General Surgery

General Surgery

Branch of general surgery, as the name suggests, deals with any diseases which are not in the interest of very specialized units.  In medical terms, it is a branch of science that ensures treatment of systematic and regional problems in the body by surgical methods. It works in collaboration with many different disciplines. General surgery department, which diagnoses and provides treatment for many health problems, utilizes many surgical techniques during such diagnostic and treatment procedures. 

Areas of Interest of General Surgery

Thyroid Cancer

It is a type of cancer caused by the cells in the thyroid gland becoming cancerous. Thyroid cancers usually appear as a mass on the neck or a nodule inside thyroid gland. Most thyroid cancers disappear with surgery and radioactive iodine treatment, and do not shorten the patient’s life expectancy. 

In all thyroid cancers, thyroid gland and surrounding lymph nodes are surgically removed .   After surgery, depending on the type of cancer, high-dose radioactive iodine treatment is performed in armored hospital rooms. So it is aimed to kill any cancer cells which remained elsewhere in the body. This radioactive iodine dose will vary depending upon the spread of cancer .  In some cases this method may need to be repeated.  For this reason, the patient is allowed to wait for 6 months.

In some types of cancer, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be administered after surgery. 

Goiter

Goiter is defined as enlargement of the thyroid gland. It can be seen at any age. It is more common in women than men. 

Goiter surgery means removal of all or part of the thyroid gland and that no thyroid tissue remains in the body. Thus, all or part of the organ which is harmful for the body is removed from the body.

Thyroid gland consists of a right lobe, a left lobe and a small bridge(band) combining these two in the middle. If the disease is on the right lobe of the thyroid gland, the right lobe is removed completely with the bridge in the middle. No thyroid tissue is left in the affected part and the affected lobe is completely removed.

There is no such thing as leaving a part of throid to avoid risks or the need for using medications. The affected part is completely removed.

Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, it may also develop in men at very low rates.   1 in every 8 women is at risk of encountering breast cancer during her life. Age, gender , time when first menstruation and menopause have taken place, number of births, number of miscarriages and genetic factors all play an important role in breast cancer. 

Today, although surgical methods are primarily employed during treatment of breast cancer, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy can be also applied on their own or in combination with surgical methods. Method of treatment varies according to the tumor grade, type of cancer, secondary malignancies, if any, and whether the patient has entered menopause or not. Surgical applications are divided into two main groups as those aimed at keeping the breast intact and those aimed at removal of the whole breast. In the latter case, breast reconstruction is performed using plastic surgery techniques to improve the appearance of the treated site.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is the second most common type of cancer after lung cancer. 1 in every 10 cancer patients is stomach cancer. 

Your eating habits are important in the incidence of stomach cancer. Among the most common causes of cancer are over-consuming salty foods and not consuming enough vegetables and fruits. Additionally, hereditary factors are among causative factors in the development of gastric cancer.

The most effective method of diagnosis in stomach cancer is endoscopy. 

Surgical methods are used in the treatment of gastric cancer; stomach is removed by surgery.  According to the state of cancer, radiation therapy and drug therapy are applied after the surgery. 

Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreatic cancer is a disease which is quite severe and difficult to treat .  The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is much higher in men than in women .   At the same time, people who smoke, consume alcohol and have an irregular life are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to other people .

Treatment process changes according to the stage of the cancer in the patient. Treatment methods of pancreatic cancer include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Liver Cancer

Causes of liver cancer include hepatitis B and C diseases, excessive alcohol use, and iron deficiency, even though it is rare. Patients with liver cancer show symptoms such as anorexia, fatigue , jaundice of the skin , excessive weight loss, abdominal fluid collection and swelling of the abdomen and getting exhausted quickly.  

According to the state of the disease, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy (which is based on destruction of the abnormal tissues by freezing), injecting drug to destroy the tumor and finally liver transplantation treatments are practiced today.

Gallbladder Diseases

Gallbladder’s job is to store bile produced by liver. Bile, which is accumulated in the gallbladder usually in the fasting state, becomes more concentrated and is stored in there. During digestion, the gallbladder contracts and releases its contents into the duodenum and hence fats are absorbed.

Gallbladder Polyp

Gallbladder polyps are benign tumors of the gallbladder. There are different types of gallbladder polyps.

The general trend in the case of gallbladder polyps is to remove the gallbladder by laparoscopic method in the case of polyps larger than 10 mm in diameter and if the polyps are several. 

Today, gallbladder surgeries are performed by laparoscopic method. 

In the case of gallbladder polyp surgery, there is no such technique as removing polyp; the whole gallbladder should be removed.

Gallstone

It is caused by disturbance of ratios of gallbladder contents. 

During gallstone surgery, the whole gallbladder organ should be removed.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis can simply be described as inflammation of the pancreas.   

While treatment of pancreatitis was mainly surgical in the past, nowadays it is mostly medical treatment, intensive care support and surgical intervention, where necessary. Treatment is associated with severity of pancreatitis attack. 

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids or in other words piles are described as the expansion or varix of the veins in the rectum.

The most common symptom is bleeding from the anus during straining. 

Primarily non-surgical treatments should be tried in the case of hemorrhoids. If non- surgical methods don’t help make progress, surgical methods are applied.  

Hernias

A hernia is a swelling which develops as a result of weakening or tearing of inner layers of abdominal muscles. 

A hernia may cause pain or serious problems requiring urgent surgery for reasons including strangulation or decay (gangrene) of an intestinal section in it. 

A hernia doesn’t decline over time or disappear by itself. Inguinal hernia, thigh channel hernia and umbilical hernia are the most commonly encountered types of hernia with which the field of General Surgery is concerned.

The most serious, even lethal risk in the case of hernia is strangulation of the hearnia. Strangulation is cessation of blood circulation in the organs inside the hernia sac due to compression of the hernia sac. First blood flow in the veins slows down, leading to swelling of the part of organ inside the sac, and the pressure on the veins becomes larger and may cause gangrene. A gangrene that may occur in the bowels is followed by perforation and peritonitis. Strangulation shows symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating and constipation. In this case, the only remedy is to remove strangulated part of the intestine and repair the hernia. 

Surgery of hernias is performed by two methods. The first one is open surgery or what we can call traditional surgery which is performed by an incision made from outside in the groin region where the hernia is, and the second one is laparoscopic hernia repair. 

Diagnostic Methods İn Use

Computed tomography

Computed tomography is a special imaging technique that gives a cross-sectional image of the tissues and organs of the body using x-rays.   In comparison to ordinary plain radiographs, CT provides more detailed information about head injuries, brain tumors and other brain disorders. Bone , soft tissues and blood vessels can also be displayed by CT.

Magnetic resonance (MR)

MR is a painless procedure that can display internal organs and tissues in a clear and detailed manner. MR uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field, instead of X-rays.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to view internal organs of the body.  Frequency of the sound waves used is so high that a human ear cannot hear. The amount of sound reflected by each tissue will be different so the image perceived will be different. Thus, tissues and organs will be seen on the screen of ultrasound device. By this method, different images can be detected for tissues like a cyst or tumor.

Biopsy

Biopsy is a procedure involving removal of a tiny portion of body tissue for examination. Then the tissue removed is examined under a microscope. Before biopsy material is examined, it  may undergo certain procedures and dying in such a way as to allow a series of microbiological and molecular biological investigations. Biopsies are usually done upon a suspicion of disease.  For example, if a patient has an unexplained swelling, mass, or if a tumor is suspected, the best diagnostic method is to collect samples and examine them to diagnose. 

PET/ CT

One of today’s most effective imaging technique, PET CT ( Positron Emission Tomography) is utilized for diagnosis, staging , treatment response assessment and radiotherapy planning of  many cancers, including particularly lung , colon, head – neck cancers and lymphomas.  PET CT is also informative about the distribution of cancerous cells and allows determination of whether a cancer is benign or malignant.

Mammography

Mammography is widely used as an auxiliary diagnostic test to determine the location and properties of a suspected mass found in the breast. Mammographic examination is performed using X-rays. 

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