General surgeons perform procedures on nearly every organ in the human body. In some cases, general surgery is performed so that a surgeon can look inside the body to make an accurate diagnosis. In other cases, general surgery is performed if a biopsy is necessary or if an entire organ needs to be removed. Some kinds of general surgeries are becoming more common than others. This includes gastroenterology procedures, due in part to the increasing numbers of digestive disease in the United States.
Here are three gastroenterology procedures that general surgeons perform.
1. Nissen Fundoplication
When stomach acid or bile backs up into the esophagus, it results in a digestive disorder called gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is often abbreviated as GERD. This condition can cause heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. In many instances, GERD can be treated with over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs.
These medications work by either neutralizing stomach acid or reducing acid production. Severe cases of GERD, however, may not respond to medication. For some, a general surgery called a Nissen fundoplication may be necessary. During this procedure, a general surgeon tightens the muscles at the lower end of the esophagus in order to prevent reflux.
Polyps are noncancerous growths in the colon that are usually detected during a colonoscopy. When the polyps are small, they usually don't produce any symptoms. However, larger polyps can cause rectal bleeding and bowel irregularities. If these symptoms are present, a general surgeon performs a polypectomy, when the polyps are removed.
Another reason that general surgeons might perform a polypectomy is that polyps can sometimes become cancerous. In most cases, a polypectomy can be performed during a colonoscopy.
3. Abdominal Surgery
The abdomen is the part of the body that is located between the chest and the pelvis. Other common names for the abdomen include the stomach or belly. Abdominal surgery is not just necessary for health issues that affect the stomach, however. This type of general surgery is also performed to diagnose or treat health issues related to the spleen, small intestines, or the appendix.
Examples of specific types of abdominal surgery include the removal of the appendix (appendectomy), the removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy), or a small bowel resection. A hernia repair is another type of general surgery that is performed on the abdomen. Abdominal surgery is also performed in order to understand why someone has bleeding inside the belly or unexplained stomach pain.
If you are in need of general surgery, contact a surgeon near you.