The Problem With GERD Medication Beyond Its Side Effects

January 26, 2023

Pill bottle spills out white pills

Previously in our blog, we have talked about proton pump inhibitors or PPIs and how they have gone from a temporary solution to acid reflux symptoms to a therapy many patients have continued for months or even years. PPIs come with several long-term side effects, not least of which is the potential for vitamin deficiencies, infection, and bone fractures. As such, we always stress to our GERD patients that surgery is the only true solution to chronic acid reflux. And this is considered if lifestyle change, including improved diet and exercise and losing weight, has not made a difference.

However, another consideration to understand does not revolve around the side effects of PPIs themselves but rather the continued reflux, albeit non-acidic, that a patient will experience while on medication.

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Should Your Gallbladder Be Removed Prophylactically During Bariatric Surgery?

January 12, 2023

two surgeons passing off surgical instrument in the operating room during bariatric surgery

As you may know, while Dr. Huguet and Dr. Peterson are general surgeons performing a wide range of surgeries on common and complex abdominal conditions, they also specialize in bariatric or weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery can be an effective option for patients suffering from obesity who have not seen improvement from years or even decades of diet and exercise, as well as non-surgical therapies like weight loss medication and structured diet programs. We are often asked about the potential for gallstone development in the early months after bariatric surgery when the patient loses significant weight. If you have researched gallbladder disease, you may know that one of the most significant risk factors for gallstones is rapid weight loss – exactly what happens after a bariatric procedure. So, the question is: should the gallbladder be removed regardless of symptoms during the primary bariatric procedure to avoid another surgery?

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Driving After Your Surgical Procedure

December 12, 2022

person's hands on the steering wheel driving

As part of your postoperative instructions, we’ll include the activities you can and can’t perform after any abdominal surgical procedure. One such limitation is driving. For most abdominal surgery patients, driving will not be possible several days after surgery. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. First, in the immediate recovery period after the surgical procedure, patients will still be under anesthesia and will not have the capacity to drive themselves home. This makes it very important to have a friend or a loved one who can pick you up from the surgery center, take you home, and get settled.
  2. Second, you will experience abdominal pain from the incisions and the procedure for several days after surgery. In the first few days post-op, this pain will likely preclude you from making an emergency stop by pressing the brake firmly. As such, you will be somewhat impaired until the discomfort subsides.
  3. Lastly, some patients will require narcotic medication to manage pain after the procedure. Most patients will not require narcotic medication beyond the first couple of days after surgery, but while taking it, they most certainly cannot drive. Most patients can safely drive once the drug has been flushed from their system, which takes about 48 hours from the last dosage.

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Am I Too Old for Hernia Surgery?

November 23, 2022

Middle-aged lady sitting at table with open laptop while smiling

Age is always a factor in surgical intervention, and we are often asked if they are too old for hernia surgery. This conversation should be had with a qualified general surgeon like Drs. Huguet or Peterson. When it comes to aging and hernia surgery, there are two primary considerations as to whether a person of advanced age should have their hernia repaired.

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Should I Worry About Blood in My Stool?

November 9, 2022

Toilet paper stacked in front of yellow background

Seeing blood in the toilet after a bowel movement can be jarring. But does blood in the stool necessarily mean that you have a significant colorectal issue? The answer is nuanced; ultimately, seeing a qualified colorectal surgeon is the best course of action in most cases. However, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons for blood in the stool and what you should do about them.

Bright red blood usually involves bleeding closer to the anus, in the lower digestive tract. The blood is bright red because it hasn’t had time to coagulate. Common causes can include:

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Impediments to Recovery After Hernia Surgery

October 26, 2022

Man in pain as he lifts heavy box after hernia surgery

Hernia surgeries come in various flavors, but all share a common trait: a defect in the abdomen’s strong, supportive layer of tissue known as the fascia. The fascia works to essentially keep abdominal contents in place, so when it is perforated (for example, due to wear and tear or surgery), abdominal contents begin to push through. Unlike bones and muscle, the fascia cannot repair itself, so surgery is the only definitive treatment option for a hernia

Unfortunately, while you may hear otherwise on the Internet, there is no proven method for fixing a hernia without surgical intervention. Hernia belts, exercises, and time will not fix the problem and may even cause the hernia to worsen more quickly.

Once you’ve had hernia surgery, though, what are the common pitfalls that cause complications after surgery?

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How Many Gallstones Do I Have & Does It Matter?

October 12, 2022

Woman holds abdomen in pain from gallstones

If you’re not too squeamish, we encourage you to look at our surgical video that shows Dr. Huguet opening a gallbladder full of gallstones. It’s not the most pleasant thing to see, but it shows just how much your gallbladder can hold. Is having lots of large gallstones within your gallbladder normal, and do gallstones present differently in different people? Also, does having many or just a few gallstones increase your risk for gallbladder pain and cancer?

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Is Hernia Surgery Painful?

September 28, 2022

surgical instruments lying on tray with surgeons performing hernia surgery in the background

Hernias are a progressive condition, and some patients delay surgical treatment because they are worried about the potential pain of surgery. This blog discusses pain after hernia surgery and how you can minimize it. Straight to the point? You’ll be happy to know that hernia surgery pain is less of a factor due to better technology and newer surgical techniques. Yay!

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What You Can and Can’t Drink After Gallbladder Removal

September 14, 2022

man holding glass of refreshing water

Gallbladder surgery or cholecystectomy is one of the most straightforward, common, and safe general surgery procedures in the United States. Millions of these procedures are performed yearly, and there are many myths and misconceptions about the surgery, especially regarding postop diet, weight gain, and what you can or cannot drink. This blog will discuss the latter to ensure you are as comfortable as possible after your gallbladder removal.

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How to Avoid an Incisional Hernia After Any Surgery

August 24, 2022

Woman carefully gets her surgical incisions checked after a laparoscopic surgery wondering how she can reduce risk of hernia

Incisional hernias are those caused by a perforation of the abdominal wall. While this can occur due to accidents or victimizations, the most common reason for an incisional hernia is a prior surgery. When we have surgery, the abdominal wall and its fascia are compromised. Unfortunately, while these areas do regenerate and ultimately repair themselves, the repair is never as strong as the original untouched tissue. These areas can weaken over time and eventually abdominal contents can begin to push through causing an incisional hernia which typically presents as a lump and pain in the area of previous surgery.

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