Surgery (from the Greek: χειρουργική cheirourgikē (composed of χείρ, "hand", and έργον, "work"), via Latin: chirurgiae, 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, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.
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. Persons described as surgeons are commonly physicians, but the term is also applied to podiatrists, dentists (known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons) and veterinarians. A surgery can last from minutes to hours, but 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.
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment.
Hospitals are usually funded by the public sector, by health organizations (for profit or nonprofit), health insurance companies, or charities, including direct charitable donations. Historically, hospitals were often founded and funded by religious orders or charitable individuals and leaders. Today, hospitals are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons, and nurses, whereas in the past, this work was usually performed by the founding religious orders or by volunteers. However, there are various Catholic religious orders, such as the Alexians and the Bon Secours Sisters, which still focus on hospital ministry today.
In accord with the original meaning of the word, hospitals were originally "places of hospitality", and this meaning is still preserved in the names of some institutions such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, established in 1681 as a retirement and nursing home for veteran soldiers.