Resources - Health Glossary

Surgical Specialities

Central Maine Medical Center's Surgical Services Department, located in the Andre M. Marcotte, M.D., Surgical Suites facility, provides general, gynecologic, neurosurgical, orthopedic, otolaryngologic, plastic, thoracic, trauma and urologic surgeries.

Patients receive comprehensive care from skilled surgeons, nurses and medical professionals who provide the best treatment and care available.

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Prior to surgery, an anesthesiologist meets with the patient to discuss anesthesia options and to answer questions. Anesthesia choices may vary, depending on the surgery being performed and the patient's health. General anesthesia keeps patients in a deep state of sleep, while a regional anesthesia numbs the area around the surgery site. Throughout the procedure, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient's vital signs and responses.

The anesthesiology staff also assists in planning post-operative pain management. After surgery, their help extends to patients moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and/or the Critical Care Unit. They strive to keep patients comfortable throughout and after their surgery experience.

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Cardiovacular Surgery
Central Maine Medical Center's cardiac surgeons have extensive training in cardiovascular and thoracic physiology and disease treatment. The surgeries they perform include specialty operative procedures, such as coronary artery bypass surgery and valvular heart disease repair and replacement.

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General Surgery

Although surgery has become increasingly specialized over the years, general surgeons still perform many procedures. They include surgeries involving abdominal organs, (such as gall bladder, stomach and bowels), some cancer and some vascular system procedures. Many times general surgeons are able to perform surgeries using laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that makes treatment and recovery easier for the patient.

Gynecologic Surgery

Gynecologic surgery includes Caesarean sections, hysterectomies, tubal ligation and other procedures involving the reproductive system.

Caesarean sections (often referred to as "C-sections") occur when a woman is unable to deliver a baby vaginally. A surgical suite is located within CMMC's Special Delivery Center for women undergoing C-sections.

Many gynecologic surgeries can be performed laparoscopically, a minimally invasive procedure that results in faster recovery.

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Neurosurgeons perform surgeries related to the spine and brain. The most common surgery is disc repair, to remedy back problems. Brain surgeries include removal of blood clots and tumors. CMMC's neurosurgery suite is equipped with the most advanced technological tools available.

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Opthalmologic Surgery

Ophthalmologic surgery is surgery involving the eye. Common surgeries include cataract removal, treatments for glaucoma, macular degeneration and retina detachment, radial kerototomy (cornea repair) and vitreous replacement. Ophthalmologic surgeons also perform pediatric surgeries, including opening blocked tear ducts, correcting droopy eyelids and eye muscle repair. Many eye surgeries are handled as out-patient surgeries.

Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral-maxillofacial surgeries involve the head and neck, including teeth and the jaw. Surgeons perform biopsies and surgeries on tumors in the head and neck. Oral-maxillofacial surgeons are also trained in dentistry; much of their work includes dental work, such as teeth extraction and inserting dental implants. They also treat patients with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disease.) The surgeons also work with other specialists in treating patients with cleft palates.

Orthopeadic Surgery

Orthopeadic surgeons diagnose and treat problems of the musculoskeletal system. Many surgeons specialize in specific areas, such as hand surgery, joint replacement, etc.

With the help of minimally invasive procedures (such as arthroscopic surgery) and advanced techniques, orthopedic patients usually gain mobility soon after surgery. Patients undergoing hip replacement may be hospitalized for several days --- not weeks, as in the past. Orthopeadic surgeons work closely with occupational and physical therapists to help patients regain mobility.

Otolaryngologic Surgery (Ear, Nose and Throat)

Otolaryngologic surgeons are more commonly known as ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists. They diagnose and treat problems including ear diseases, sinusitis, tonsillitis and snoring. They also treat cancers of the skin, larynx, mouth and throat. ENT specialists also handle trauma patients and perform cosmetic surgeries.

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Plastic Surgery

Plastic and reconstructive surgery involves the repair or reconstruction of tissue, due to injury, congenital defect, disease or aesthetic preference. The most common procedure is the removal of skin tumors. CMMC's plastic surgeons frequently work with other surgeons, assisting them in trauma cases, wound management and cancer reconstruction procedures.

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Same-Day Surgery

Many of the surgeries performed at CMMC allow patients to leave the hospital the same day. The deciding factors are usually the complexity of the surgery and the health of the patient. Many surgical advances have also eliminated the need for overnight stays; minimally invasive techniques are faster and less complex. The Same-Day Surgery Unit provides patients with the information they'll need to transition home, after recovery in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

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Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgeons diagnose and treat conditions within the chest area – such as lungs and esophagus – but excluding the heart. They treat cancers, digestive conditions and other diseases. Thoracic surgeons are often able to use minimally invasive procedures, making surgery easier for patients.

Trauma Surgery

Trauma surgeons assist seriously injured patients. These surgeons are skilled at evaluating and stabilizing patients who may have multiple injuries. CMMC has a comprehensive trauma program in place to help people who have experienced serious and/or life-threatening injuries. The system starts with the pre-hospital response, in the field, to the emergency department, to surgery and then to the critical care unit, if necessary.

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Urologic Surgery

Urologists diagnose and treat problems of the urinary system, which includes kidney and bladder conditions, as well as the male genital systems. This includes cancer treatment, as well as treatment for infections, urinary and kidney stones, infertility, incontinence, impotence and prostate issues.

Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgeons treat conditions of the body's blood vessel and circulatory system. Surgical procedures include treatment of narrowing of the carotid artery, a condition that may result in strokes and/or death. Other procedures include treatment and repair of aneurysms and blockages. Vascular surgeons also perform procedures to assist patients undergoing dialysis.

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