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Surgical Techniques And Procedures

Discover the cutting-edge advancements and breakthroughs in surgical techniques and procedures that are revolutionizing the medical field.

USMLE Guide: Surgical Techniques And Procedures


This USMLE guide is designed to provide an overview of surgical techniques and procedures, which is a crucial topic for medical students preparing for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Surgical Techniques

    • Aseptic Technique
    • Hemostasis
    • Wound Closure
  2. General Surgical Procedures

    • Appendectomy
    • Cholecystectomy
    • Herniorrhaphy
    • Thyroidectomy
    • Mastectomy
  3. Specialized Surgical Procedures

    • Cardiothoracic Surgeries
    • Neurosurgical Procedures
    • Orthopedic Surgeries
    • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeries

Basic Surgical Techniques

Aseptic Technique

  • Aseptic technique aims to prevent the introduction of harmful microorganisms into surgical wounds.
  • Key principles include hand hygiene, sterile attire, sterile draping, and disinfection of surgical instruments and surfaces.


  • Hemostasis refers to the control of bleeding during surgical procedures.
  • Techniques may include direct pressure, ligation, cauterization, or the use of hemostatic agents.

Wound Closure

  • Proper wound closure ensures optimal healing and reduces the risk of infection.
  • Common techniques include suturing, stapling, and adhesive closure methods.
  • Factors such as wound location, tension, and type of tissue influence the choice of closure method.

General Surgical Procedures


  • Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, typically performed for acute appendicitis.
  • The procedure can be performed through open surgery or laparoscopy, depending on the clinical presentation and surgeon's preference.


  • Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, usually due to symptomatic gallstones.
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the preferred method, offering reduced postoperative pain and shorter recovery time compared to open surgery.


  • Herniorrhaphy is a surgical procedure to repair a hernia, which occurs when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall.
  • Techniques include open repair, laparoscopic repair, or robotic-assisted repair, depending on the hernia type and patient factors.


  • Thyroidectomy involves the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland, commonly performed for thyroid nodules, goiter, or thyroid cancer.
  • The procedure may be total (complete removal) or partial, and the surgical approach can be open or minimally invasive.


  • Mastectomy is the surgical removal of one or both breasts, often performed as a treatment for breast cancer.
  • Different types of mastectomy include total mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, and skin-sparing mastectomy.

Specialized Surgical Procedures

Cardiothoracic Surgeries

  • Cardiothoracic surgeries involve procedures on the heart, lungs, and other thoracic organs.
  • Examples include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), valve replacement, and lung resection.
  • These procedures require specialized training and expertise.

Neurosurgical Procedures

  • Neurosurgical procedures focus on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the central and peripheral nervous system.
  • Examples include craniotomy, spinal fusion, and deep brain stimulation.
  • Extensive knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology is essential for these procedures.

Orthopedic Surgeries

  • Orthopedic surgeries address conditions related to the musculoskeletal system.
  • Procedures may involve joint replacement (e.g., hip or knee), fracture fixation, or spinal surgery.
  • Understanding biomechanics and anatomy of the musculoskeletal system is crucial.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeries

  • Plastic and reconstructive surgeries aim to restore or enhance the function and appearance of various body parts.
  • Procedures include breast reconstruction, rhinoplasty, facelifts, and skin grafting.
  • These surgeries require proficiency in surgical techniques and aesthetic principles.


This USMLE guide has provided an informative overview of surgical techniques and procedures, covering basic principles, general surgeries, and specialized fields. Understanding these concepts is essential for medical students preparing for the USMLE and future surgical practice.

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