A Closer Look
MEET THE PRACTICE
There are many types of hernias that require surgery. Hernias can cause pain and/or possible more life-threatening conditions including bowel obstruction/infarction.
Hernias usually start small and worsen with time much like a weak spot on a tire. They will worsen via a variety of activities like weight lifting or something as simple as coughing or sneezing.
A hernia occurs when the wall of an organ protrudes through a weak spot in the body wall or fascia that is surrounding it. There are a variety of different types of hernias and hernia repairs, depending on the location. Since the location of hernias vary, the type of surgery involved in repairing a hernia will vary. We strive for "fixing it once and not having to fix it again". Performing these surgeries with small incisions (laparoscopically) allows a quicker return to your regular activities.
GROIN or Inguinal HERNIA
A hernia between the abdomen and thigh. This type of hernia happens when tissue is forced through a weak area in the groin area, due to excessive strain or weight. Although this can be the result of activities it usually is a congenital "weak spot" that worsens with time. The earlier the repair is done the easier it is to recover from surgery.
A hernia caused by a poorly healed surgical wound.
The hernia will develop in the same way. The first sign will be a noticeable bulge at or close to the incision site.
The gallbladder is a small sac located underneath the liver. The function is to store bile which is produced by the liver 24 and 7 and is secreted down the bile duct where it meets a "door" which is closed until you eat or smell food. Hormones are released, your "bowel becomes active" and the door is opened to allow bile to enter into the first portion of your small intestine. All gallbladder disease is caused by cholesterol which is a complicated molecule that is very important in our makeup/biochemistry. It is essentially a fat that when in solution has a hard time staying in solution. It will crystallize and can cause biliary dyskinesia, discussed below. If the crystals coalesce this is what forms gallstones both of which require surgery to remove the gallbladder and cholesterol byproducts.
As discussed above this is largely a motility issue but can create the same symptoms and result in cholecystitis just like gallstones can. Both of these are discussed below.
Dr. Harrison is often asked "how many stones did I have?" This condition is as variable and as numerous as the stars in the sky. One stone, too many to count are all possibilities as well as big/small stones. The treatment remains the same and is the removal of the gallbladder and cholesterol byproducts.
ACUTE AND CHRONIC CHOLECYSTITIS
This is a more severe condition in which the gallbladder is inflamed and can be acutely infected with bacteria from your digestive tract. Preventing this by having surgery early when you are diagnosed with the above conditions is paramount. Surgery when you have acute and/or gangrenous cholecystitis is harder to recover from and you may be so sick that you find yourself in a emergency department waiting to get operated on by someone you don't know and/or trust. Dr. Harrison has successfully removed thousands of gallbladders throughout his career which started in 2004. If you count his time in training that goes back to 1995! Four to six successful gallbladder surgeries per week since that time is a lot surgeries and vast amount of experience dealing with this complicated disease process.
Breast Biopsies-Breast Cancer
Dr. Harrison and Nancy deal with many disease processes of the breast. Both benign processes and more worrisome diagnosis are treated through the office on a regular basis and they are fully capable in resolving these issues as easily and painlessly as possible.
Breast cancer is a very scary diagnosis to be given. It can occur in both women and men. The complexities of breast cancer are too numerous for this site but the surgery is done routinely by Dr. Harrison and Nancy is a fantastic resource when going through this stressful time. We will both go through your pathology/genetics and offer a surgical plan that you are the most comfortable with and give you the best chance of beating this disease and becoming a long term survivor.
A long term study that had a 20 year follow up period is what allows surgeons to offer breast conservation (lumpectomy) followed by radiation versus a mastectomy which removes the entirety of the breast. Recurrence rates are a little different but the important point is that long term survival and the chances of surviving a recurrence are exactly the same when comparing the two different options. Dr. Harrison often says that breast cancer surgery is very straight forward and much easier from a technical aspect when compared to many other surgeries including gallbladder surgery. What takes time and patience is explaining to a patient that this worrisome diagnosis is not going to take their life and although there is work to be done often the most anxiety producing aspect of this is the unknown. Dr. Harrison and Nancy are very good at making these complicated and scary decisions much easier. Our job is to explain the "science" behind the different approaches in a very straight forward and gracious manner which helps you decide what may the best approach for you as a patient with a new diagnosis of breast cancer.
A total mastectomy involves the removal of as much breast tissue as possible including the nipple and surrounding tissue. Immediate reconstruction can be including when the surgical management of breast cancer is treated in this fashion.
Chronic Abdominal Pain
Surgery for the Appendix and evaluating chronic abdominal pain.
Constipation can cause discomfort but so can many other conditions. Have you found it frustrating that no other medical "specialist" and/or your personal physician can't seem to figure out what is going on. Dr. Harrison and Nancy can help. Dr. Harrison is proficient not only with surgery but with endoscopy which includes both upper endoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy. With this and the ability to perform a diagnostic laparoscopy (exploratory surgery with small incisions) many times we can find and resolve the reason for your abdominal discomfort that has been eluding other providers.
Your endocrine system controls your body’s hormones, and is what keeps everything in balance. Things like your metabolism, growth and development, sleep, mood, and tissue function.
THYROID AND PARATHYROID DISORDERS
The Thyroid helps with maintaining hormonal and chemical levels throughout the body.
The thyroid and 4 parathyroid glands reside in the neck. They maintain homeostasis and calcium balance respectively. Surgical conditions of these organs include nodules, cancer, goiter, parathyroid adenoma/hyperparathyroidism.
If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions you could not be in better hands then with Dr. Harrison and Nancy.
The parathyroid is comprised of four small glands, usually located directly behind the thyroid in the lower neck. Hyperparathyroidism occurs when one or more parathyroid glands releases too much parathyroid hormone without regard to the already high levels of calcium within your bloodstream. Hyperparathyroidism can result in osteoporosis which can lead to fractures, depression, kidney stones, fatigue and constipation. Dr. Harrison has evaluated and successfully treated many of these patients over the years.
A thyroidectomy may be necessary if you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or you have a nodule that is larger than 1 cm and it is growing.
Screening colonoscopies start at the age of 50, but in some circumstances, such as family history of colon cancer, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and / or blood in stools a colonoscopy may be recommended earlier.
Colon cancer is the only preventable cancer with which a regular procedure can prevent. Having your colonoscopy routinely can help find and remove any polyps that may progress into cancer.
Diverticulitis is a condition in which small pockets, usually in the lower colon, become inflamed. This can cause a variety of conditions that may require surgical management. If you have had a episode of diverticulitis and/or another provider suggested that you see a surgeon you need to make an appointment with Dr. Harrison. Nancy will get you in ASAP.
Skin lesions encompass a variety of conditions and are usually treated by a Dermatologist or a General Surgeon.
These can be both benign or cancerous. Some of these conditions may be diagnosed by your Dermatologist then referred to us for surgical management.
Moles are usually a cluster of pigmented cells which give them a darker appearance. It is important that they are evaluated by a Dermatologist to see if they are worrisome. After biopsy you may be referred to us at Highlander Surgical Associates for management. If you haven't been referred to us but would like to come in and Nancy will get you taken care of. If you are concerned about a lesion and unable to see your Dermatologist we are happy to see you and many times can see you sooner then a dermatologist can.
Encompass a variety of subcutaneous lesions. If they are bothering you or are repeatedly becoming infected they should be surgically removed.
These are usually benign growths of fat that can become problematic when they become larger or are residing within cosmetically sensitive areas.