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General Surgery

Abdominal Disorders

Appendectomy

Appendectomy is the removal of the appendix, a small organ that helps lubricate the colon. Appendectomy may be recommended when the appendix swells (appendicitis) or ruptures (potentially causing infection, abscess, intestinal blockage or sepsis). Symptoms of appendicitis include abdominal pain and tenderness, elevated temperature, nausea and vomiting.

Cholecystectomy

Cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder. The gallbladder is responsible for collecting bile, a fluid produced by the liver. Cholecystectomy is usually performed to treat gallstones and any associated complications. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and usually takes one to two hours. Most commonly the procedure is performed laparoscopically through small incisions on the abdomen.

Colon Resection (Large and Small Intestines)

A colon resection is a surgical procedure to remove either part of or all of the entire colon (large intestine) or small bowel (small intestine). A colon resection may be performed to treat the following colon conditions:

  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Large bowel obstruction
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal polyps

While the patient is under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the abdomen and the diseased part of the colon is located. The diseased part of the colon will be removed, and the healthy colon sewn back together. In more extensive operations, a colostomy may be performed in which a surgical opening is made through the abdomen to provide a path for waste elimination. A colostomy may be created as a temporary measure to allow more time for the colon to heal.

Hemorrhoidectomy

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. These veins normally provide cushioning during bowel movements and may swell after repeated lifting, straining, constipation, passing hard stools, diarrhea, or pregnancy. Hemorrhoids aren't life-threatening but they can be painful, and if swelling persists the veins may become permanently stretched ("prolapsed").

Surgery is usually reserved for very advanced cases with a large amount of protrusion. The hemorrhoid is removed with a scalpel, cautery device or laser (which causes less pain and shortens recovery time). Local or general anesthesia may be used and hospitalization is usually required, with recovery taking up to two weeks or a month.


Benign and Malignant Breast Disease

Cysts are fluid-filled spaces in the breast. They may be cancerous or non-cancerous, may occur alone or in clusters, and may be tiny or large and painful to the touch. Benign cysts are quite common, occurring in about half of all women.

If you or your doctor suspect that you have a cyst, an examination and imaging tests will be performed to determine whether it is benign or malignant. Some benign cysts shrink or stop growing on their own. For those that do not, treatment is typically drainage via fine needle aspiration, or FNA, in an attempt to relieve painful symptoms. Recurring cysts may be re-aspirated or removed.

Indications that the cyst is malignant include irregular shape, sharp edges, multiple areas of fluid collection and blood in the fluid. Malignant cysts are surgically excised along with some of the surrounding tissue.

Solid lesions if not palpable may be identified by mammography or ultrasound. Aspiration, Needle Biopsy, needle localization with surgical biopsy or complete removal are some of the options available for diagnosis and treatment.

Breast-conserving or breast-sparing surgery, lumpectomy is a surgical procedure that removes cancerous or otherwise abnormal breast tissue. While it is usually performed to confirm the presence of breast cancer, lumpectomy can actually treat breast cancer if caught at an early stage. While mastectomy removes the entire breast, lumpectomy only removes a portion of the breast, keeping its overall appearance intact.

Sentinel node mapping is a technique to identify the first and second lymph nodes in the axilla. Lymph nodes are responsible for draining the body's fluids. This is a method to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

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