MedlinePlus – Surgery and Rehabilitation

MedlinePlus - Surgery and Rehabilitation provides access to information about surgery and recovering from surgery. The section includes a medical encyclopedia & links to a variety outside resources about recovering from surgery and a few surgical procedures & techniques. This MedLine section is recommended to gain some understanding of surgery by learning about many common procedures, although additional sites will be needed for more comprehensive coverage

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Review Date: 4/15/2019


Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list. Each listed topic leads to a page with a brief summary of surgical procedures or rehabilitation techniques. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to surgery & rehabilitation. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

The home page is minimalistic, with only a simple list of topics, without any images or other infographics to appeal to users.


Users will find a fair amount of information about recovering from surgery, but descriptions of only a few surgeries. Inconsistent referencing make the reliability of each MedlinePlus page variable. Topics found in the medical encyclopedia are well referenced, while this is inconsistent for individual substance summaries and information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.


MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally credited on the linked sites.


  1. Extensive Medical Encyclopedia with information about and related to surgical treatment
  2. Links to reliable and up-to-date information about about recovering from surgery and a few surgical procedures and techniques
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and relying on materials generated by authoritative organizations


  1. Only common procedures are presented and they seem arbitrarily chosen~
  2. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the external website referenced here
  3. Some topics, such as stroke rehabilitation and radiation therapy, are only marginally related to the section


Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Patient handouts, videos, images, relevant journal articles, doctor finder, links to research, health check tools, clinical trials

Languages: English, Spanish