A General Surgeon has expertise in the diagnosis and care of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the abdomen, digestive tract, endocrine system, breast, skin and blood vessels. A General Surgeon is also trained in the care of pediatric and cancer patients and in the treatment of patients who are injured or critically ill. Common problems treated by general surgeons include hernias, breast tumors, gallstones, appendicitis, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, colon inflammation and colon cancer. General Surgeons increasingly provide care through the use of minimally invasive and endoscopic techniques.
Laparoscopic surgery has been a major benefit in reducing postoperative pain and reducing the time back to normal physical activity. This is accomplished by using minimal invasive techniques allowing surgeons a confident approach to almost every part of the human body using cameras and video monitors. By making a small cut in the skin and introducing a harmless gas, such as carbon dioxide, into the body cavity to expand it and create a working space. Through additional cuts a telescope as well as surgical instruments are placed into this space cavity. Then under high magnification diseased organs can be examined and removed with minimal trauma to the patient.
Over the past ten years the technology has advanced to the point that Laparoscopic surgery has become the procedure of choice in many operations. At Star Valley Medical Center, Dr. Bender uses this technique in most types of surgery. Laparoscopy cannot always be performed on everyone. Some patients with many prior operations may have so much scar tissue within the body that a safe operation cannot be done.
As new surgical instruments and better cameras and video display systems are developed, the frontiers for laparoscopic surgery will expand even further.
General Surgeons may receive additional training and specialize in one of the following subspecialties:
Hand Surgery - expertise in the investigation, preservation, and restoration by medical, surgical and rehabilitative means, of all structures of the hand and wrist.
Pediatric Surgery - expertise in surgical conditions in premature and newborn infant, children and adolescents.
Surgical Critical Care - expertise in the critically ill and postoperative patient, particularly the trauma victim and those with multiple organ dysfunction.
Vascular Surgery - expertise in surgical disorders of the blood vessels, excluding the intercranial vessels or the heart.