Abdominal Surgeries: A Breakdown
A Range of Health Issues
There’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to the digestive system. Among the more serious issues is hernia, in which internal organs push through muscles or tissues leading to serious pain and discomfort. In addition, problems like gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), gallstones, and dyskinesia—a disorder due to abnormal squeezing of the gallbladder—can also arise. These potentially very serious conditions require careful medical attention, and, in some cases, abdominal surgery.
And the good news is that abdominal surgeries today aren’t what they used to be. Surgeons nowadays employ the latest in tools and techniques to ensure better diagnosis and less invasive intervention. What kinds of treatments are there? Let’s take a closer look at abdominal health problems as well as the surgeries that correct them.
Hernia Repair Surgery
You may have heard about hernias occurring when someone has strained a great deal or pushed it too hard doing exercise. This can certainly be the case, though oftentimes other factors are implicated. At the core of it, this is when an organ pushes through a muscle or tissue holding it in place. The two most common types are:
- Inguinal hernias are when the intestines break through the lower abdomen, near the groin. They’re the most common, accounting for 70 percent of cases. 
- Hiatal hernias involve the stomach pushing into chest cavity. Often accompanied by gastro-esophageal reflux disease (see below).
Contemporary surgical management is usually laparoscopic, employing a special camera that allows surgeons to see the problem in real time. Under general anesthesia, and via a small incision, the doctor finds and repairs the damaged tissue or muscle. Recovery is pretty quick as patients are able to return home the same day and are back to normal activities within a couple days. Full rehabilitation, where the patient can resume exercise activities, is expected at three to six weeks.
Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a disorder in a valve connecting the stomach and esophagus, leading to acids constantly hitting the latter organ.  This leads to persistent heartburn (two or more times a week) in the upper abdomen or breast bone, as well as a host of other symptoms, including:
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Chronic Sore Throat
- Burning Chest Pain
- Acidic, Bitter Taste
- Inflamed Gums
- Sleep Disruption Due To Heartburn
While there are some lifestyle approaches to taking on this condition, including not eating certain foods or managing weight, treatment approaches can also include taking certain prescription drugs. When these don’t work out, however, there are four surgeries available:
- Nissen Surgery: Combines hernia repair with a surgical procedure to wrap up upper part of stomach to reinforce the sphincter and prevent chronic heartburn. 90% of cases resolved after surgery.
- Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF): Performed through the mouth, this non-invasive treatment using the EsophyX device to repair and manipulate esophageal tissue. Recovery is particularly quick because no surgical incisions are made.
- LINX Surgery: A specialized bracelet of magnetic beads is used to reinforce wzing eakened areas of esophagus and resolve the issue. It’s a newer, minimally-invasive surgery.
- Laparoscopic Hiatal Hernia Repair: An upper stomach minimally-invasive surgery treating cases where GERD is caused by hernia.
Largely, these are well-tolerated and highly successful procedures; the choice of which one is best is based on what the surgeon is seeing in the individual case.
Most common issues in gallbladder are gallstones—damaging calcium build ups—and dyskinesia, related to abnormal squeezing of this organ.  In both cases, severe pain in upper abdomen, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting result. Further, more severe conditions can result from gallstones getting lodged in the bile duct.
Both of these can be effectively treated with gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy). This is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, and nowadays it’s also a minimally-invasive, laparoscopic procedure. This means the incision is very small, the procedure itself very quick, and patients are able to return home the same day. Full recovery is expected within three weeks, and impressively, this procedure has over a 90 percent success rate. 
Throughout the field of surgery, outcomes have been improving as diagnosis gets better and techniques rely on ever-smaller incisions. What this means is we’re better prepared than ever to take on issues like gallstones, GERD, or hernia. No one should have to live with pain, discomfort, and danger. The first step, of course, is finding the right medical team to work with. End the suffering and take action!
If you believe you’re suffering from digestive and abdominal conditions like hernia, GERD, or others, the team at Evolve can help. These expert surgeons pride themselves in ensuring positive outcomes for their patients, and these efforts are underscored by a supportive, nurturing staff of health care professionals. Learn more about what they do by calling 469-638-0209 today!
- “Hernia: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention”. 2018. Healthline. Accessed December 12 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/hernia.
- “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – Symptoms And Causes”. 2018. Mayo Clinic. Accessed December 12 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/symptoms-causes/syc-20361940.
- J, Toouli. 2002. “Biliary Dyskinesia. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed December 12 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12095476.