Surgery (from the cheirourgikē (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via , meaning "hand work") is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance or to repair unwanted ruptured areas (for example, a perforated ear drum).
An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical procedure, operation, or simply surgery. In this context, the verb operate means to perform surgery. The adjective surgical means pertaining to surgery; e.g. surgical instruments or surgical nurse. The patient or subject on which the surgery is performed can be a person or an animal.
A surgeon is a person who practises surgery and a surgeon's assistant is a person who practices surgical assistance. A surgical team is made up of surgeon, surgeon's assistant, anesthesia provider, circulating nurse and surgical technologist. Surgery usually spans minutes to hours, but it is typically not an ongoing or periodic type of treatment. The term surgery can also refer to the place where surgery is performed, or simply the office of a physician, dentist, or veterinarian. Elective surgery generally refers to a surgical procedure that can be scheduled in advance because it does not involve a medical emergency. Plastic, or cosmetic surgeries are common elective procedures.