Procedures Performed by Dr. Harris
The gallbladder is an organ that stores bile. Bile is produced by the liver and drains into the intestines through bile ducts. The gallbladder is attached to the the main bile duct by the cystic duct. When you eat - especially when you eat fatty food, the gallbladder contracts and pushes bile into the intestine to help with digestion.
A hernia is a defect in the abdominal wall which allows structures that should be inside the confines of the abdominal cavity to push through the abdominal wall. The most common locations are the umbilicus (belly button) and the groin but these can happen essentially anywhere in the abdominal wall.
In this part of the country, some gastroenterologist can be reluctant to refer patients for anti-reflux surgery even though studies have showed high patient satisfaction with anti-reflux surgery. However, if patients have significant hiatal hernia they are often referred for surgery.
Diverticular disease is a very common indication for colon surgery. Due to Western diets often being low in fiber and high in refined food, diverticula can form in the colon (almost always in the sigmoid section of the colon). These diverticula may remain asymptomatic and no treatment is needed in that case.
Sometimes nodules are detected in the thyroid and based on their size and several ultrasound imaging characteristics, a biopsy may be recommended. The biopsy is usually done as an FNA (fine needle aspiration) under ultrasound guidance. A very thin needle is inserted into the nodule and cells are aspirated out. Then they are sent to pathologist for analysis.
If you do have thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy is generally recommended. Sometimes the cancer is small enough that only one side of the thyroid is removed but this is usually not the case. Without a thyroid, you will need supplemental thyroid hormone called levothyroxine or synthroid.
When screening imaging detects a suspicious area or when a mass is felt, a biopsy is often done typically using a tiny incision and needle. If the biopsy reveals cancer, pre-cancer, or the biopsy is indeterminate, surgery may be required. Breast cancer often spreads to the axilla (under the arm) first and biopsy of the lymph nodes under the arm may be required.