A Look at the Most Common Surgical Procedures

Surgery can be a very scary thing. It is an inherently worrying thing at the very least, and while we might trust the doctors and surgical staff completely, undergoing surgery involves putting our faith in another person or people. No matter how much confidence we might have in the individuals and organizations involved in our medical treatment, it is very difficult to truly relax without an understanding of what exactly is involved in our medical treatment.

Here we take a look at some of the most common surgical procedures in the United States and what exactly they entail for the patients who undergo them.


A debridement is the removal of foreign material from a wound, burn, or infection. It can also refer to the removal of dead and severely damaged tissue from around a wound site.


An appendectomy involves the surgical removal of the appendix. The appendix is a tiny tube that sits adjacent to the small intestine. Appendicitis is when this tube becomes inflamed. If or when appendicitis strikes, an appendectomy is often the only option that doctors have open to them. Appendectomies are among the most common surgical procedures carried out throughout the world and all the best surgical tech schools will make appendectomies part of their core curriculum.

Breast Biopsy

A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves taking a small tissue sample from a particular area or organ of the patient and testing it for disease or illness. Once the tissue has been removed, it can be viewed under a microscope and analyzed. Biopsies can be performed on any area of the body, but breast biopsies are among the most commonly executed medical procedures.

Coronary Artery Bypass

Also commonly referred to as bypass surgery, a coronary artery bypass is often performed on patients suffering from angina (chest pains), as well as coronary artery disease. In cases of coronary artery disease, a buildup of plaque restricts blood flow in the heart. When a patient undergoes bypass surgery, the surgeon grafts a piece of vein, usually from the leg, above and below the blockage, this creates a bypass through which blood can flow unobstructed.

Skin Grafts

A skin graft is a procedure whereby an area of skin that has been damaged is repaired using skin from elsewhere on the body. The most common reason for a skin graft is as a treatment for severe burns, but they are also used following other types of injury, and some medical conditions that affect the skin.


A cholecystectomy is a procedure in which the gallbladder is removed. The gallbladder, a pear-shaped sac found next to the liver, stores bile. It may need to be removed if it becomes infected or cancerous, cases of gallbladder stones can also be resolved by the removal of the organ.

These are some of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States, but they are only a very small selection of the overall number of different procedures that are carried out each year.