General Surgery

The Department of General Surgery focuses on the contents of the abdomen such as the stomach, small bowel, oesophagus, liver, colon, pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts and thyroid gland, among others.

Eminent surgeons in the department have collectively performed thousands of surgical procedures over the decades. From laparoscopic hernia surgeries to thyroid surgeries to diabetic foot ulcer surgery, many patients have benefited from their treatment. In short, their expertise is unrivalled.

Since 2006, the Department of General Surgery has been certified by the National Board of Examinations to conduct the DNB course in general surgery. We administer treatment on an out-patient basis to nearly 20,000 patients every year and more than a thousand receive treatment on an in-patient basis.

Medical Conditions

There are myriad conditions which constantly present themselves to the Department of Neurosurgery at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital. The following are some of the most common in occurrence and yet complex in treatment.

The sheath of muscle and fascia running the length of the torso from the ribs to the groin is called the abdominal wall or sheath. It holds in the intestines and contents of the abdomen. Sometimes weak spots appear on this abdominal wall for a multitude of reasons. This results in the abdominal contents breaking through to the surface, causing a bulge beneath the skin which is very often visible. The word hernia means ‘something coming through’ and thus aptly describes the condition. There are a number of types of hernia but the most common are inguinal (inner groin), femoral (outer groin), incisional (which results from an incision), hiatal (the upper stomach) and umbilical (at the belly button). Hernias are caused by anything which causes excess pressure within the abdominal cavity combined with weakness of muscle in the abdominal sheath.

The traditional method of surgical treatment for hernia is called ‘open hernia repair’ and it may be done using local or general anaesthetic. The surgeon pushes the protruding tissue back into position and the weakened area of the abdominal wall is closed using sutures. The area is reinforced using a synthetic mesh. The opening is then closed using staples or surgical glue.

Here at the Department of General Surgery of Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, we have great experience using the laparoscopic or minimally invasive procedure, commonly called keyhole surgery. This is done under general anaesthesia. Multiple little incisions are made and then gas is used to inflate the cavity before a laparoscope is passed into it. The surgeon views the region and then uses other instruments (inserted through other incisions) to repair the weakened section using mesh. The minimally invasive approach causes considerably less scarring and has quicker recovery times with less pain for patients.

For diabetics, there is a huge risk of damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves. This causes loss of feeling in the extremities, particularly the feet and legs which in turn means that wounds to the feet are not sensed and treated immediately. Wounds to the feet are the most common reason for hospitalization among diabetics. An ulcer of the foot is dangerous and the best course of treatment is surgery. The Department of General Surgery has great experience with the surgical treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Typically a course of antibiotics accompanies surgery.

The surgery is meant to try and control infection but also to save the leg (from gangrene). Pus is drained and the necrotic (dead) and infected tissue are removed. There is a huge vascular implication here so there is considerable cooperation with the vascular surgical team. At Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, our surgeons have extensive experience treating diabetic foot ulcers and have a sterling track record for the best possible outcomes.

The thyroid gland produces hormones which help regulate the metabolism of the body. It also helps in keeping organs functioning properly and helps in conservation of body heat. Sometimes the thyroid may produces too much hormone and this may be due to swelling, cysts, nodules or cancer. In these instances, the best possible course of action is surgery.

The whole thyroid gland or part of it might be removed in the procedure. During the course of the open procedure, an incision is created in the skin and muscle and tissue and move to gain access to the gland. The gland is either partly or completely excised. Recovery is typically quick and people may be discharged within a day or two of the procedure. It is even quicker in the case of a laparoscopic procedure.

We routinely conduct a whole host of procedures such as the following:

  • Surgeries for the oral cavity, salivary glands, thyroid, lymph node, parathyroid, soft tissue lesions, chest wall lesions, all benign breast lesions and axillary lesions
  • Abdominal and Pelvic (Open/laparoscopic) surgeries for stomach, pancreas, gall bladder, spleen, small intestine, appendix, colon, rectum, anal canal, operation for GERD, abdominal wall hernias, varicocele, testicular problems, hydrocele, haemorrhoids and perianal lesions
  • Renal transplantation surgery
  • Surgeries for Varicose Veins, Diabetic Foot, Cellulitis, Abscess, Ulcers, Necrotizing Fasciitis, Amputation for gangrene of the extremities.
  • Day care procedures such as circumcision, excision biopsy of lumps, lymph nodes and so on
  • Trauma surgeries for trauma to the head and neck, chest, abdomen and extremities
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