General Surgeons provide surgery for: Groin and Umbilical Hernia’s, Gallbladder, Appendix, Lymph Nodes, and skin conditions including Melanoma.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called a fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).
What Causes Hernias?
Ultimately, all hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia, where the pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth, or more often it occurs later in life.
Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can cause a hernia, including:
- Lifting heavy objects without stabilizing the abdominal muscles
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Persistent coughing or sneezing
During surgery to repair the hernia, the bulging tissue is pushed back in, and the abdominal wall is strengthened and supported with stitches, and sometimes mesh. This repair can be done with open or laparoscopic surgery. You and your surgeon can discuss which type of surgery is right for you.
Gallstones are solid crystal deposits that form in the gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ that stores bile salts until they are needed to help digest fatty foods. Gallstones can migrate to other parts of the digestive tract and cause severe pain with life-threatening complications.
If you have gallstones, it is usually recommended to remove the gallbladder. A common technique to remove the gallbladder is Cholecystectomy laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, where the surgeon makes a number of small incisions (cuts) through the skin allowing access for a range of instruments.
Thyroid and Parathyroid
The most common reason for thyroid surgery is the presence of nodules or tumors on the thyroid gland. Most nodules are benign, but some can be cancerous or pre-cancerous. Even benign nodules can cause problems if they grow large enough to obstruct the throat, or if they stimulate the thyroid to overproduce hormones (a condition called hyperthyroidism).
Surgery can also correct Hyperthyroidism, which is frequently the result of an autoimmune disorder called Graves disease. This causes the body to misidentify the thyroid gland as a foreign body and send antibodies to attack it.
Another reason for thyroid surgery is the swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland. This is referred to as a goiter. Like large nodules, goitres can block the throat and interfere with eating, speaking, and breathing.
Parathyroid glands (we all have 4 of them) are small glands of the endocrine system which are located in the neck behind the thyroid and are normally the size of a grain of rice. Parathyroid glands control how much calcium is in our bones and in our blood. Calcium is the most important element in our bodies (we use it to control many systems), so calcium is regulated very carefully.
Nearly all patients with parathyroid problems have symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are really obvious, like kidney stones, frequent headaches, fatigue, and depression. Sometimes the symptoms are not so obvious, like high blood pressure and the inability to concentrate.
Ms Ruth Bollard, General Surgeon – Breast and Endocrine Specialist
MBChB, M.Sc, FRCS, FRACS
I trained in the UK at world class internationally renowned breast units in the Oncoplastic approach to treating Breast cancers and can offer more options to patients, which can be less invasive, less expensive, and less traumatic. I also use a Multidisciplinary team delivery of care, which is vital to better cancer patient outcomes and is an important part of my surgical practice.