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General Surgery


General Surgery - An Overview

The General Surgery Department at St. Francis Hospital is dedicated to providing a full complement of both traditional and innovative surgical procedures. The department focuses on procedures involving biliary tract, gastrointestinal and hernia surgery. Following the current trends in surgery, an increasing number of these procedures are performed via a laparoscopic approach, a minimally invasive technique that combines the use of small (usually less than ½”) openings with video-imaging, thus avoiding the need for a large incision to gain access to the abdomen. The department also has an active breast surgery and oncology program.

Conditions Treated

Gastrointestinal diseases

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Colorectal, stomach and other GI malignancies
  • Diverticular disease
  • Gastroesophogal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastric/duodenal ulcer disease

Abdominal wall hernias

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Incisional hernia

Breast cancer

Key Treatments

Gall Bladder Surgery - One of the most common major abdominal procedures performed by general surgeons. It is most frequently indicated for alleviation of symptoms related to gallstones and is usually performed laparoscopically. For the majority of patients, the surgery requires, at most, an overnight stay and, in fact, many patients may return home later the same day. In the event that the procedure is performed on an urgent or emergent basis for an acutely inflamed gallbladder, a somewhat longer post operative stay may be necessary.

Colon Resection - Removal of a section of the large intestine, usually followed by reconnection of the two ends. This surgical procedure is most commonly performed for treatment of colorectal cancer, diverticular disease or inflammatory bowel disease and now, frequently, is also done via laparoscopic or laparoscopic assisted techniques. In order to minimize the length of hospital stay for elective surgery, the necessary preoperative “bowel prep” is carried out at home the day prior to surgery and reinstitution of food intake is begun as early post-op as is safely possible.

Hernia Repair - The most frequently performed procedure in the General Surgery Department. The operation is performed to repair defects in the muscle wall of the abdomen, most often employing a plastic mesh prosthesis to bridge the defect and reinforce the muscle wall. The most common hernias (inguinal, or groin, hernias) are routinely repaired on an ambulatory basis allowing patients to return home the same day while repair of incisional hernias (those that occur as a result of prior abdominal surgery) often require an inpatient stay of one to several days. Both procedures may be performed via open or laparoscopic approaches.


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