General surgery is the surgical subspecialty that involves treatment of any injury, deformity and disease with operative procedures. It is considered as an option when medications can no longer alleviate your condition. The common abdominal conditions treated with surgery include appendicitis, pancreatitis, hernias, gallbladder disorders, and stomach and intestinal disorders.
Some of the general surgical procedures are as follows:
Appendicectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix for the treatment of appendicitis. The surgery is performed laparoscopically (keyhole) with three incisions less than 1cm. This causes less pain, allows a faster return to normal activities and better appearance. Patients usually are discharged the day after surgery.
Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder for treatment of gallstones. The surgery is performed laparoscopically (keyhole) with four 1cm incisions. This causes less pain, allows a faster return to normal activities and better appearance. Patients usually are discharged the day after surgery.
Hernia Repair Surgery
Hernia is a weakness in the muscle wall, usually in the abdominal wall, umbilicus (belly button) or groin. Hernias can occur as a result of previous surgery weakening the muscle or from general wear and tear. The hernia is repaired with stitches and a prosthetic mesh composed of nylon to reinforce the areas of weakness. Hernia repair is performed both at open surgery and laparoscopically (keyhole). Both types of surgery require a similar period of rest before returning to normal activities.
Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is a procedure performed to diagnose and in some cases to treat problems of the upper digestive system. The endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. It is recommended in conditions such as acute GI bleeding, chronic anaemia, and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Colonoscopy is the procedure of insertion of colonoscope (a flexible tube with a small camera and lens attached) to view, diagnose and treat the conditions of large intestine (colon and rectum). The procedure can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. It is used to diagnose early signs of colorectal cancer, bowel disorders, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, inflamed tissue, ulcers, anal bleeding, and non-dietary weight loss. The colonoscope is inserted into the rectum which gently moves up through the colon until it reaches the cecum (junction of small and large intestine). It is then withdrawn very slowly as the camera shows pictures of the colon and rectum onto a large screen. Polyps or growths can also be removed by colonoscopy which can be used for diagnosing cancer.
It is the surgical removal of a polyp. Polyps are non-cancerous abnormal growth of the tissue along the lining of gastrointestinal wall. Gastrointestinal polyps can be removed endoscopically through colonoscopy or surgically if the polyp is too large. During colonoscopy, the polyps are identified and cut using forceps. Larger polyps are removed by passing a wire snare, tightening the snare around the polyp base and then burning with electric cautery.
Surgery for Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is common in Australia due to long term exposure to sunlight. There are varieties of skin cancer called squamous cell cancer, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Most skin cancers need surgery and can be cured if excised with adequate margin at early stages.
Carpal tunnel Syndrome
A large nerve called median nerve can get compressed in fibro-osseous tunnel under the wrist causing pain, pin and needles sensation and wasting of muscles of the hand. It can be cured by surgical decompression of carpal tunnel.
Pilonidal sinus commonly occurs as a swelling in the lower back between buttock folds. Inside the swelling you will find tuft of hair embedded. Current understanding is that fallen body hair from the back act as minute arrows and driven into the skin of the involved area. This swelling can frequently get infected and need surgical drainage of collection of pus. It is commonly seen in hairy males but infrequently you will find this condition is females.
Pilonidal sinus can come back even after the surgical excision and there are number of operations proposed to treat this condition. Karydakisprocedure is one of the operation which has better success in treating pilonidal sinus where groove in the natal cleft is flattened so that hair will not be driven into the overlying skin.