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a. Ablative Surgery. Surgery performed to remove a diseased organ or other tissue.

b. Biopsy. The removal and examination of tissue from the living body.

c. Constructive Surgery. Surgery to repair a malformed organ or tissue.

d. Elective Surgery. Surgery performed for a person's well-being, but not absolutely necessary for life.

e. Exploratory Surgery. Surgery performed to confirm the extent of the pathologic process and sometimes to confirm a diagnosis.

f. Frozen Section. A technique used in biopsy procedures where tissue specimens are removed from a patient with a microtome, are rapidly frozen, and then examined for a possible malignancy.

g. Palliative Surgery. Surgery performed to relieve the symptoms of a disease process; for example, removal of portions of a cancerous brain tumor which will help relieve a patient of some symptoms, but will not lead to a cure because total removal is not possible.

h. Reconstructive Surgery. Surgery performed to repair tissues whose function or appearance is damaged; for example, plastic surgery.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015