A Look Inside The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests

3 min read

| By Deirdre Hiam & Andrea Henderson |

With over 232 million surgeries performed yearly, it’s very likely that at some point in your life you will undergo at least one surgical procedure.1 This may range from a minor, outpatient event to a procedure that requires hours in the operating room. Medical tests are even more common, with over 250,000 laboratories administering more than 13 billion tests per year.2 When we think of that statistic, we know we’d better get comfortable with some common medical tests that we may not be able to avoid!

Your list may vary, but tests that come to mind for us range from simple blood tests to measure cholesterol and blood sugar to more involved tests for cervical cancer (Pap tests or smears), breast cancer (mammograms), and colon cancer (colonoscopies). In the last year, as mothers, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, and friends, we’ve had to confront our questions and those of our loved ones on more common surgeries such as cataract removal, Cesarean section, hernia repair, hip and knee replacements, appendectomy, and tonsillectomy. Members of our extended circles have undergone specialized surgeries such as coronary artery bypass, esophagogastrostomy, and bone marrow transplant.

Written especially for patients and allied health-care students by experts in the field, The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests provides in-depth coverage of over 650 surgical procedures; medical tests; and related topics such as anesthetics, common lab tests and procedures, medications, and postoperative care. Entries for medical tests and surgical procedures follow a consistent format, covering definition, purpose, demographic information, diagnosis and preparation, aftercare, risks, morbidity and mortality rates, alternatives, and more. Additional features include 330 full-color illustrations and photographs, bibliographies of further reading sources, a glossary of medical terminology, appendices listing top centers for specific surgical procedures and national organizations and support groups for patients, and a comprehensive index. Each entry includes key terms and questions to ask your doctor.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests, 4th Edition is an excellent resource for information on health and wellness, whether you’re a consumer looking to become more involved in your health-care choices and those of your loved ones as their caregiver, a health-care worker seeking additional information about patient care, or a student looking for complete and understandable information on medical tests and surgeries. You’ll find authoritative and comprehensive information covering all aspects of the surgeries and tests occurring today. With 36 million Americans admitted to hospitals every year, we urge you to check out this valuable content.3

1. CISION PR Newswire, “Kalorama: 232 Million Surgical Procedures Performed Globally,” Kalorama Information, May 31, 2016.
2. Haymond, Shannon, “What Everyone Should Know About Lab Tests,” Scientific American, May 9, 2016.
3. Fay, Bill, “Hospital and Surgery Costs,” Debt.org website, accessed April 8, 2020.


Meet the Authors

Deirdre Hiam

Deirdre Hiam celebrated her 20th anniversary at Gale in January. She started as an intern in 2000 and never left. After being part of the Science team for several years, she joined the BFLASH team (biographies, film, law, automotive, science, and health), where she manages the content creation of health and medical eBooks. She is currently self-quarantined with two coworkers (ages 4 and 10) who love to watch Zoom meetings and one stir-crazy husband.

Andrea Henderson

Andrea Henderson is Gale’s content strategist for public and K‒12 libraries. She’s a lifelong editor and lover of words. On any given day, you’ll find her balancing domesticity (one cool husband, three awesome kids, and the sweetest English bulldog on the planet) and referencing content conceptualization, development, and promotion. Give her a chance to read a great piece of fiction and she’s a happy camper.

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