What Does Barrett’s Esophagus Mean and Why It Matters

August 10, 2022

Medical illustration of esophagus highlights the area damaged by GERD when chronic reflux causes Barrett's esophagus

Almost every American suffers from intermittent acid reflux; however, when heartburn becomes chronic, this is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD is one of the fastest growing GI complications in the United States and is mainly a result of the decline in physical activity, combined with less healthy diets across American society. Unfortunately, the effects of GERD do not simply end with discomfort, which may be severe, by the way; instead, there is the potential for significant longer-term complications, some of which cannot be reversed. One of these is known as Barrett’s esophagus.

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Do Probiotics Work for Gut Health and Weight Loss?

July 27, 2022

Medical illustration of helpful gut bacteria illustrate the role of the living bacteria in out intestine

As obesity becomes an ever-greater part of the national discourse, we have learned that several issues can potentially contribute to the inability to lose weight. One of these is gut health. Years ago, we didn’t understand why, for example, the gastric bypass was so effective at putting diabetes into remission within days or weeks after surgery. We later concluded that the gastric bypass’s effect on the microbiome resets or rebalances hormonal markers, improving insulin resistance and other significant metabolic issues. We later discovered that many intestinal problems like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome are partly caused or worsened by poor gut health.

Of course, gastric bypass is not for everyone, and many patients wonder what they can do to improve their gut health without going under the knife. One of the most touted options for gut health involves probiotics. These are foods and drinks containing potentially billions of beneficial bacteria that claim to improve gut balance. While there is no doubt that probiotics are essential to our digestive system, do supplement probiotics make a difference?

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Does Chronic Pain After Hernia Surgery Truly Exist?

July 13, 2022

Man gestures thumbs down to groin pain after an inguinal hernia repair

Hernias are exceptionally common in the American adult population. This is especially true in men, who disproportionately suffer from inguinal hernias and make up more than 75% of all hernia patients. Inguinal hernia repair is not as straightforward as other abdominal hernias, such as umbilical or incisional hernias. This is because several nerve bundles and structures in the groin area must be identified and preserved during surgery.

If you have researched inguinal hernia repair, you will have likely come across the concept of chronic pain after this type of surgery. There is some debate about the prevalence and incidence of this chronic pain, but it most certainly exists and is a potential risk of hernia surgery that you should be aware of.

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Groin Pain Name Game – Sports Hernias

June 22, 2022

Man holds his groin as he hopes to identify the cause of a painful bulge in the groin as sports hernia

A hernia is a protrusion of anatomic structures from one body compartment into another that typically develops in natural transition areas and tissue seams. They can also appear at iatrogenic (surgical treatment) incisions. Hernias may describe conditions of the brain, vertebral discs of the spine, the ribs, the diaphragm, and abdominal, pelvic, or muscular structures.

However, a Sports Hernia is not, in fact, an actual hernia, as there is no bulge or protrusion out of a body compartment.  It is a condition of strain, injury, or irritation of the hip’s adductor-longus muscle and tendon where it attaches to the pubic bone. It occurs most often in athletes performing activities that cause high torque strain of core muscles and hips in abrupt and powerful movements. It is more appropriately termed Athletic Pubalgia, which better describes the discomfort of this area. The area where Athletic Pubalgia occurs is adjacent to and therefore commonly associated with an inguinal (groin) hernia.

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Is This the Future of Curing Rectal Cancer?

June 8, 2022

Colorectal cancer survivor holds blue ribbon celebrating new cancer research success and hope for the future

Let’s get right to it. Probably, for the first time in history, a cancer study at a major cancer facility has shown complete remission in 100% of the study participants. More specifically, the recently approved immunotherapy drug Dostarlimab or brand-name Jemparli showed results that would make even the most experienced cancer physicians do a double-take.1

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York City enrolled 12 patients in a study of Dostarlimab, a single-agent PD-1 blockade, to treat a particular form of mismatch repair-deficient recurrent or advanced solid tumor rectal cancer. After receiving the therapy, all 12 patients went into remission. No other cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery were performed. They were completely cancer-free in physical exams and advanced diagnostic testing such as MRI and PET scanning. This is nothing short of remarkable.

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Can Gallstones Cause Gallbladder Cancer?

May 27, 2022

A gallstone is removed and gallbladder cancer risk is considered

One of the most significant patient concerns after being diagnosed with gallstones is whether these stones can lead to gallbladder cancer. The short answer is that we don’t have any evidence to suggest that average gallstones cause gallbladder cancer. However, studies have shown that there may be a very slight increase in the incidence of gallbladder cancer in patients that have very large gallstones – those greater than 5cm.

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What You Can Do to Prevent Recurrent Hernias

May 13, 2022

woman holds abdomen wondering how to prevent recurrent hernia after undergoing hernia repair surgery in Florida

A recurrent hernia occurs when a defect redevelops in the same area after a surgical hernia repair. Groin (inguinal and femoral) hernias may recur in about 1 to 3 percent of repairs.  Abdominal (ventral and incisional hernias) may have up to a 10 to 15 percent chance of recurring. Complex hernia repairs such as the diaphragm and paraesophageal hernias, among others, could range up to a 20 percent recurrence rate.  These are broadly accumulated statistics, so consider that multiple factors are involved in hernia occurrences and recurrences. There are various means for patients to be proactive in their risk reduction.

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Can Two Hernias Be Treated at Once?

March 25, 2022

Surgeon laparoscopically repairs multiple hernias in a patient in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Minimally Invasive Institute of Surgery

Hernias are prevalent disorders. This is especially true in men. Inguinal or groin hernias in men account for about 75% of all hernias repaired in the United States. While most men experience a hernia on one side of the groin or the other, there are circumstances in which hernias occur on both sides. This is called a bilateral inguinal hernia.

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Humira for Crohn’s Disease

March 11, 2022

Woman with Crohn's Disease experiences abdominal pain and considers her treatment options including Humira injections and colon surgery at the Minimally Invasive Institute of Surgery

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic colon or gastrointestinal tract inflammation. Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease has no cure, and while it can go into remission at various times, there is currently no definitive cure.

Humira is a heavily marketed prescription drug for moderate to severe Crohn’s disease patients who have not seen relief with other medication or lifestyle interventions.

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The Three Rules of Taking a Fiber Supplement

February 25, 2022

Fiber supplements can offer benefits and risk according to surgeon Dr. Kevin Huguet at Minimally Invasive Institute of Surgery

Fiber supplementation is an excellent way to keep your bowel movements regular, eat less and feel full longer. In recent years, we’ve learned the critical role of gut health in our overall wellness, post-bariatric surgery patient or not. Of all the recommendations to improve your colon health, increase your fiber intake through what you eat or via supplementation. While fiber can now be taken in a multitude of easy and delicious ways, there are three rules to stick by to make sure you get the full benefit:

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