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The Gem Brochos 54b says

ארבעה צריכין להודות:יורדי הים, הולכי מדברות ומי שהיה חולה ונתרפא ומי שהיה חבוש בבית האסורים

Four types of people have to give thanks … sick people who were healed

Medical practice includes prophylactic procedures. Surgery, for example, can be instituted to remove a potential threat to the patient's health even though the patient exhibits no symptoms now.

Is there discussion in the poskim whether a prophylactic procedure on a patient without symptoms is sufficient cause to necessitate “bensching gomel” = Blessing of Thanksgiving ?

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    I would think that just undergoing surgery is dangerous enough that one would be able to bentch gomel.
    – Scimonster
    Nov 3 '15 at 11:56
  • 2
    I was told it was any time the patient is under general, regardless of the reason.
    – rosends
    Nov 3 '15 at 14:00
  • @Danno Who told you please? Did he give a source? Nov 3 '15 at 14:07
  • @AvrohomYitzchok it was 16 years ago - I don't remember which person told me, but he wasn't issuing a psak to a shailah. He was passing along info that he "knew."
    – rosends
    Nov 3 '15 at 14:08
  • @AvrohomYitzchok check this link chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/115308/jewish/… and look in the comments for the word "surgery". The question asked mentions only the general, not the nature of the surgery.
    – rosends
    Nov 3 '15 at 14:12
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Echoing @rosends comment above, any surgery under general anaesthetic requires Bircas HaGomel.

In Nishmas Avraham, Vol. 1, 219:2 it writes:

ואמר לי הגר"ע אויערבאך שליט"א שחמיו הגרי"ש אלישיב שליט"א פוסק שאין לברך בכל ניתוח אלא רק בניתוח תחת הרדמת כללית

And HaGaon Rav Azriel Auerbach shlita said to me that his father-in-law HaGaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv shlita (now zt"l) paskened that one doesn't make a bracha (of hagomel) on every operation, but rather only on an operation that is under a general anaesthetic.

(Interesting to note: look at the beginning of os/se'if beis where it mentions that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l paskens that even if one is just having cauterization of the heart that requires no action other than the implementation of a balloon one benches Hagomel - I imagine that this too would require at least a general anaesthetic).

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  • Knowing in recent years what operations became possible to be performed using local anaesthetics, I'd be curious whether he had changed his opinion. Aug 16 at 10:43
  • Yes I did think about that.
    – Dov
    Aug 16 at 10:58

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