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 esophagus.
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.