Category Archives: General Surgery
With elective surgeries curtailed or completely halted in most hospitals throughout the country, there is some question amongst patients as to what exactly constitutes an emergency procedure – especially in general surgery – where many procedures are considered elective or semi-elective. We have discussed the urgency of hernias before and concluded that in some patients it may be OK to wait to repair the hernia. We have also been quite clear that hernias may require urgent care in certain circumstances.
Whether it’s on TV or experience from your own surgery years ago, common (and now proven incorrect) knowledge tells us that shaving the surgical area makes surgery easier and minimizes impediments. Recent research, over the past 10 or 20 years, has determined that there are specific rules we should follow when it comes to shaving the surgical area to minimize the risk of postoperative complications. Studies have shown the risk of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) is higher in patients with a shaved surgical area versus those that that were not shaved.
Any surgical procedure has risks associated with it. You are putting trust in your physicians to place you under anesthetic, and to incise your skin and organs, remove things from your body, place things into your body, and perform any number of maneuvers to help better your health. But with these, comes the risk of bleeding, infection, injury to your body, and even death.
With almost 1,000,000 surgical repairs every year in the United States, hernias are an extremely common condition affecting Americans. However, hernias are only repaired when they become symptomatic, so we can extrapolate that many millions more have hernias that they don’t even know about. But, is it possible to avoid a hernia altogether? The short answer is, in most cases, not really. But there’s a lot we can do to delay it and minimize the risk of worsening one that already exists.
Most men have been admonished their entire lives…don’t lift too much, don’t push too hard – you’ll get a hernia. While this may be true, and upwards of 25% of all men will develop an inguinal hernia, the diagnosis is not always straightforward. You’re playing sports, most likely something that involves planting and twisting, like soccer or basketball, and there it is…the dreaded groin pain. It has to be a hernia right? Well, maybe not.
Acid reflux is a very common and usually transient condition that affects virtually everybody once in a while. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux or GER, occasional reflexes nothing to be concerned about and if anything tells us what to avoid and how much to eat. At this stage, conservative options such as lifestyle change, losing weight and over-the-counter acid reflux tablets are effective options.
There are several materials in the body that make up important, protective layers. In the abdomen we have muscle, connective tissue, and fat that overlay our internal organs. Each element has its designated place and job. In the abdomen, these layers can sometimes become weakened, making it easier for things to shift out of their normal home. Fatty tissue or even an organ, often your intestine, can push through a weak area causing a bulge. This is where a hernia occurs. This bulge may start off small and grow over time, or it can occur suddenly or wax and wane. The bulge itself may be painful, but many patients do not experience pain. Not all hernias will require surgical treatment, but it important to not ignore symptoms if a hernia occurs or if you know you have an existing hernia.