FAQ on General Surgery

FAQ asked by patients on General Surgery

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | February 20th, 2019

Question 1 – What is a hernia and what are the symptoms of hernia?

Answer – Hernia is a protrusion of contents of a cavity through a weak point in its wall, the commonest hernia is protrusion of contents of the abdomen through weak points in its wall resulting in the groin or ventral hernia.


Question 2 – How is a hernia diagnosed?

Answer – Most of the times patient comes with a bulge in the groin or in or around the umbilicus. Diagnosis is usually made by clinical examination.


Question 3 – What is the gallbladder and what role does it play in a person’s health?

Answer – Gall bladder is a sac with a muscular wall. It is a part of the system draining bile from the liver into the duodenum (Beginning of small intestine). It stores bile and concentrates the bile by absorption of water when it is not required for digestion. It pumps bile into the intestine when the food enters into the duodenum. The bile is required for digestion of fatty food.


Question 4 – When should a person get his gallbladder removed?

Answer – In case of an attack of acute pain in the epigastrium and right upper quadrant of the abdomen and if the ultrasound reveals gallstones and inflammation of gallbladder then it is a clear indication for removal of the gallbladder as soon as possible. Otherwise also in Asian patients confirmation of gallstones in the gallbladder is an indication for gallbladder removal. A single stone of one inch or more in size or multiple stones lying in the gallbladder for years is a risk factor for cancer of the gallbladder. When a patient gets the gall bladder removed for gallstones, obviously such a patient will never get carcinoma of the gallbladder.


Question 5 – How is appendicitis treated? Does it always involve surgery?

Answer – Acute appendicitis confirmed by ultrasound or CT abdomen is best treated by appendectomy within 24 hrs of starting the attack of pain. If the operation is delayed, there is the formation of mass which is treated by antibiotics, painkillers and I/V fluids by keeping the patient fasting. Once the mass is resolved, Appendectomy is advisable within 2-3 weeks.


Question 6 – What role does overeating play in a gallbladder attack?

Answer – Overeating in itself has no direct relation to a gallbladder attack. However excess of fatty and fried food is a known risk factor for developing gallstones. A heavy meal rich in fats and oil can precipitate leading to an attack of acute pancreatitis.


Question 7 – Should I discontinue taking my medications prior to surgery?

Answer – It will be decided by your surgeon and anesthetist.


Question 8 – What is appendicitis and what are the symptoms?

Answer – Appendicitis is acute inflammation of the appendix, a vestigial organ lying in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen. Its main symptoms are pain starting in the epigastrium and after some time shifting to right lower quadrant with loss of appetite and nausea. The patient may also have fever, pain or pressure at sight of the abdomen. White Blood Cells count usually rises above 11000/cumm.


Question 9 – Is my weight a factor when determining if I am ready for surgery?

Answer – Overweight is a factor determining the outcome of surgery for the abdominal wall of hernia. Chances of recurrence are more in overweight patients.


Question 10 – How can obesity affect anesthesia?

Answer – Spinal anesthesia may be difficult to give in an obese patient. GA also has a higher complication rate in obese people.


Question 11 – Could surgery be postponed because of my weight?

Answer – Unless it is emergency surgery, it may need to be postponed until some loss of weight is achieved.


Question 12 – Will I have surgery the same day as my consultation?

Answer – This will be decided by the surgeon and anesthetist. We usually admit the patient in the morning for the operation.


Question 13 – Am I supposed to stop smoking before my elective hernia surgery?

Answer – Sure, it is a must to reduce wound infection and recurrence of hernia. Smokers have a higher complication rate after general anesthesia.


Question 14 – What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids? Is there a laser surgery for haemorrhoids?

Answer – The chief system of Haemorrhoids (Piles) is bleeding during defecation. Treatment of piles depends upon the grade/ degree of piles. There are various procedures, laser surgery being one of them.

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