Minimally Invasive GI Surgical Procedures

Minimally invasive surgery, or laparoscopic surgery, allows surgeons to operate with smaller incisions. Some even operate with the help of tiny video cameras during surgery.

With minimally invasive surgery, patients will have less pain, less blood loss and smaller scars after surgery. It also helps to lower the risk of infection. Patients often feel better quicker and can leave the hospital sooner. Although there are many benefits, it is not an option for all patients.

Listed below are some types of laparoscopic procedures that are done to treat GI conditions:

  • Adrenalectomy - This procedure removes growths in the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are found on top of the kidneys and make hormones that are needed to help the body work properly.
  • Appendectomy - This procedure removes an infected appendix (the small finger-like pouch at the end of the large intestine).
  • Bariatric Surgery - This procedure makes the stomach smaller, which helps with weight loss.
  • Cholecystectomy - This procedure treats gallstones by removing the gallbladder. It has few risks to it and recovery time is usually short.
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery - This type of surgery treats conditions of the large intestine (including the colon, rectum and anus).
  • Foregut Surgery - This is often used to treat conditions of the upper GI tract. It can involve the esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach), stomach or the upper portion of the small intestines.
  • Hiatal Hernia Repair - This treatment can fix hiatal hernias and paraesophageal hernias. A hiatal hernia is an opening in the diaphragm (the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen) that might cause the stomach or other abdominal organs to shift up into the chest. It can cause heartburn, chest or abdominal discomfort, discomfort with eating or shortness of breath.
  • Nissen - This surgery is used to treat patients with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as gastric reflux. It strengthens the muscle that contracts to keep stomach acid away from the esophagus. People who suffer from chronic acid reflux often report feeling a burning sensation in their chests, throats or mouths. Others may experience chest pain, difficulty swallowing or a sore throat.
  • Nephrectomy - This procedure can be used to remove a diseased or cancerous kidney.
  • Pancreatic Surgery - Depending on the circumstances, this procedure can sometimes be used in treating different pancreatic conditions.
  • Retroperitoneum Surgery - This procedure is often used for treatment of testicular cancer.
  • Splenectomy - This type of procedure involves removing the spleen.

Open GI Surgical Procedures

Whenever possible, Penn Medicine performs minimally invasive surgical procedures. However, in some cases, traditional open surgery is necessary.

Traditional open surgical procedures include:

  • Abdominal Surgery - Our doctors perform a variety of different abdominal surgeries.
  • Adrenalectomy - This surgery removes one or both adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are found on top of the kidneys and make hormones that are needed to help the body work properly.
  • Appendectomy - This is a common emergency surgery to remove the appendix.
  • Nissen fundoplication - This procedure strengthens the muscle in between the stomach and esophagus tube. It is used to treat patients with severe acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Roux-en-Y - This surgery typically bypasses or connects the intestines. It is commonly used to treat obesity or severe reflux.
  • Whipple Procedure (Pancreaticoduodenectomy) - This is a complex surgery commonly used to treat cancer or other growths in or on the pancreas.
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