Types of GI Surgery 

Gastrointestinal (GI) surgery encompasses a wide array of procedures aimed at treating disorders affecting the digestive system. From addressing gastrointestinal cancers to managing functional gastrointestinal disorders, GI surgery is encountered by many over the course of their lifetimes. This article will discuss several types of GI surgery, each with its own specific clinical context and benefits and limitations 1

An appendectomy is one of the more common types of GI surgery. It involves the surgical removal of the appendix, typically due to acute appendicitis. Left untreated, appendicitis can lead to complications such as perforation and peritonitis. Appendectomy is often performed laparoscopically, which offers faster recovery and reduced postoperative pain 2,3

Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, usually carried out to treat gallstones or gallbladder inflammation. Gallstones can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and jaundice. Cholecystectomy can be done laparoscopically or through open surgery, depending on the patient’s condition and the surgeon’s preference 2,4

Colectomy involves the partial or total removal of the colon. It is carried out to treat conditions such as colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and severe constipation. Depending on the extent of the surgery, colectomy may be carried out via open surgery or using minimally invasive techniques 5

Esophagectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the esophagus and is typically performed to treat esophageal cancer or severe gastroesophageal reflux disease that does not respond to treatment. Esophagectomy may involve removing a portion of the esophagus and reconstructing it using part of the stomach or intestines 6

Gastrectomy involves the surgical removal of all or part of the stomach and may be performed to treat stomach cancer, peptic ulcers, or severe obesity (in the case of bariatric surgery). Depending on the extent of the surgery and the underlying condition, gastrectomy may involve removing a portion of the stomach or the entire stomach 7,8

Hemorrhoidectomy is the surgical removal of hemorrhoids, swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus that cause symptoms such as bleeding, itching, and pain. Hemorrhoidectomy is usually carried out for severe or persistent cases of hemorrhoids that do not respond to conservative treatments such as dietary changes, fiber supplements, and topical medications 9

A liver resection, or hepatectomy, involves the surgical removal of a portion of the liver and is performed to treat liver cancer, benign liver tumors, or metastatic tumors that have spread to the liver from other parts of the body. Liver resection may be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, based on the size and location of the tumor 10

Pancreatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the pancreas and may be performed to treat pancreatic cancer, benign pancreatic tumors, or chronic pancreatitis. Depending on the location and extent of the disease, pancreatectomy may involve removing the head, body, or tail of the pancreas, along with adjacent structures such as the duodenum or spleen 11

Each procedure is tailored to the individual patient’s needs, taking into account factors such as the underlying condition, disease severity, and overall health status. These are just a few of the many types of GI surgery currently performed. In the future, advances in surgical techniques and technology continue to expand the treatment options available to patients with GI disorders, offering hope for improved outcomes and quality of life. 


1. Gastrointestinal Surgery | Gastroenterology. Available at: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/gastroenterology/treatment-and-detection-methods/gastrointestinal-surgery/. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

2. Common Types of Gastrointestinal Surgical Procedures. Available at: https://www.farnorthsurgery.com/blog/common-types-of-gastrointestinal-surgical-procedures. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

3. Appendectomy | Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/appendectomy. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

4. Cholecystectomy | Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/cholecystectomy. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

5. Colectomy – Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colectomy/about/pac-20384631. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

6. Gastrointestinal Surgery – Esophagectomy. Available at: https://gisurgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/esophagectomy.aspx. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

7. Upper GI Surgery | Digestive Disease & Surgery | Cleveland Clinic London. Available at: https://clevelandcliniclondon.uk/clinical-institutes/digestive-disease-surgery/upper-gastrointestinal. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

8. Gastrectomy – NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gastrectomy/. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

9. General Surgery – Hemorrhoidectomy. Available at: https://generalsurgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/hemorrhoidectomy.aspx. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

10. Hepatectomy (Liver Resection) Surgery: Procedure & Recovery. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22930-hepatectomy-liver-resection. (Accessed: 6th March 2024) 

11. Gastrointestinal Surgery – Pancreatectomy. Available at: https://gisurgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/pancreatectomy.aspx. (Accessed: 6th March 2024)