What Kind of Surgeon?

When a medical condition will not improve without surgery, your primary care doctor will refer you to a surgeon.  Depending on your medical needs, this referral may be to a general surgeon or one who specializes in a specific area of the body.  Your doctor recommend a specific person, or it may be necessary for you to find one on your own.  In addition, it is important to research which surgeons accept your health insurance plan.   If you live in a remote area or small town, it may be necessary to travel in order to see the type of surgeon you need.   This may also provide access to other subspecialty care that can improve the outcome of your surgery. 

Other health care providers, such as nurses or physical therapists, can also offer suggestions.   The patient services department of your local hospital can provide information about which surgeons are on staff at their location.  If all else fails, an internet search is the next best option.  Many online physician registries provide information about the types of surgeries performed, which insurances that are accepted, and include patient reviews.  Below is a list of surgical procedures and the types of surgeons who perform them.  We hope this list will help you find the best option.

In order to become a surgeon, one must complete four years of medical school, followed by several years of surgical training in an accredited residency program.  The length of time for this training varies based on the area of interest.  For example, a general adult surgeon trains for five years.  Other surgical subspecialties require three years of general surgery, plus additional years in their field.  In addition to a three part medical licensure exam, board certification is required by the majority of entities that hire surgeons.  An additional exam is required in order to receive this certification.  Information about a surgeon’s board certification status can be found at the American Board of Medical Specialties.  Also, some surgeons choose to become a member of the American College of Surgeons.  Members have the letters F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons) after their name.

More information: What Kind of Doctor Do I Need?

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Abscess Drainage – General Surgeon (although small abscesses can be managed by an emergency room doctor)
Adhesions, Separate – General Surgeon
Adrenal Gland Removal – General Surgeon
Amniocentesis – OB/GYN
Amputation – General Surgeon, Orthopedist, Vascular
Anal Fissure –  Colorectal
Anal Fistula Repair – Colorectal
Aneurysm Repair – Neurosurgeon, Vascular
Angioplasty, Coronary – Cardiothoracic
Aorto-iliac Bypass Graft – General Surgeon, Vascular
Appendectomy – General Surgeon
Arthroplasty, Shoulder – Orthopedist
Arthroscopy, Knee– Orthopedist

Baker’s Cyst Removal – Orthopedist
Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Bypass) – General Surgeon
Bartholin’s Gland, Abscess Drainage – OB/GYN
Bladder Removal (Cystectomy) – Urologist
Bone Graft – Orthopedist
Breast Abscess DrainageBreast Surgeon
Breast Augmentation – Plastic/Reconstructive, Breast Surgeon
Breast Biopsy (Excision) – Breast Surgeon
Breast Biopsy (Needle Aspiration) – Breast Surgeon
Breast Reconstruction – General Surgeon,Plastic/Reconstructive
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) – Plastic/Reconstructive
Bunion Removal – Orthopedist, Podiatrist
Cardiac Catheterization/Angiogram – Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Carotid Artery Endarterectomy – Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Vascular
Carpal Tunnel Release – Orthopedist
Cataract Extraction – Ophthalmologist
Cervical Biopsy – OB/GYN
Cervix, Cryosurgery – OB/GYN
Cervix, Electrocauterization – OB/GYN
Cesarean (C- Section) – OB/GYN
Chalazion Removal – Ophthalmologist
Circumcision – OB/GYN, Pediatrician, Urologist
Gastrostomy Percutaneous Endoscopic – General Surgeon, Gastroentrologist
Cleft Lip Repair – Plastic/Reconstructive, Craniofacial Surgeon, Otolaryngologist (also known as an ENT)
Cochlear Implant – Otolaryngologist
Colonoscopy – General Surgeon, Colo-Rectal
Colostomy – General Surgeon, Colo-Rectal
Cornea Transplant (keratoplasty) – Ophthalmologist
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft – Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Craniotomy – Neurosurgeon
Culdocentesis – OB/GYN
Cystoscopy – Urologist
D&C (Dilatation and Curettage) – OB/GYN
Defibrillator Implant – Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Disk Removal, Ruptured (laminectomy) – Orthopedic
Ductus Arteriosus Closure – Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Ectropion Repair – Ophthalmologist
Endometrial Biopsy – OB/GYN
Endovascular Surgery – Vascular
Entropion Repair – Ophthalmologist,
Episiotomy – OB/GYN
Esophagectomy – General Surgeon
Face Lift & Blepharoplasty – Plastic/Reconstructive
Fibroid Tumor Removal – OB/GYN
Fracture Repair (reduction) – Orthopedist
Gallbladder Removal (cholecystectomy) – General Surgeon
Gastroenterostomy – General Surgeon
Gastrostomy – General Surgeon
Gastrostomy Percutaneous Endoscopic – General Surgeon
Hair Transplant – Plastic/Reconstructive, Dermatologist
Hammertoe Correction – Orthopedist
Heart Transplant – Cardiothoracic
Heart Valve Replacement – Cardiothoracic
Heart-Lung Transplant – Cardiothoracic
Heel Spur Removal – Orthopedic Surgeon, Podiatrist
Hemorrhoid Banding – Colo-Rectal
Rectal or Colon Polyp Removal – Colo-Rectal
Hemorroidectomy – General Surgeon, Colo-Rectal
Hernia Repair, Femoral – General Surgeon
Hernia Repair, Hiatal – General Surgeon, Cardiothoracic 
Hernia Repair, Incisional – General Surgeon
Hernia Repair, Inguinal – General Surgeon, Urologist
Hernia Repair, Umbilical – General Surgeon
Hip Nailing for Hip Fracture – Orthopedist
Hip Replacement, Total – Orthopedist
Hydrocelectomy – Urologist
Hypospadias Repair – Urologist
Hysterectomy with Oophorectomy – OB/GYN
Ileostomy – General Surgeon
Kidney Removal – General Surgeon, Urologist
Kidney Stone Removal – General Surgeon, Urologist
Kidney Transplant – General Surgeon, Urologist
Knee Arthroscopy – Orthopedist
Knee Replacement – Orthopedist
Laceration Repair – General Surgeon, Orthopedist, Plastic/Reconstructive (or an ER doctor for minor lacerations)
Laparoscopy – General Surgeon, OB/GYN
Laparotomy – General Surgeon, OB/GYN
Laryngoscopy – Otolaryngologist
Larynx Removal (Laryngectomy) – Otolaryngologist
Lipoma Removal – General Surgeon, Plastic/Reconstructive, Dermatologist
Liposuction – Plastic/Reconstructive
Liver Resection – General Surgeon, Vascular
Liver Transplant – General Surgeon
Lumber Spinal Fusion – Orthopedic Surgeon
Lung Resection (lobectomy; pneumonectomy) – Cardiothoracic
Lymphadenectomy – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Mastectomy – Breast Surgeon
Mastectomy (Partial, lumpectomy) – Breast Surgeon
Melanoma Removal – Dermatologist, Plastic/Reconstructive
Meniscectomy – Orthopedist
Morton’s Neuroma Removal – Orthopedist, Podiatrist
Myringotomy – Otolaryngologist
Toenail Removal – Podiatrist
Nasal Polyps Removal – Otolaryngologist
Neck, Radical Disection – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Nephrostomy, Percutaneous– General Surgeon, Urologist
Otoplasty – Plastic/Reconstructive, Otolaryngologist
Ovarian Cyst – OB/GYN
Pacemaker Implant – Cardiothoracic
Pancreas Transplant – General Surgeon
Parathyroidectomy – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Penectomy – Urologist
Penile Implant – Urologist
Peptic Ulcer Surgery – General Surgeon
Pericardiocentesis – Cardiothoracic
Pilonidal Cyst Removal – General Surgeon, Colorectal
Popliteal Artery Embolectomy – Vascular
Prostate Gland Removal – Urologist
Pterygium Excision – Ophthalmologist
Rectal or Colon Polyp Removal – Colorectal
Rectovaginal Fistula Repair – OB/GYN, Colorectal
Retinal Detachment Repair – Ophthalmologist
Rhinoplasty & Septoplasty – Plastic/Reconstructive, Otolaryngologist
Rotator Cuff Tear – Orthopedist
Salivary Gland Tumor Removal – Otolaryngologist
Sebaceous Cyst Removal – General Surgeon, Dermatologist, Plastic Surgeon
Sentinel Node Biopsy – General Surgeon
Sigmoid Colon Removal – General Surgeon
Shoulder Replacement– Orthopedic Surgeon
Skin Graft – Plastic/Reconstructive
Skin Lesion Removal – Dermatologist, Plastic/Reconstructive
Small Bowel Resection – General Surgeon
Spinal Tap (lumbar puncture) – General Surgeon, Neurosurgeon
Spleen Removal – General Surgeon
Stapes Removal – Otolaryngologist
Stomach Cancer Surgery – General Surgeon
Strabismus Surgery – Ophthalmologist
Stress Incontinence Surgery – Urologist, OB/GYN
Sympathectomy – Cardiothoracic surgeon
Tear Duct Opening – Opthalmologist
Tendon Repair – Orthopedist
Testicle Fixation – General Surgeon, Urologist
Testicle Removal – General Surgeon, Urologist
Thyroglossal Duct & Cyst Removal – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Thyroid Gland Removal – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Tongue, Cheek or Gum Biopsy – Otolaryngologist, Periodontist
Tonsil & Ademoid Removal – Otolaryngologist
Tracheostomy – General Surgeon, Otolaryngologist
Tubal Ligation – OB/GYN
Tummy Tuck – Plastic/Reconstructive
Tympanoplasty – Otolaryngologist
Urethral Caruncle Removal – Urologist
Vagotomy – General Surgeon, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Varicocele Removal – Urologist
Varicose Vein Removal – Plastic/Reconstructive, Vascular
Varicose Vein Sclerotherapy – Plastic/Reconstructive, Vascular
Vasectomy – Urologist
Vasectomy Reversal – Urologist
Vasicovaginal Fistula Repair – Urologist, OB/GYN
Vitrectomy – Ophthalmologist

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Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP
Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP

Dr. Alexander began her pediatric career at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey in 2000, and has practiced at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey since 2005. After graduating from Kalamazoo College and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, she completed her pediatric training at Overlook and Morristown Memorial Hospitals. She is board certified in General Pediatrics. In addition to pediatrics, Dr. Alexander pursued her interest the culinary arts with study at the French Culinary
Institute. In 2007, she opened Global Palate, LLC, catering small group events for six years. Dr. Alexander has also been a professional writer and editor since 2018, engaging in a variety of medical editing and writing projects.