General surgery is a surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal contents including esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland (depending on local reference patterns). They also deal with diseases involving the skin, breast, soft tissue, trauma, peripheral vascular surgery and hernias.
Specifically, this specialty uses surgery to treat conditions affecting the abdomen and its organs, which may include the:
The types of general surgery performed at Coryell Memorial Surgical Center include the following:
A hernia occurs when the tissue in the abdominal wall weakens and allows the intestine or other surrounding tissue to push through. It can cause severe pain. A hernia repair procedure can correct the problem but has the best results when conducted as early as possible. The sooner the repair is conducted and the smaller the hernia, the easier the recovery period will be for the patient. General surgeons perform these repairs often, since abdominal wall hernias are extremely common.
Not every surgery is invasive, painful and difficult to recover from. Sometimes surgeries can be conducted using minimally invasive techniques. Such procedures are known as laparoscopic surgeries. What makes these procedures minimally invasive is size of the incision, which is usually between 0.5 to 1.5 centimeters. These small incisions are able to heal quicker than a large incision, making this the ideal type of surgery for patients of all ages. Typically, general surgeons will opt for laparoscopic surgery if at all possible before resorting to more invasive procedures.
Also called a cholecystectomy, gallbladder surgery is conducted to remove gallstones from the gallbladder, or the gallbladder altogether. It is conducted by general surgeons through small incisions in the abdomen. Gallbladder removal surgery is actually one of the most commonly performed general surgeries in the country.
General surgery also includes breast surgeries such as mastectomies, mammatome biopsies, sentinel node biopsies and other types of breast biopsies. Breast biopsies are very common and may occur after a woman has an abnormal mammogram or finds a lump in the breast. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove a small piece of breast tissue for testing.
When a person has an issue with their thyroid such as thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism, thyroid surgery may be required. During this procedure, the general surgeon will remove a piece of the thyroid gland or the entire thyroid gland.
Cancer and other diseases can affect the colon, bowels and rectal areas of the body. When this happens, surgery may be required to remove the malignant tissue. General surgeons conduct rectal, colon and bowel surgeries often as a part of treatment for colorectal and intestinal cancers. These surgeries may also be necessary to treat other abdominal conditions, as well.
While a problem area or skin condition may be diagnosed by a dermatologist, he or she may then refer the patient to a general surgeon to perform the actual surgery to remove the problem area (malignant or benign).
Learn more about the other types of surgeries performed at Coryell Memorial Surgical, or contact us with any questions you may have about your upcoming procedure.
Coryell Memorial Surgical
1507 West Main St.
Gatesville, TX 76528
Barton Johnson - Back to Work, Family & Life After Hernia Surgery
Several months before his Annual Wellness check-up, Barton Johnson, 38, began feeling tenderness and a noticeable bulge in his left groin that had started slowing him down.
After hernia repair surgery Johnson is back to work for A&M, ranching and spending time with his family. "I feel awesome," he says. “At first it was just a little twinge,” the Gatesville resident says. “I thought it would subside, but I was wrong.”
An MRI found an inguinal hernia, which is a gap in the muscle near the groin. In Johnson’s case, part of the bowel protruded through the gap.
Johnson turned to general surgeon John Bawduniak, MD, FACS, at Coryell Health.