Do We Check for Other Problems While in the Abdomen?

If you are having a general surgical procedure in the abdomen, you might be interested to know that we insufflate or expand the abdominal cavity by pumping in carbon dioxide (CO2). This is essential for better visibility within the abdomen and for giving our instruments room to move and perform the surgery. But with that excellent visibility, do we poke around to see if anything else is wrong with the structures within the abdomen?

Typically, when performing surgery in a particular area, we tend to remain in that space because we are uniquely set up for that surgery. There are times when we can perform combination procedures. For example, if a bariatric procedure is being performed, it is possible to remove the gallbladder should it be symptomatic from gallstones or other gallbladder diseases. We do not remove the gallbladder prophylactically (if you have no symptoms of gallbladder disease). Similarly, most obese patients also have a hiatal hernia, which can be repaired simultaneously as the primary bariatric procedure.

Other conditions, such as hernias, may be repaired in multiples. The most common abdominal hernias, inguinal (groin) hernias, can sometimes occur bilaterally. This means the person has an inguinal hernia on both the left and right sides of the abdomen. These can sometimes be repaired simultaneously to avoid a second surgery, something we could never do with traditional open surgery.

Sometimes we can also perform a secondary procedure if the patient’s medical team requests it. For example, we may be asked to complete a liver biopsy during the primary bariatric procedure. If patients complain about specific abdominal concerns, there may be an opportunity to look at the structures of the abdomen to see what could be wrong.

With that in mind, feel free to discuss any other abdominal discomfort or concerns you may have with Dr. Huguet or Dr. Peterson during your consultation. While we may not be able to combine procedures every time, we can certainly help you understand what may be going on and offer treatment options.

We encourage you to contact our office for a consultation on any abdomen-related concerns.