Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center offers a team of physicians who, as surgical specialists, treat a spectrum of illnesses ranging from simple to complex.

A general surgeon has specialized knowledge and experience related to the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management, including the management of complications, in several primary components of surgery, all of which are essential to the education of a broadly based surgeon.

Dedicated to providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art surgical care, our surgeons are skilled in anatomy, physiology, metabolism, immunology, nutrition, pathology, wound healing, shock and resuscitation and critical care, all common to surgical specialties.

Wake Forest Baptist Surgical Specialties

  • Burn Center - Our Burn Center has 8 beds in the burn ICU and 16 beds in the acute care unit, with two hydrotherapy areas for wound care, and a gym for therapy.
  • Trauma Center - Our Level I Trauma Center is a regional resource center that has the capacity of providing leadership and total care for every aspect of injury from prevention through rehabilitation.
  • Transplant Program - We are actively involved in managing post-operative immunosuppression, complex infectious disease, critical care, primary care, and long-term management of transplant recipients.
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery - Studies have shown that patients treated by colon and rectal surgeons are more likely to survive colorectal cancer and will pay less for surgical care because of colon and rectal surgeons' advanced training and the high volume of colon and rectal disease surgeries they perform.
  • Bariatric Surgery - Our weight loss surgery program has been recognized as an accredited Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
  • Breast Care Center - Comprehensive Cancer Center program consolidates the services of a multidisciplinary team in a central location, giving patients access to multiple breast cancer specialists during a single visit.
  • Endocrine Surgery - Endocrine surgeons are specially trained in both the medical pathophysiology of these diseases, as well as the surgical treatment of them.
  • Gastrointestinal Surgery - Comprehensive care for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract including repair of primary, recurrent and complex abdominal wall hernias, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hiatal hernias, and achalasia; gallbladder disease, enterocutaneous fistula and short bowel syndrome; and anorectal disease.
  • Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery - General surgical treatment for benign and malignant diseases of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.
  • Laparoscopic Surgery - Simple cases like weight loss, hernias and gallbladder problems as well as complex conditions like esophageal cancer and adrenal tumors can be treated with laparoscopic surgery.
  • Pediatric Surgery - Common problems in children that are resolved with pediatric surgical expertise are hernias, pyloric stenosis, soft tissue nodules, gallstones, and appendicitis.
  • Surgical Oncology - Our board-certified surgeons all have specialized fellowship training and work in a multidisciplinary setting with other specialists to provide the latest treatments and innovations in surgical cancer care.

Methods of Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery, there are several methods that may be performed.

Open Surgery

An "open" surgery means the cutting of skin and tissues so that the surgeon has a full view of the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery are the removal of the organs, such as the gallbladder or kidneys.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery, or laparoscopic surgery, is an alternative to traditional open surgery for many conditions. Simple cases like weight loss, hernias and gallbladder problems as well as complex conditions like esophageal cancer and adrenal tumors can be treated with laparoscopic surgery. Surgery done this way accomplishes all the goals of the open operation but uses smaller incisions. This means less pain, shorter recovery times and a decreased risk of developing a hernia, as well as a better looking abdomen when all is said and done.

In addition to conventional laparoscopic surgery, our surgeons offer single incision or single port surgery for selected procedures. Single port surgery is a technique that maximizes the cosmetic outcome of laparoscopic surgery.

Other Surgical Techniques

In addition to using traditional surgical knives in surgery, both open and minimally invasive surgery can use the following alternative techniques, depending on diagnosis:

  • Laser surgery - A laser is a device that emits a concentrated beam of light radiation. A laser beam can cauterize a wound, repair damaged tissue, or destroy cells under the beam, allowing for cutting through tissue without damaging neighboring cells. Laser has been used in place of surgical cutting instruments in various surgeries, including eye surgery, gynecological procedures, removal of skin marks, and excising small tumors.
  • Electrosurgery - Surgery can also be performed with electrical instruments that operate on high-frequency electric currents. Examples of electrosurgery include electrocoagulation (which hardens tissue) and electrodesiccation (the destroying of tissue with an electric current for such things as removing small growths).

Anesthesia Explained

Anesthesia is the use of drugs to prevent pain during surgery or other medical procedures. There are several types of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you are given for a procedure is an important decision with many factors including: your health, your history, the type of procedure you are having, your personal choice and your care team’s expertise.

Learn more about anesthesia.

What to Expect for Your Surgery

We understand that surgery can be scary. And it may be a new experience for you and your family. To help with some of that unease, we want to make sure you are prepared and know what to expect before, during and after your surgery. Throughout your experience, our committed teams promise to keep you safe, care for you, involve you and your family, and respect you and your time.

Learn more about what to expect.