will create a treatment plan for you and care for you from surgery through recovery until you’re able to go home.
A hernia develops when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weak spot in the wall of the surrounding tissue, typically in the abdomen. Hernias can be caused by heavy lifting, previous injury, weakened muscles, diarrhea, constipation or persistent coughing or sneezing.
Hernias are typically treated with surgery, including:
- Open surgery – Your surgeon will make an incision through which they will repair the hernia and reinforce the weak muscle it pushed through, either with stiches or surgical mesh.
- Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) repair – Using small incisions and a camera, your surgeon will access and repair the hernia through your belly button. The camera allows your surgeon to repair the hernia without making a large incision.
- Robotic surgery – Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure. Your surgeon will control robotic arms and a camera that allow for hernia repair through small incisions.
Learn more about hernias.
General surgery at Geisinger
Our hospitals and locations are staffed with compassionate, skilled surgeons. From emergency to elective surgeries and minimally invasive to complex procedures, we're here to help you get well.
- Specialized care: Many of our surgeons have completed advanced training (called fellowships) in specific types of surgery. This precise level of care leads to improved accuracy and fewer complications.
- Safe, effective surgical care: Our ProvenCare® approach uses the latest research and recommendations to achieve the best possible outcomes. We offer ProvenCare methods for many types of surgery, including lung cancer, bariatric and hip replacement surgery.
- Minimally invasive surgery: We use minimally invasive techniques, such as robotic surgery, whenever possible. This type of surgery offers a higher degree of precision and less disruption to healthy tissue compared to other surgical methods. This means smaller surgical incisions, shorter recovery times and a faster return to your daily activities.