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Abdominal Surgery: Meaning, Scope, and Other details

Team AckoJul 3, 2023

Abdominal Surgery stands as a critical domain within the vast landscape of surgical disciplines, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of issues affecting the abdominal cavity. The abdomen serves as a complex hub housing vital organs such as the stomach, liver, intestines, and more, playing a crucial role in digestion, metabolism, and overall bodily function. Abdominal Surgery encompasses a wide range of procedures, from routine appendectomies and hernia repairs to intricate operations like organ transplants and tumour removals. Read ahead for more information on this topic.

abdominal-surgery

Contents

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What is Abdominal Surgery?

Abdominal Surgery is a specialised surgical procedure performed to address various conditions affecting the organs within the abdominal cavity. From treating digestive disorders to removing tumours, it plays a crucial role in improving patients' health and quality of life. Read ahead to get an overview of this surgery. 

What are the common Abdominal Surgeries?

Here’s a list of common Abdominal Surgeries. 

  • Appendectomy: This surgery involves removing the appendix.

  • Gallbladder Removal (Cholecystectomy): It's a procedure to take out the gallbladder, often needed to treat gallstones or gallbladder problems.

  • Hernia Repair: When an organ or tissue bulges through a weak spot in the belly, surgery is done to fix it and strengthen the area.

  • Bowel Resection: This surgery removes a part of the intestine, commonly done for conditions like colorectal cancer, Crohn's disease, or diverticulitis.

  • Stomach Removal (Gastrectomy): This operation involves taking out all or a portion of the stomach, often done to treat stomach cancer or severe gastric ulcers.

  • Liver Resection: It's a procedure to remove a part of the liver affected by tumours, cysts, or other liver diseases.

  • Pancreatic Surgery: Various surgeries are done on the pancreas, like the Whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer, or to treat chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cysts.

  • Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery): These surgeries, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or gastric banding, help people with severe obesity lose weight by reducing food intake or changing digestion.

  • Organ Transplantation: Abdominal surgeries may involve transplanting organs like the liver, kidney, pancreas, or small intestine to replace a diseased or non-functioning organ.

  • Colorectal Surgery: These procedures treat conditions affecting the colon, rectum, and anus, like removing part of the colon (colectomy), treating rectal problems, or removing haemorrhoids. 

What are the different surgical procedures used for Abdominal Surgery?

Here are the 4 main types of surgical approaches that Abdominal Surgeons use.

  1. Open Surgery: In this conventional procedure, a wider incision in the belly is made to access and operate on the damaged organs. It gives the surgeon immediate visualisation and physical dexterity.

  2. Laparoscopic surgery: It involves inserting specialised surgical equipment and a camera (laparoscope) via tiny incisions in the belly. The treatment is carried out as the surgeon watches the enlarged pictures on a monitor.

  3. Robotic-Assisted Surgery: This cutting-edge procedure combines laparoscopic surgery with robotic technology. The surgeon directs robotic arms carrying surgical equipment, enabling more precise motions and increased dexterity.

  4. Endoscopic Surgery: An endoscope is used to see and operate on the abdominal organs through tiny incisions.

When to see an Abdominal Surgeon?

Here are some frequent scenarios in which an Abdominal Surgeon consultation may be appropriate.

  • In case of severe abdominal pain that isn't relieved by over-the-counter drugs or home cures, it might be an indication of an underlying illness that necessitates medical care. An Abdominal Surgeon can assist in determining the source of your pain and recommending suitable therapy.

  • A surgeon can provide specialist care and discuss surgical treatment options if you have been diagnosed with a digestive condition such as gallstones, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or diverticulitis.

  • Surgeons are good at the diagnosis and treatment of hernias, and they can evaluate whether a surgical correction is required.

  • If you have been diagnosed with a disorder affecting abdominal organs such as the liver, pancreas, kidneys, or intestines, a surgeon can advise you on treatment choices, including surgical treatments when necessary.

  • If you have been diagnosed with abdominal cancer or have symptoms that suggest cancer, a surgeon can collaborate with an oncologist to design a complete treatment plan that may include surgery to remove the tumour or afflicted organs.

  • If you are thinking about having weight reduction surgery an Abdominal Surgeon who specialises in bariatric operations can assess your situation.

What to expect on a visit to an Abdominal Surgeon?

Here’s what you can expect when you visit an Abdominal Surgeon.

  • Typically, the surgeon will begin the appointment by taking information about your medical history, including any past operations, current medicines, and specifics about your symptoms or condition.

  • Prepare to talk about your symptoms, their length, and any prior treatments or tests you've had.

  • The surgeon will examine you physically, focusing on your abdomen for any apparent indications, pain, or anomalies.

  • Depending on your symptoms and condition, the surgeon may prescribe diagnostic tests such as blood work, imaging scans (e.g., ultrasound, CT scan, MRI), or endoscopic procedures to gather additional information about your condition and help in the diagnosis.

  • After gathering all essential information, the surgeon will explain your diagnosis, treatment options, and suggestions. They will explain the advantages, disadvantages, and potential results of each choice so that you may make an educated decision about your treatment.

  • If surgery is required, the surgeon will go through the operation in detail, including the surgical method, expected recovery time, and any risks and problems. 

  • If surgery is scheduled, the surgeon's team will walk you through pre-operative preparations, which may include preoperative testing, fasting instructions, medication modifications, and other particular requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions on Abdominal Surgery.

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How long does it take to recover from an Abdominal Surgery?

Recovery time can vary, but it usually takes a few weeks to a few months to get back to normal after Abdominal Surgery. 

Is Abdominal Surgery painful?

It can be uncomfortable, but the doctors will give you medicine to help with the pain. They'll make sure you're as comfortable as possible after the surgery.

What are the risks and complications of Abdominal Surgery?

Like with any surgery, there are some risks involved. You could get an infection, have bleeding, blood clots, or damage to your organs. But don't worry, the doctors will take steps to minimise these risks.

Will I have scars after Abdominal Surgery?

Yes, most likely. They have to make cuts to do the surgery, so you'll have scars. The size and how noticeable they are can vary, though. Usually, scars fade over time and become less noticeable.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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