General Surgery

The ultimate in surgical care—no matter how minor or how critical your surgery may be

From routine outpatient procedures to life-saving emergency surgery, our nationally known general surgeons treat a wide breadth of health problems impacting the entire body, including: 

  • Breast cancer
  • Diseases and cancer of the thyroid
  • Parathyroid and adrenal glands
  • Sarcoma (soft tissue tumors)
  • Colon and rectal diseases
  • Straightforward and complex hernia repair
  • Bariatric (weight loss) surgery
  • Diseases of the liver and pancreas
  • Trauma and critical care

IU Health is recognized for our expertise in complex surgical cases, but we deliver excellence in routine surgical procedures, too. Our surgeons prioritize minimally invasive techniques and set the standard of care for surgeons nationwide. We understand that when you’re facing surgery, it’s never routine to you, and your successful outcome is always our goal. 

At IU Health, we put as much emphasis on your personal well being as we do on being the leading surgeons in the region. We focus not just on achieving technical excellence, but also on choosing surgical methods that deliver faster recovery, lower risk and fewer complications. 

Minimally invasive surgery

Because we know you don’t have time to recover for extended periods, IU Health specializes in minimally invasive surgery, which enables you to return to your daily activities more quickly. It also produces less scarring and requires less pain medication. 

Minimally invasive techniques, which include laparoscopic, endoscopic and other methods, are utilized by almost every discipline within general surgery when possible. Procedures that typically are treated with a minimally invasive approach include thyroid surgery, groin hernia repair, appendectomy, gall bladder removal and breast biopsy. 

Gall bladder surgery, for example, is usually performed on an outpatient basis using laparoscopy. Generally, four incisions averaging less than a half-inch in length are made. You may be able to go home in as little as six hours after arriving at the hospital. Most patients are back to normal function within a week. A more outdated surgical approach would require overnight hospitalization, a much longer healing time and would carry a greater risk of complications. At IU Health, we strive to minimize your risk and encourage faster recovery. 

Advanced surgical techniques

IU Health’s surgeons are trained in the latest surgical techniques to provide our patients with optimal outcomes whenever possible. These techniques include:

Abdominal wall surgery 

Hernia repair is usually straightforward, but if more complex methods are needed, the surgeons at IU Health are at the forefront of complicated hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction.

Breast tissue preservation 

Advanced oncoplastic techniques (combining surgical oncology with plastic surgery) allow preservation of the breast, even for large tumors that typically would require mastectomy. If your cancer treatment requires mastectomy or you choose to undergo prophylactic mastectomy because you’re at high risk of developing breast cancer, our surgeons can preserve your nipples for a natural appearance after breast reconstruction. 

Robotic surgery 

We incorporate many leading edge robotic surgical techniques to enable our surgeons to perform procedures with extreme precision and delicacy, resulting in as little insult to the body as possible. 

The da Vinci Surgical System® provides an alternative to open and conventional laparoscopic techniques. Advantages for the surgeon include 3D vision, 360-degree motion and superior precision. These advantages mean less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery for patients.

  • Robotic surgery can be used for: 
  • Cholecystectomy for patients with symptomatic gallstones or biliary dyskinesia
  • Hernia repair 
  • Anti-gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) procedures and esophageal myotomy for achalasia
  • Splenectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Surgery for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstructions or colon cancer.

Level 1 Trauma Center

If you experience a catastrophic health crisis, IU Health’s Level 1 Trauma Centers at Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital care for the sickest of the sick, day and night, year-round. General surgeons will participate in your care as a critical patient, even if you don’t end up requiring surgery. 

Second chance surgical repair

If you’ve had a prior surgery from which you haven’t fully healed or you’ve experienced unexpected complications, the general surgeons of IU Health can resolve your post-operative condition by repeating or repairing your original procedure. 

Surgical oncology

Surgery can be an important tool for treating cancerous tumors, especially those found on the thyroid, liver, pancreas or other abdominal organs. Your surgeon will collaborate with your oncologist and other specialists for comprehensive care that aims to fight your cancer and help you return to living your everyday life. 

Our Approach to General Surgery

At IU Health, we put as much emphasis on your personal well being as we do on being the leading surgeons in the region. We focus not just on achieving technical excellence, but also on choosing surgical methods that deliver faster recovery, lower risk and fewer complications. 

Minimally invasive surgery

Because we know you don’t have time to recover for extended periods, IU Health specializes in minimally invasive surgery, which enables you to return to your daily activities more quickly. It also produces less scarring and requires less pain medication. 

Minimally invasive techniques, which include laparoscopic, endoscopic and other methods, are utilized by almost every discipline within general surgery when possible. Procedures that typically are treated with a minimally invasive approach include thyroid surgery, groin hernia repair, appendectomy, gall bladder removal and breast biopsy. 

Gall bladder surgery, for example, is usually performed on an outpatient basis using laparoscopy. Generally, four incisions averaging less than a half-inch in length are made. You may be able to go home in as little as six hours after arriving at the hospital. Most patients are back to normal function within a week. A more outdated surgical approach would require overnight hospitalization, a much longer healing time and would carry a greater risk of complications. At IU Health, we strive to minimize your risk and encourage faster recovery. 

Advanced surgical techniques

IU Health’s surgeons are trained in the latest surgical techniques to provide our patients with optimal outcomes whenever possible. These techniques include:

Abdominal wall surgery 

Hernia repair is usually straightforward, but if more complex methods are needed, the surgeons at IU Health are at the forefront of complicated hernia repair and abdominal wall reconstruction.

Breast tissue preservation 

Advanced oncoplastic techniques (combining surgical oncology with plastic surgery) allow preservation of the breast, even for large tumors that typically would require mastectomy. If your cancer treatment requires mastectomy or you choose to undergo prophylactic mastectomy because you’re at high risk of developing breast cancer, our surgeons can preserve your nipples for a natural appearance after breast reconstruction. 

Robotic surgery 

We incorporate many leading edge robotic surgical techniques to enable our surgeons to perform procedures with extreme precision and delicacy, resulting in as little insult to the body as possible. 

The da Vinci Surgical System® provides an alternative to open and conventional laparoscopic techniques. Advantages for the surgeon include 3D vision, 360-degree motion and superior precision. These advantages mean less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery for patients.

  • Robotic surgery can be used for: 
  • Cholecystectomy for patients with symptomatic gallstones or biliary dyskinesia
  • Hernia repair 
  • Anti-gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) procedures and esophageal myotomy for achalasia
  • Splenectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Surgery for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstructions or colon cancer.

Level 1 Trauma Center

If you experience a catastrophic health crisis, IU Health’s Level 1 Trauma Centers at Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital care for the sickest of the sick, day and night, year-round. General surgeons will participate in your care as a critical patient, even if you don’t end up requiring surgery. 

Second chance surgical repair

If you’ve had a prior surgery from which you haven’t fully healed or you’ve experienced unexpected complications, the general surgeons of IU Health can resolve your post-operative condition by repeating or repairing your original procedure. 

Surgical oncology

Surgery can be an important tool for treating cancerous tumors, especially those found on the thyroid, liver, pancreas or other abdominal organs. Your surgeon will collaborate with your oncologist and other specialists for comprehensive care that aims to fight your cancer and help you return to living your everyday life. 

IU Health surgeons are the most advanced practitioners of surgery in the state of Indiana. Our surgeons maintain focused areas of excellence, treating specific diseases or organ systems. This focus allows us to maintain knowledge of the most current surgical techniques and to understand the shifting standards of care. 

Through our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, we have multiple practitioners who are the surgical thought leaders in the region and even nationwide, helping to establish the standard of care for surgeons across the country.  

While many patients come to us to resolve prior surgical complications, we are proud to provide the first line of care to adults and children, whether for routine procedures or in the most challenging situations. 

Why IU Health for General Surgery

IU Health surgeons are the most advanced practitioners of surgery in the state of Indiana. Our surgeons maintain focused areas of excellence, treating specific diseases or organ systems. This focus allows us to maintain knowledge of the most current surgical techniques and to understand the shifting standards of care. 

Through our partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, we have multiple practitioners who are the surgical thought leaders in the region and even nationwide, helping to establish the standard of care for surgeons across the country.  

While many patients come to us to resolve prior surgical complications, we are proud to provide the first line of care to adults and children, whether for routine procedures or in the most challenging situations. 

Related Services and Conditions for General Surgery

Patient Stories for General Surgery