Gastrointestinal (Upper and Lower)
How do I setup a consult with one of the physicians?
We typically schedule consults on a first-available basis. Bariatric consults are handled separately. Please call the office at 205-620-9065 for more information or fill out a form a the "Contact Us" page.
How soon can I get this consultation?
We can generally schedule a consultation within one week of your call, for non-urgent cases.
After I have my consultation, what happens next?
If you are an appropriate surgical candidate and you and your doctor choose to procede with surgery, any of the following may occur:
At your initial consult visit, we may talk with you and schedule your case while you are here.
We may need to schedule you for labs or diagnostic tests prior to proceeding with surgery.
We may need to schedule you for other consultations prior to proceeding (for example, gastroenterology, cardiology, etc.).
What is pre-admission testing (PAT)?
Depending on various factors, you may be required to have pre-admission testing with the hospital before your procedure. This depends on age of the patient, the particular procedure performed, certain risk factors, or requirements of the hospital or anesthesiologist. We will let you know if pre-admission testing is required in your case. Typically, pre-admission testing requires the patient to report to the hospital several days before a scheduled procedure for simple lab work and diagnostics. You will also pre-register for your surgery at that point.
Are you located in the 1022 Tower?
No. We are located in the Shelby Medical Building which is ¼ mile further down the road, on the hospital campus.
When is my payment due?
Elective procedures (procedures we schedule in advance) require patient pre-payment. Even if a patient has insurance, there is often a deductible, co-payments, or other cost-sharing provisions associated with your procedure and your insurance company's requirements. We will collect your pre-surgery payment portion for the surgeon’s services in advance of your procedure. For non-emergent cases, if a required pre-payment is not provided will we reschedule your procedure at a more convenient time.
Do all surgeries require some type of bowel preparation?
No. Typically, hemorrhoid, colon, rectal, and most GI surgeries will have some associated pre-op regimen. We will tell you if that applies in your specific case.
Will you complete FMLA or disability forms?
Yes. Please note that some forms will have associated fees, depending on the physician involvement in completion.
When can I go back to work after a laparoscopic surgery?
There is no set time that is right for everyone. The type of work you do (manual labor vs. desk job, etc.), your own pain/discomfort threshold, and other medical conditions you have can affect this. You and your surgeon will share in that decision at your first post-operative visit.
When is the redness around the wound an infection?
The wounds are closed with an absorbable suture just beneath the skin, and a few millimeters of redness surrounding the wound is not uncommon, and does not necessarily indicate an infection. However, a wound that is becoming increasingly painful, has an area of redness that is also swollen and growing, or is associated with fever, it should be brought to the attention of your surgeon or their assistant.
What are the lifting restrictions after surgery?
Generally, no heavy lifting for 1-2 weeks after the laparoscopic abdominal or thoracic surgery. However, lifting will generally not put more strain on your wounds than coughing or sneezing, and, unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to prevent you from doing that! Thus, lifting is seldom a source of wound disruption. We recommend common sense; don’t try to lift something if it hurts, and if you feel pain, stop. We will talk to you about your job and daily activities and any precautions you should take after surgery.
When can I drive?
This is generally decided on a patient by patient basis, so please check with your surgeon at the time of that follow-up appointment.
What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy, also known as "keyhole surgery," is a recent advancement in surgical techniques, where small incisions are made to perform the surgery. As opposed to the traditional open surgery, where a large cut is made on your body to clearly view and perform a surgery, laparoscopy is performed through small incisions. This minimally invasive procedure is possible because of a thin long instrument called a laparoscope, which has a tiny camera and light source attached to its end. The laparoscope is inserted through one of the tiny incisions, and the camera relays images on a large screen, providing a clear view of the operation site to guide your surgeon throughout the surgery. Surgical instruments are then inserted into the other incisions to carry out the surgery. Robotic surgery is an array of instrumentation, controlled by the surgeon, that accomplishes a "keyhole surgery."
How can it be better than traditional open surgeries?
When compared to open surgery, laparoscopy or robotic surgery can have the following advantages:
-Shorter hospital stay
-Less post-operative pain and bleeding
What is a hernia?
A hernia is the extension of an organ or fatty tissue through a weak spot in the muscle or connective tissue that surrounds it. It can occur in the groin (inguinal or femoral hernia), belly button (umbilical hernia), upper stomach (hiatal hernia) or at the region of a previous incision (incisional hernia).
Is surgery always necessary for hernia?
Not all hernias require treatment but may be monitored for possible complications. Surgery is recommended when your hernia causes pain and enlarges. It is considered a medical emergency when the organ becomes trapped and strangulated cutting off the blood supply to the tissues.
What is mastectomy?
Mastectomy is the surgical treatment for breast cancer, and involves the complete removal of the breast. You may be suggested one of the 5 types of mastectomy, depending on your individual condition. These may include:
-Simple or total mastectomy: removal of entire breast tissue
-Modified radical mastectomy, which is removal of breast tissue and axillary lymph nodes in the underarmRadical mastectomy: removal of breast tissue, axillary lymph nodes in the underarm and chest wall muscles
-Partial mastectomy, which is removal of only the cancerous region along with a surrounding margin of healthy tissue
-Subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy, which is removal of entire breast tissue except the nipple
How is mastectomy different from lumpectomy?
While mastectomy removes the entire breast tissue, lumpectomy is a breast-conserving surgery that involves the removal of only the tumor, along with a surrounding margin of healthy tissue. Lumpectomy is almost always followed by radiation therapy and is as effective as mastectomy for single-site cancers less than 4 cm, and is generally considered by many women who would like to retain their own natural breasts. However, lumpectomy has a higher risk of cancer recurrence. On the other hand, mastectomy has a much lower risk for cancer recurrence and is chosen by high-risk women who want to prevent cancer development. Mastectomy can be followed by breast reconstruction surgery to reconstruct the lost breast tissue.
Can I prevent breast cancer with mastectomy?
Prophylactic mastectomy is a surgery performed to remove one or both of your breasts in an effort to reduce your risk of breast cancer. It is suggested in women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer. These risk factors include:
-Personal or family history of breast cancer
-Diagnosed positive for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 gene mutations
-Diagnosed positive for lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
-Radiation therapy targeted on the chest region before 30 years of age
-Presence of breast micro-calcifications (small deposits of calcium)
Can diet reduce my risk of colon cancer?
The influence of food on colon cancer has been extensively debated. High fat and high cholesterol foods have been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. While some studies show that a fiber-rich diet reduces the risk of developing the cancer, others state that it doesn’t make much of a difference. However, there is a general consensus on the benefits of fiber as a vital source of nutrients that prevents many diseases such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, gastrointestinal problems, and sometimes even stomach and esophageal cancers. The most effective way of preventing colon cancer is by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, having an active life, maintaining an ideal body weight, and scheduling regular screenings after the age of 50 years, or before if you have a family member suffering from colon cancer.
Does blood in stools always suggest colon cancer?
Blood is stools can occur for many reasons and is a common symptom of many diseases, colon cancer being one of them. Some of the common conditions that could cause blood in stools include infections of the colon, lesions in the stomach and small intestine, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis), hemorrhoids, and fissures or tears in the anus. Bleeding from the rectum or blood in stools for any reason should not be ignored. Contact your gastroenterologist for a thorough examination and timely treatment.
How would my diet change after cholecystectomy?
The gallbladder is a small pouch that concentrates and stores bile released by the liver between meals. When we eat food, it is released through the bile duct to digest fats in the intestine. When the gallbladder is removed during cholecystectomy, bile drains continuously into the intestine and is less concentrated. This initially affects the digestive process, but the body adjusts to this change and generally learns to effectively digest fats.
What are the causes of GERD?
The exact cause of GERD is not clear, but there are certain factors that increase your chances of developing the condition. Some of them include:
-Excess alcohol or smoking
-Poor posture (slouching)
-Certain blood pressure medications
-Fatty and acidic foods
-Eating within 3 hours of bedtime
-Eating large meals
-Related conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy and hiatal hernia
What can I expect after laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication?
After laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication, you will remain in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. You may have pain, which can be relieved with medication. You will be able to resume your work in about 1 to 3 weeks. Your doctor will give you specific instructions you need to follow with regard to your diet:
-Eat soft foods during recovery
-Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
How are hemorrhoids formed?
Hemorrhoids are formed when the veins around your anus stretch and bulge under pressure. Increased pressure in the lower rectum may be caused by:
-Straining during bowel movements
-Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
-Chronic constipation or diarrhea
-Diet low in fiber
-Aging causes the tissues that support the veins to weaken and stretch
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Hemorrhoids are usually treated with lifestyle modifications such as eating a healthy diet, losing weight if you are obese and treating constipation and diarrhea. Your doctor may prescribe creams or suppositories to relieve pain and itching. For extremely painful hemorrhoids that bleed, your doctor may suggest minimally invasive treatments. If the other methods fail to relieve symptoms of your hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest surgery:
-Hemorrhoidectomy, which is surgical removal of the hemorrhoid
-Hemorrhoid stapling or stapled hemorrhoidectomy, in which the base of the hemorrhoid is stapled to block the flow of blood to the hemorrhoidal tissue
How does robotic surgery work?
Robotic surgery is a procedure that uses a surgical robot to perform the surgery. Your doctor works from a console next to the operation bed to control robotic arms that can move in 360 degrees. This enables the robotic arms to move with extreme precision and flexibility to hold and manipulate fine instruments that are passed in through 3 to 4 small incisions in your body. One of these instruments is a small camera that provides a magnified, 3D image of the operating site.
Am I a candidate for robotic surgery?
Robotic surgery may be suggested by your surgeon after many considerations as not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. An appropriate procedure is decided upon based on various diagnostic tests, the type and severity of your age, medical history, heart condition and lifestyle.