If you find yourself needing to improve your health or quality of life, a solution your doctor might offer may be undergoing surgery. There are many different types of surgery that can prevent disease, remove dangerous growths, and further diagnose a variety of ailments. Now you might be wondering: What is the most common surgery in the US? What surgery procedures might benefit you? Read on to learn all you need to know about the most common surgeries in the US.

What Are the Most Common Types of Surgery?

Surgical procedures may be offered to patients for several reasons. At times, surgery is used as a diagnostic tool to determine if there is cancer present. Other times, surgeries, like heart bypass surgeries, can prevent fatal outcomes and ensure that your heart is functioning properly. The most common surgery in the US varies depending on the category, but typically includes:

  • Cardiac procedures, including those that repair congenital disabilities or insert pacemakers
  • General procedures, including appendectomies and weight-loss surgeries
  • Oncological surgeries, including diagnostic procedures, tumor removals, and biopsies
  • Ophthalmological surgeries, including removing cataracts and laser surgeries that repair retinal tears
  • Orthopedic surgeries, which include those that repair broken bones or tendons and those designed to replace the hip or knee
  • Transplant surgeries, which can include kidney transplants and liver transplants

The types of surgery can range from outpatient procedures to more extensive procedures that require a hospital stay.

What Are Common Cardiac Surgery Procedures?

Cardiac surgery is one of the most common types of surgery, especially in the United States. It can help adults survive heart attacks, diagnose heart conditions, and ensure optimal heart health. Some cardiac surgery procedures are scheduled ahead of time, while others relating to heart attacks and strokes occur as soon as the health issue arises to limit the damage. These procedures include:

  • Cardiac ablation
  • Stent placement
  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Angioplasty
  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Heart bypass surgery

What Are Common General Surgical Procedures?

An appendectomy is the most common surgery in the US when it comes to general surgery. These surgical procedures can be scheduled or done on an emergency basis, depending on the condition of the appendix. An appendectomy is typically suggested if you’re suffering from appendicitis, the inflammation, and infection of the appendix. The appendix is not an organ that is necessary for our health, so it can be removed. Another type of general surgery is weight loss surgery.

 What Are Common Oncological Surgery Procedures?

Oncological surgery procedures are designed to diagnose and treat cancer. A biopsy is the most common surgery in the US for cancer, and these surgical procedures can involve virtually any part of the body that has a chance of developing cancer. Most biopsies are not invasive, but others may require you a more complex operation to access the affected organs. Biopsies include:

  • Bone marrow biopsies
  • Needle biopsies
  • Ultrasound-guided biopsies
  • Liver biopsies
  • Kidney biopsies
  • Aspiration biopsies
  • Prostate biopsies
  • Skin biopsies
  • Surgical biopsies
  • CT scan-guided biopsies

Most of the above procedures are done on an outpatient basis, and anything removed from your body would be tested for signs cancer or other diseases so you can receive accurate results.

In addition to biopsies that diagnose cancer, another common oncological procedure is a mastectomy. Mastectomies remove all or some of the breast tissue, and they are typically performed as part of the treatment process for breast cancer. A partial mastectomy removes any tumors and breast tissue surrounding the area. A total mastectomy removes the entire breast and all of cancer within it.

What Are Common Ophthalmological Procedures?

 The most common surgery in the US that occurs on the eyes is cataract surgery. Cataracts develop naturally and other health conditions may cause them over time. As a result of cataract growth, your eyes will become cloudier, and it will be harder to see. During cataract surgery, the lens of the eye will be removed and replaced with an implant that allows you to see clearly again. However, some cataracts are not severe enough to require surgery.

What Are Common Orthopedic Procedures?

Most orthopedic surgeries are designed to help you feel your best and ease the symptoms of aging tendons and bones. The most common types of orthopedic surgery performed in the United States include:

  • Knee replacement surgery
  • ACL repair surgery
  • Ankle replacement surgery
  • Bone fracture repair surgery
  • Hip replacement surgery
  • Shoulder replacement surgery
  • Herniated disc surgery

While most people assume that orthopedic surgery is primarily helpful for older adults, it can be helpful for those involved in accidents and those who experience sports injuries. Orthopedic surgeries are not always performed as a direct result of trauma and may be performed due to natural wear and tear.

What Are Common Transplant Procedures?

Transplants from living donors or deceased donors are an effective way to reverse the signs of certain diseases and dramatically prolong the life of those who receive them. Many different organs can be transplanted due to advances in modern medical technology. Some of the most common transplants that are performed in the United States include:

  • Lung transplants
  • Heart transplants
  • Kidney transplants
  • Liver transplants
  • Pancreas transplants
  • Bone marrow transplants
  • Corneal transplants

Qualifying for a transplant is a strenuous process that requires a great deal of vetting. Before you’re eligible for this type of surgery, you would need to have a condition that would benefit from organ replacement and go through multiple screenings.

The Different Types of Surgeries

There are many unique methods used to perform different surgical procedures, but two of the most common are laparoscopic surgery and traditional surgery. In laparoscopic surgery, doctors will use a very small incision, cameras, and robot-controlled surgical tools to complete the surgery. The recovery process is faster and you may have better a reduced chance of scarring or infection because there is less damage to the body.

On the other hand, traditional surgery involves making an incision that allows the doctor to access all of the affected areas or organs. While this is effective and helps them to reach everything they need, it also may do more damage to your body and increases your recovery time and risk of infection. One of the most common types of traditional surgery still performed today is a C-section. To have enough space to remove the baby, the area must be opened entirely through a long incision.

Do You Need Surgery?

Whether you have an infant with heart challenges who may need surgery or you’re an adult with a failing knee interested in a knee replacement, the key to a successful surgery is having the right doctor to help you determine the best treatment for your situation. With the TopLine MD Alliance, you can trust that you’re seeing a skilled and understanding medical professional who prioritizes your comfort and care above all else. TopLine MD Alliance affiliated doctors first assess your situation and then develop a treatment plan to help you feel the best you can.

Discover a doctor or a surgeon today with our Find a Provider tool. We look forward to helping you and your family.


The TopLine MD Alliance is an association of independent physicians and medical practice groups who are committed to providing a higher standard of healthcare services. The members of the TopLine MD Alliance have no legal or financial relationship with one another. The TopLine MD Alliance brand has no formal corporate, financial or legal ties to any of the affiliated physicians or practice groups.