Welcome to our Patients Corner.

Please note: ASSA is a professional association representing the interests of surgeons in South Africa. We do not offer clinical advice or referrals.

What is a General Surgeon?

A "General Surgeon" is a specialist who has had five to seven years of advanced training in surgery of the organs of the abdominal cavity (e.g., liver, pancreas, spleen, et. Cetera), the abdominal wall, endocrine system, breasts and skin.

Many years ago, all surgeons were general surgeons, but with the development of new skills, other surgical fields spun off from general surgery. Some of these fields are neurological surgery, heart surgery, bone surgery, kidney surgery, and plastic surgery. All of these fields require the surgeons to have 1 to 3 years of general surgery training before they are allowed to proceed into the particular specialty.

As specialists in general surgery, we are trained to diagnose and recommend the most appropriate therapy. At times this is a surgical recommendation, while at other times it is a recommendation for nonsurgical treatment. Sometimes you need to see a surgeon routinely to monitor a condition or to take preventive measures that can help you avoid the need for surgery in the future.

Types of Surgeries