One of the main things I love about doing general surgery for a living is seeing immediate results for my patients. With surgery, in most cases, the patient doesn’t have to wonder if they are going to get better or not. We are often able to deliver quick results to the patient, which is always good.
I like to get my patients well and send them home. My caseload generally consists of everything from hernia repairs to bowel and colon surgeries to gall bladder removal. Another procedure I do very regularly that has an extremely high satisfaction rate is the removal of varicose veins.
Many people don’t realize that those little visible veins you see most commonly in people’s legs are not from too much running or crossing your legs. They are from your parents.
It’s a genetic problem that is handed down pretty dependably from parent to child. In fact, varicose veins have a higher inheritance rate than heart disease. Research has shown that 60 – 70 percent of people with varicose veins got them from their parents. Those are remarkable statistics.
The procedure itself has minimal effect on the patient. It takes anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour, depending on how many veins we are working with. The patient can go back to work the next day. They can’t drive for 24 hours, but that’s because of the anesthesia, not the procedure itself.
Because the superficial visible veins are located in fatty tissue just beneath the skin, we don’t have to cut into muscle to access them, which minimizes the pain during and after the surgery.
There’s no real way to avoid getting varicose veins. If you stand a lot in your job, you can wear compression socks or hose to help prevent them from being as severe. But if either one of your parents had varicose veins, you are probably going to get them as well.
Insurance will cover the procedure to remove them – if they are causing pain. In some cases, varicose veins can be very painful.
If you have varicose veins and would like to see a surgeon about removal options, you can certainly call our office directly or go through your primary care physician.
Gall bladders are always fun for me to do because removing a faulty one causes so much relief to the patient. I remove them laparoscopiclly as often as I can, which really minimizes the risk of infection and recovery time because the incisions are so small.
There are a small amount of cases where we have to remove them through a more traditional open surgical procedure. If there is a large amount of inflammation around the bladder, sometimes I can’t safely remove it laparoscopically because I have to be able to see the anatomy.
The gall bladder is really just a storage organ that stores bile between meals. When the duct gets obstructed and you eat something, it gets stimulated to contract and you have a lot of pain with it. It intensifies and eases off as your gall bladder is stimulated. That is classic gall bladder pain. A lot of times it causes back pain as well. It is stimulated by fatty foods. So if you eat a big pizza without any abdominal pain, your gall bladder is probably fine.
You can have gall bladder disease without stones. It’s not necessary to have stones in your gall bladder to have symptoms. I have taken out many gall bladders that were bad that didn’t have stones in them.
About one in five patients will have some diarrhea after a fatty meal, but aside from that most people don’t realize they no longer have a gall bladder. We can use medication to control the diarrhea, which goes away after eight months to a year.
I see a lot of folks with hernias. I’d say two to three a week. It’s very common. The main thing I recommend to people is to not put off having a hernia looked at. They can be easily repaired, but if left untreated can evolve into a mess of other complications.
I have seen patients who have let their hernias go for decades. One surgery took two of us half a day to fix and he was in the intensive care unit for four weeks afterward. But a simple hernia repair takes about an hour and you are up and about in a day and back to work in a few days with some restrictions on lifting.
What typically happens to cause a hernia is you lift something heavy and strain. Then all of a sudden, you feel a burning, stinging pain in the groin area. You can generally see it bulge out. Oftentimes you can even push it back in. But you want to fix them, because they can incarcerate, particularly in older men.
A hernia is created when a loop of your bowel protrudes into a sac area. It can constrict that section of bowel and kill it, which becomes a pretty major complication if you don’t get it fixed.
Hernias aren’t limited to the aging population. They are present in children and even teens who are active in sports.
As with any complication, the best method is to be seen by your primary care provider or go to the Emergency Room if need be. If surgery is warranted, those physicians will call a surgeon to come do the procedure. But we also see patients directly in our office as well. If your problem doesn’t require surgery, we will send you back to your family practitioner for further evaluation.Share this Article