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General Surgery

Hernia

A hernia occurs when intestinal tissue protrudes through a weak point or tear in the abdominal wall, forming a sac. The protruding tissue may lose blood supply and become obstructed, resulting in serious health problems. Most hernias occur in the groin (inguinal, femoral), navel (umbilical) or at surgical incision sites (incisional).

Surgery is the only method to correct hernias. The most common hernia repair procedure is traditional (open) surgery. Usually done with general anesthesia, a large, deep incision is made through the muscle. The tissue is pushed back behind the muscle, which is then stitched closed, and a synthetic mesh is placed over or under the site for support. Full recovery takes four to six weeks.


Skin/Soft Tissue Disease

Abscess-Incision and Drainage

An abscess is a collection of fluid that often develops as an infection or after surgery, causing fever, weight loss and recurring infection in the body unless properly treated. Treatment of an abscess involves draining the purulent collection by local anesthesia and incision with scalpel, then packing the wound followed by daily dressing changes.

If the abscess is intra-abdominal or pelvic, this procedure may be performed under ultrasound or CT guidance to ensure precise and effective treatment of the abscess. During the procedure, a small needle is inserted directly into the abscess to aspirate and drain any fluid. Only a local anesthetic is needed to minimize any potential discomfort from the needle. The removed fluid may be analyzed to detect any bacterial infection or determine the cause of the pus.

Lesions

Surgical excision is recommended for malignant (cancerous) and certain benign (non-cancerous) skin lesions. In most cases, excision is performed after the lesion is numbed via freezing or local anesthesia. A small amount of surrounding tissue is removed as well to ensure that all malignant cells are excised.

Pilonidal Cystectomy

A pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled sac like a pimple at the tailbone. Pilonidal cysts are prone to infection; if one becomes infected, filling with pus, it is technically called a pilonidal abscess. Doctors suspect pilonidal cysts are caused by ingrown hairs or by repeated trauma to the area. Symptoms include pain, swelling or redness at the bottom of the spine, draining pus, and fever. Depending on how far the infection has progressed, treatment for a pilonidal cyst may involve initially lancing the abscess (making an incision so the fluid can drain) and packing the wound. After the wound is healed the patient undergoes elective excision of pilondial cyst cavity with removal of all hair follicles.

Soft Tissue Masses

A soft tissue mass is a typically benign tumor that can develop within the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, fat and many other types of tissues within the body. Most soft tissue masses do not cause any pain unless they grow large enough to irritate a nearby nerve. Some may cause skin discoloration, but symptoms are otherwise nonexistent.

Your doctor may perform a series of imaging exams to rule out the risk of malignancy for any soft tissue mass. Treatment for soft tissue masses is not usually necessary, unless the mass is cancerous or causing pain, in which case a minimally invasive surgical procedure may be performed. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be performed to treat certain soft tissue masses.

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