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General Surgery

SurgeryHernia repair and cholecystectomy may be treated by either traditional open surgical or laparoscopic procedures. These procedures may be done either at the hospital or in an outpatient surgery setting. Our doctors are experienced in either method of treatment and can help you decide what approach is best for you. In addition to their specialty training and expertise in treatment of vascular disease, Dr. Westphal and Dr. Eddlemon are board certified General Surgeons with many years of experience attending surgical and trauma patients requiring complex care.

Hernia Repair

Hernia RepairA hernia occurs when tissue or part of an organ, usually the intestines, protrudes through the abdominal wall. The protruding tissue may lose blood supply and become obstructed, resulting in health problems as serious as life-threatening gangrene. Most hernias occur in the abdominal wall, either in the groin (inguinal, femoral) or navel (umbilical) or at surgical incision sites (incisional). Hernias usually cause pain in the groin or abdomen, especially during lifting of heavy objects, coughing, sneezing, urination or bowel movements. A lump or bulge may also be apparent.

Hernias do not heal on their own, and surgery is the only method to correct them. Among the most common procedures in the U.S., hernia surgery is performed to push the protruding tissue back into place and repair of the weakened or torn muscle layer. This alleviates pain and corrects or prevents the occurrence of more serious problems.

Gallbladder Disease

The gallbladder is the pear-shaped organ located under the liver that collects and releases bile after eating to help in the digestion process. When the amount of bile and chemicals inside the gallbladder are imbalanced, gallstones may develop. These stones may obstruct the normal flow of bile and cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Gallstones are often treated with surgery to remove the gallbladder, which is not essential for proper body functioning.

A cholecystectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gallbladder. This procedure is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the US and is safe for most patients with gallbladder problems.

A cholecystectomy can be performed laparoscopically, which involves making several small incisions to remove the gallbladder. This technique also avoids the need to cut the muscles of the abdomen for access to the gallbladder. A laparoscope and tiny surgical instruments are inserted into these incisions to remove the gallbladder, which is taken out through one of these same small incisions. With laparoscopy, patients can return to work more quickly after surgery and have less pain and scarring as well. Most patients can return home the same day.

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