At Mission Regional Medical Center, our Gastroenterologists specialize
in conditions of the digestive system including your gall bladder, stomach,
esophagus, intestines, colon and rectum. You can rely on our staff to
take care of your GI concerns using the latest technologies and techniques.
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), a leading gastrointestinal
medical society, has recognized Mission Regional Medical Center as part
of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality and safety
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder.
GERD occurs when stomach acid or occasional bile refluxes or re-enters
your esophagus afer eating. This process irritates the lining of your
Heartburn and acid reflux are the two main symptoms of GERD. Both conditions
commonly occur, but when you experience these symptoms more than twice
a week or if they interfere with your daily routine, you are probably
suffering from GERD.
While many people ease the symptoms with over the counter medications,
those with GERD only experience temporary relief. Stronger medication
and sometimes surgery are needed to alleviate symptoms.
Also known as minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic surgery is used
to operate on many organs, including but not limited to the colon, small
intestine, stomach, appendix, gallbladder, liver and pancreas.
This special technique leaves minimal scarring and causes less overall
trauma to the body by making only small incisions ranging in size from
0.5 - 1 cm each. A small tube is inserted into each incision and a specialized
instrument used to make the repairs. A camera known as a laparoscope is
passed through the tube into the surgery area. At the beginning of the
procedure, the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to provide
a working and viewing space for the surgeon. The laparoscope transmits
images from the abdominal cavity to a high-resolution video monitor in
the operating room so that the surgeon can see to perform the surgery.
Patients experience a shorter recovery period and less pain from laparascopic
surgery than traditional surgery. This makes it a preferred method and
used whenever it's appropriate for the patient.
Hernias occur when internal organs bulge through weak parts of a muscle.
The majority of hernias occur in the abdomen. There are several types
of hernias including:
- Inguinal - the most common type, located in the groin
- Umbilical - near the belly button
- Incisional - through a scar
- Hiatal - a small opening in the diaphragm that allows the upper part of
the stomach to move up into the chest.
- Congenital diaphragmatic - occurring with a birth defect that needs surgery.
Hernias are common and affect both males and females of all ages. Hernia
treatment is usually surgery to repair the hole in the muscle wall. When
performed laparoscopically, your doctor will insert a thin endoscope through
a small incision about the size of a dime at the belly button. The inner
lining of your stomach is cut to expose the weak area in your abdominal
wall and a mesh patch is attached to secure it. The lining is then stapled
or sutured closed. The incision near your belly button is closed with
a few stitches or surgical tape.
When your gallbladder stops functioning or if you begin to develop gallstones,
your doctor may recommend you have your gallbladder removed. The surgeon
will make three to four small cuts in your belly and then insert a laparascope
camera. Then, the surgeon cuts the bile duct and blood vessels that lead
to the gallbladder. The gallbladder is then removed.
An x-ray called a
cholangiogram may be performed during your surgery. This involves injecting dye into
your common bile duct. The dye helps find other stones that may be outside
your gallbladder. It also helps identify the branches of the bile duct.
If any stones are found, the surgeon may remove these other stones with
a special instrument.
Patients traditionally experience fewer problems and a shorter hospital
stay when their gallbladder is removed using a laparoscope compared to
people who have open surgery. They also have smaller surgical cuts.
An appendectomy, the removal of an inflamed appendix through surgery, is
a common procedure performed as an emergency surgery. The appendix is
a narrow organ located in the lower right side of the belly. While it
is connected to the large intestine, it serves no purpose and has no function
in humans. Most patients who need to have their appendix removed enter
the hospital through the Emergency Department and are taken to surgery
within a few hours. As with other laparoscopic surgeries, an appendectomy
is minimally invasive with several small incision.
Common symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, vomiting, constipation
and pain. The pain is initially felt in the center of the abdomen, moving
to the lower right abdomen with sharper pains. The area will be sensitive
and tender to the touch. If you are experiencing these symptoms please
see a physician as soon as possible.