7 Common Surgical Specialties You Should Know

Typical Surgical Specialties You Should Know About

Surgeons usually have vast immunology, wound healing, physiology, anatomy, metabolism, and intensive care knowledge. However, there is always a specialization gap as some of the human body’s complications require specific types of surgeries.

According to the American College of Surgeons, ACS, there are over ten specialties in surgery with various subspecialties. These specialties focus on specific body parts, with some addressing cardiovascular and others dealing with age and female-related conditions.

All in all, these specialties require much hard work to master. Below, we have dissected seven of the most common surgeon types to help you clearly understand the particular surgical specialties.

General Surgeon

ACS defines the work of a general surgeon as dealing with a wide array of health complications that affect various body parts. The incredibly versatile profession deals in video-assisted surgeries and endoscopic procedures, and General surgery mainly acts as a stepping stone to pursuing other types of surgeries.

A general surgeon diagnoses a patient and provides pre-operation, operation, and postoperative care for the patient.

Colon and Rectal Surgeon

A colon and rectal surgeon is responsible for the anal canal, perianal area, and colon and rectum issues. The surgeon can also handle other organs of the body with the help of different types of surgeons. Before specializing, this type of surgeon must be a trained general surgeon.

A colon and rectum surgery is performed on the abdomen, and it may involve robotic surgeries for pelvis dissection, and it may also involve some colonoscopies. It effectively treats conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, bowel lining, hemorrhoids, polyps, and ulcerative colitis.


Neurosurgeons are sometimes known as brain surgeons, and they are responsible for handling illnesses and disorders related to the nervous system plus the structures supporting the system.

They usually handle conditions such as brain bleeding and sudden spinal cord compression, and such situations typically result from head injuries, brain tumors, intracranial aneurysms, spinal deformities, and herniated discs.

The most common neurosurgeon sub surgeries include spinal surgery, complex seizure disorder, cerebrovascular neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgeon, and functional surgery. Neurosurgeons usually work with modern medical technologies such as gene therapy, computerized neuro-navigation, catheter-driven endovascular techniques, and spinal biomechanics and instrumentation during operations.

Critical Care Surgeon

The American Board of Surgery defines the role of a critical care surgeon as focusing on patients who suffer acute and life-threatening surgical needs. Such specialists ought to possess vast knowledge of dealing with injuries sustained from operations, trauma, acute inflammation, ischemia, burns, and infections.

The duty of a critical care surgeon involves conducting trauma evaluations, chesting wall stabilizations, bronchoscopies, appendectomies, and performing exploratory surgeries and other non-operative techniques. Some common conditions attended include critical illness complications, automobile crash injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severe fall injuries, burns, acute medical conditions, and spleen and liver injuries.

Obstetrician and Gynecologist

An obstetrician and gynecologist are defined as specifically trained personnel for caring for and treating the reproductive organs of ladies. This surgeon usually deals in two inter-couples expertise areas, obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics involves attending to pregnant women and delivering babies. Gynecology, on the other hand, deals with treating the health conditions that affect the reproductive system of females.

An obstetrician and gynecologist typically attend to issues related to menopause and menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, STDs, STIs, family planning, female congenital abnormalities, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory complications.


Ophthalmologists are also referred to as eye doctors, and they address all conditions related to eyes and vision. They diagnose and treat eye problems, perform surgical procedures on the eyes, and provide vision services like contact lenses and glasses.

They effectively handle dry eye, glaucoma, eye cancer, uveitis, retinal detachment, myopia, strabismus, cataracts, amblyopia, conjunctivitis, and astigmatism. The most common ophthalmologist subspecialties are cornea and external diseases, pediatric ophthalmology, cataracts, refractive surgery, anterior segment surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, and ocular oncology.

Plastic Surgeon

A plastic surgeon generally deals in cosmetology. This type of surgeon attends to problems that include replacing and repairing the body’s function defects. The defects may involve the upper and lower limbs, musculoskeletal system, external genitalia, craniofacial structures, and oropharynx.

Duties include transferring skin flaps, replanting structures, and transplanting tissues. However, most people are afraid of surgeries and prefer non-surgical procedures to treat the above conditions. Cohn Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, offers such non-surgical treatments to treat facial concerns through Medspa Services.

Some of the most typical conditions attended to by a plastic surgeon include nose reshaping, reconstructive surgeries, excess skin and body fat removal, congenital deformities, and breast augmentation.

Final Thoughts

Surgical tech is a perfect fit if you want to pursue a competitive healthcare career considering there are numerous types of surgeons. Above, we have provided the various types of surgeon specialties to choose from. Hopefully, you find this information helpful.


How many surgery specialties are there?

There are seven surgery specialties; general surgery, colon and rectal surgery, Plastic surgery, neurosurgery, critical care surgery, obstetrician and gynecological surgery, and ophthalmology.

What areas does a general surgeon deal with?

It mainly deals with conditions affecting soft tissues, extremities, breasts, neck, head, and skin. Some general surgeons also handle surgeries in the biliary system, hernia repairs, and traumatic injuries if well qualified.

What are the subspecialties of plastic surgery?

We categorized Plastic surgery into sub-specialties such as hand surgery, cosmetic surgery, craniomaxillofacial surgery, microvascular surgery, burn surgery, and cosmetic surgery.

Do obstetricians and gynecologists have subspecialties?

Some of the subspecialties of this type of surgeon are maternal-fetal medicine, pelvis cope, gynecology oncology, and adolescent/pediatric gynecology.

When should I see an ophthalmologist?

You should visit an ophthalmologist if you have the following conditions; dry eye, glaucoma, eye cancer, uveitis, retinal detachment, myopia, strabismus, cataracts, amblyopia, conjunctivitis, and astigmatism.