"When taking an Alaskan cruise we never expected a real adventure. Our 14 year old son’s stomach and back began hurting after a few days, and, being a physician myself, I realized after a while something was very wrong. The cruise ship doctor advised us to disembark in Ketchikan and get a CT scan at the ER. The scan was unhelpful, leaving appendicitis a possibility. My wife and I felt so worried and uncertain for our son. The ER doctor called in Dr. K. Michelle Strasen who was there within an hour. From the moment she walked into the room at 11pm we knew we were in good hands. Respectful, confident, gentle, thoughtful, considerate and decisive in her recommendations. Though appendicitis was not a certainty, and it would mean calling in the night team, she offered emergency surgery as a viable option and we took it. His appendix was removed just before it had a chance to burst and he is recovering well. Dr. Strasen watched us closely in the hospital and we were out by evening! I’ve worked with countless surgeons in my career and it was very impressive to see someone so professional and efficient waste no time in helping my son get better even at an inconvenience to herself and her staff. She exemplifies what being a good surgeon is all about. Thank you, Dr. Strasen."
A general surgeon is a specialist who performs many different kinds of operations, with a focus on those located in the chest and abdomen. General surgeons have specific knowledge about anatomy, surgical techniques, and wound care that allows them to excel at a wide variety of procedures.
While a general surgeon can perform many different kinds of operations, there are a few types that are most common in general surgery. They include:
Mastectomies and breast cancer removal
Laparoscopic abdominal surgery, including hernia repairs and weight loss surgery
Colorectal surgery to treat conditions such as intestinal polyps or Crohn's disease
Abdominal transplants, such as kidney transplants or liver transplants
Emergency surgery, performing all different kinds of needed surgery in an emergency department
A general surgery residency requires the doctor to have direct experience in ten widely different areas, including abdominal procedures, pediatric surgery, removing cancer, and repairing trauma. General surgeons have the ability to examine patients, perform biopsies, and plan care. They can prescribe antibiotics and pain medication and manage complications. They are operation experts, from diagnosis through recovery.