Stomach & Intestines
¿What are symptoms of stomach and intestinal disease?
Symptoms of stomach and intestinal disease are easily confused with those of different diseases. They may include rectal bleeding, cramping, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, early satiety, and weight loss among others. Due to the severity of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
¿How do you make a diagnosis?
Similarities of symptoms can lead to incorrect diagnoses or non-diagnoses. This difficulty means we must forge a comprehensive and thorough diagnosis process. Your doctor will start with a detailed medical history and physical examination. If no diagnosis is decided, alternative methods may be pursued such as a CT scan, an upper GI series with small bowel follow throughs (X-rays, etc.), or an endoscopy.
¿What are my treatment options?
Treatment options depend on the diagnosis of each individual patient. Some intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease can be treated with medicine. Other problems / diseases, such as obstructions and tumors, require immediate surgery.
Traditionally, operations performed on the stomach and intestinal tract require a large and uncomfortable abdominal and / or pelvic incision. The incisions leave the patient with a long recovery time and an intensive recovery process. However, new advancements in medical technology allow physicians access to tools that facilitate the faster, less painful, and minimally invasive procedures performed in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery.
Description of the minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure:
Minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery is a procedure that requires thin tubes placed through 3-5 small incisions in the abdomen. These incisions are usually smaller than 0.5 centimeters. A thin telescope is placed through one of the tubes, which projects images from inside the patient onto a TV for the surgeon to view. Specialized instruments are placed through the remaining tubes to perform the operation. The patient is under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure.
Advantages of minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedure vs. open surgery:
There are plenty of reasons why a minimally-invasive procedure is preferable to open surgery. Here are some common advantages experienced by our patients who opt for minimally-invasive surgery:
- Shorter hospital time
- Shorter recovery time
- Less pain at the incisions site
- Faster recovery and return to normal diet
- A quicker return to work or normal activity
- Better cosmetic healing at incisions site
Before the procedure:
Before surgery every patient must undergo a thorough evaluation by a primary doctor and the surgeon. It is possible patients may need further testing before surgery such as an endoscopy, EKG, chest x-ray, CT scan, or blood work. Your surgeon or doctor will order these as needed.
Small bowel surgery may require some form of bowel preparation as decided upon by your surgeon. You should notify your surgeon of ALL current medication you are taking during your evaluation.
Day of surgery:
On the day of surgery, you will meet with an anesthesiologist and an IV will be placed in your arm for medication and fluid during surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. This means you will be completely asleep during the procedure and will neither experience nor remember it.
On the afternoon of your surgery or in special circumstances on the first day after your surgery you’ll be helped out of bed and for upright sitting. Depending on the surgery performed you will be up, walking and back home without spending a night in the hospital. Due to effects of the anesthesia you will not be able to drive yourself home. Make arrangements with friends or family to get home as we will not discharge you on your own.
Nutrition concerns (Patient Dependent):
Your diet will be changed each day. Doctors will let you know what must be adjusted at each point as you progress.
As with any surgical procedure there are certain risks associated with stomach and intestinal operations. The following list is a compilation of the most likely complications associated with laparoscopic stomach and intestine surgery:
- Adverse reactions to the anesthesia
- Abdominal bleeding
- Abdominal or wound infection
- Intestinal obstruction from scar tissue
- Bowel leakage
- Heart attack or pneumonia
- Blood clots occurring in the legs or lungs
- Injury to other organs.