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There are numerous reasons why people choose the option of surgery for treatment. If surgery is your answer to a better quality of life, then reach out to any of our board-certified general surgeons in Houston or Baytown. General surgeons perform evaluations and surgery on medical conditions involving almost every area of the body including the endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, breast, colon, liver, pancreas and rectum.

GENERAL SURGERY OVERVIEW

Our general specialists are tasked with problems stemming from the neck and below, including the abdomen and intestines. Due to our holistic approach, which accounts for a patient’s complete well-being, visiting a general specialist is often the first step toward a diagnosis. Regardless of your medical condition, our surgeons are fully equipped to handle all your surgical needs!

CONDITIONS TREATED AT ALTUS

General surgery focuses on surgery of the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts. It can also include surgery of the thyroid gland (depending on the availability of head and neck surgery specialists), and treating diseases involving the skin, breast, soft tissue, and hernias.

Common Types of General Surgeries

APPENDECTOMY

Appendicitis is a condition that causes pain in your lower stomach area. This inflammation occurs due to infection in the appendix. The finger-shaped pouch projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen where the pain from the inflammation is generally felt. As the condition worsens, so does the pain which often leads to surgery for relief.

Causes of appendicitis:

  • Infection
  • Blockage – can include stool or cancer. Once blocked, bacteria in the trapped stool can infect the appendix.

Treatment for appendicitis is most often done through an appendectomy, where the appendix is surgically removed.

BREAST BIOPSY

A breast biopsy evaluates suspicious areas, lumps, or unusual changes in your breast to determine if the tissue is cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Cells from the area of concern are removed and examined under a microscope. This procedure is the only way to properly diagnose if the sample tissue examined is cancerous.

Your doctor might recommend a certain biopsy procedure based on several factors that includes appearance, size, location and other characteristics of the breast abnormalities. The three most commonly used biopsy procedures are: fine-needle aspiration, core-needle biopsy, and surgical biopsy.

Causes for a breast biopsy:

  • Lump is felt during breast exam
  • Mammogram shows a suspicious area in your breast
  • Ultrasound scan reveals finding of concern
  • MRI reveals a suspicious finding
  • Unusual nipple or areolar changes (crusting, scaling, dimpling skin or bloody discharge)

The results from your breast biopsy will help determine if additional surgery or other treatment is needed. While most results from biopsies are found to be noncancerous, it is always best ( and quite normal) to seek a second opinion after getting your final results.

CHOLECYSTECTOMY

If you suffer from or have suffered from gallstone complications, chances are a cholecystectomy has come up in conversations with your doctor. Your gallbladder (a pear-shaped organ) collects and stores bile, which is a digestive fluid produced in your liver. A cholecystectomy is needed if you begin to experience pain from gallstones, an infection occurs, or becomes cancerous.

Causes for gallbladder removal:

  • Gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis)
  • Gallstones in the bile duct (choledocholithiasis)
  • Gallbladder inflammation or infection (cholecystitis)
  • Pancreas inflammation due to gallstones (pancreatitis)
  • Cancer

In most cases, treatment for removing the gallbladder is done by two surgical procedures: traditional (open) method and laparoscopic (less invasive) method. Both of these procedures carry a small risk for complications, and most patients go home the same day of the procedure.

HERNIA SURGERY RECOVERY

Hernias are very common ailments which affect both adults and children. This condition occurs when the intestine protrudes through the abdominal muscles at the navel. While some people are born with weak abdominal muscles and are more likely to develop a hernia, straining muscles in the abdominal area can contribute to getting a hernia as well. Two of the four most common hernias include hiatal and umbilical hernias.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm. Your diaphragm has a small opening (hiatus) through which your food tube (esophagus) passes on its way to connect to your stomach. Most hernias of this condition have no symptoms, however, heartburn and abdominal discomfort are some symptoms of some cases linked to this hernia.

Causes for hiatal hernia:

  • Injury to the area
  • Born with a large hiatal opening
  • Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles (i.e. pregnancy, obesity, coughing, vomiting, or straining during a bowel movement)
  • Weakening of the diaphragm due to age or pressure on the abdomen

Treatment for hiatal hernias depend on the severity of the condition. Over-the-counter medications such as antacids and other medications to reduce acid production help neutralize the acid in both the stomach and esophagus. Surgical repair is recommended for more severe conditions.

Umbilical Hernia

An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the abdomen near the navel. Umbilical hernias are common among infants, usually harmless, but can affect adults as well. With infants, the hernia is most noticeable when they cry, causing the baby’s bellybutton to stick out. Most hernias of this condition close on their own by the time a child reaches 2 years-old.

Adults can also develop umbilical hernias. Those who are overweight, pregnant, and those who put constant pressure on the abdomen area are at a higher risk of developing this condition.

Causes for umbilical hernia surgery (in adults):

  • Obesity
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Chronic peritoneal dialysis
  • Straining the abdominal area (coughing and chronic constipation)

Because the umbilical hernia tends to get bigger over time, surgery is typically needed to ease the pain or discomfort.

Treatment for Children
If the umbilical hernia hasn’t healed by the time a child is 4 or 5 years-old, surgery is usually recommended if the child is experiencing pain and other complications.

Treatment for Adults
Surgical removal is generally recommended for adults because the risk for complications are higher and the condition most likely won’t heal on its own.

Common Surgery Procedures

Whether you require medication or surgery, Altus Hospital offers the highest quality care in an environment that is convenient, and customized to meet your individual needs. Some of the general surgery procedures we offer include:

  • Removal of the appendix (Appendectomy)
  • Gallbladder removal (Cholecystectomy)
  • Hemorrhoid removal (Hemorrhoidectomy)
  • Hernia repair
  • Excision of lesions
  • Excision of cyst
  • Breast biopsy
  • Gastric bypass surgery

Post Procedure

Post-procedure you will be monitored under the watchful care of our skilled team of post-surgical unit nurses to ensure that you’re on track for a speedy recovery.

At Altus Hospitals, we believe that healing starts with a community. At Altus, you are family! We welcome you to find out more about our services and commitment to patient care by exploring our website, or by visiting our state-of-the-art hospitals located in Houston and Baytown.