General Surgery

General surgery requires knowledge of a broad spectrum of diseases that may require treatment. Whenever possible, we prefer a laparoscopic approach to surgery because it is has been shown to reduce pain, minimize scarring, shorten the patient’s stay in the hospital, and provide a quicker return to “normal” activities.

What is open surgery? Open surgery is a traditional method where the surgeon makes an incision close to the site of the operation. Though laparoscopic surgeries are popular, there are a number of situations when open surgery is still preferable.

What is laparoscopic surgery? Compared to open surgery, laparoscopy is minimally invasive because the surgeon makes smaller incisions; these incisions can be further away from the site of operation within the body. The tools the surgeon uses are smaller and longer than in open surgery, and the surgeon is aided by a small camera.

General Surgery Services (including but not limited to):

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy – gallbladder removal
  • Laparoscopic appendectomy – appendix removal
  • Laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair – A hiatal hernia is an abnormality where the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity, which can cause chest pain, heartburn, a bitter taste in back of the throat, bloating, belching, and/or pain in the stomach or esophagus.
  • Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication – to treat hiatal hernia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is when stomach acid flows back into your esophagus and irritates the lining of the esophagus.
  • Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair – A ventral hernia is a bulge of tissue, such as fat or intestines that protrudes from a weak spot in the abdominal wall muscles. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, outward bulging of skin or tissues, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Open or laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair – An inguinal hernia occurs when internal tissue, such as fat or intestines, pushes through a hole or defects in the groin muscle. Symptoms include pain, a burning sensation, and a heavy or full sensation in the groin.
  • Open umbilical hernia repair – An umbilical hernia occurs when internal tissue, such as fat or intestines, protrudes through a weakness or defects in the abdominal muscles at the belly button.
  • Lymph node biopsy – Removal of lymph node tissue to be tested for signs of infection or disease.
  • Removal of skin and soft tissue masses or “growths”:
    • lipoma – a growth of fat cells
    • sebaceous cysts – noncancerous cysts below the skin
    • scalp lesions
    • etc.
  • Surgical treatment of anorectal disease – hemorrhoids, anal fistula, and anal fissures.

Endoscopy Services

An endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body by inserting an endoscope—a thin flexible tube that is equipped with a camera. The surgeon is able to view and diagnose internal problems without making large incisions. This procedure is done in the Grand Health Partners Endoscopy Suite, located in the same facility as our Grand Rapids office.

Endoscopy services (including but not limited to):

  • Upper Endoscopy (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD)
    • A quick outpatient examination of the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper duodenum (small intestine).
  • Colonoscopy
    • An outpatient examination of the lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. This is routinely performed to screen for colon cancer beginning at the age of 50.