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Types of Surgery

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health surgeons have extensive experience in all types of surgical procedures, including traditional and minimally invasive surgery. Your surgeon will discuss any options with you and your family to identify the approach that offers you the best long-term outcome.

Types of surgical procedures

The general surgeons at Virginia Mason are trained to perform a wide variety of surgical procedures, including:

  • Traditional (open) surgery
  • Minimally invasive techniques
    • Advanced laparoscopic surgery
    • Robotic-assisted surgery

We strive to use the least invasive technique possible. Sometimes, however, we can achieve a better result for you using a traditional procedure rather than a minimally invasive one.

Learn more about preparing for surgery and recovering from surgery.

  • You’ll be under general anesthesia for the duration of your procedure. Your surgeon will make a longer incision to allow access to the surgical site and close the incision with sutures or stitches.

  • During minimally invasive procedures, surgeons use laparoscopic, endoscopic, endovascular, “keyhole,” and thorascopic surgical techniques. Your surgeon will insert tiny surgical instruments into small incisions or into a small flexible tube inserted into a blood vessel or opening (such as the mouth or nostrils) to reach the surgical site. They also use viewing instruments, small cameras or imaging during procedures.

    Minimally invasive surgery allows surgeons to perform procedures that would otherwise require longer, more complicated recovery. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

    • Reduced pain
    • A smaller scar
    • Fewer complications
    • Shorter recovery times
  • Robot-assisted procedures also use small incisions and miniature instruments. Our experienced surgeons use the most advanced generation surgical system, controlling the procedure from a nearby console. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health surgeons have performed thousands of surgeries using the system since we invested in this technology in 2008.

    In addition to the benefits mentioned above, robot-assisted surgery when compared to traditional surgery offers:

    • Superior 3D visualization inside of the body at the surgical site
    • Easier access to hard-to-reach places
  • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is a leader in data-driven patient blood management techniques. We offer a special service for those who wish to avoid blood transfusions during their procedures. Read more about our transfusion-free medicine approach.

General surgery

Specific services offered by the general surgery group at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health include:

  • Anal dysplasia
  • Anal fistula, fissure or abscess treatment
  • Appendix removal
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Breast surgery for cancer and benign disease
  • Colon, rectal and anal cancer surgery
  • Diverticulitis
  • Enterstomal therapy
  • Esophageal surgery
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Hemorrhoid treatment
  • Hernia surgery
  • IBD, Crohn's and ulcerative colitis treatment
  • Liver, pancreas and biliary surgery
  • Minimally invasive and advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Skin- and soft-tissue excisions
  • Thyroid and parathyroid surgery

Find a surgeon near you

Our surgeons and support staff provide expert surgical care throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way and Lynnwood.