General & Minimally Invasive Surgery Services
The Division of General and Minimally Surgery (MIS) provides evaluation and treatment of the full range of common and complex general surgical problems. We specialize in surgery for a multitude of conditions and perform open, laparoscopic and robotic procedures. Within the division of General we have sections of Colorectal, Bariatric/MIS, and General Surgery. Since the founding the Department of Surgery in 1968, the General Surgery Division remains a core component of the Department and the General Surgery Residency training program. We are dedicated to providing our patient with compassionate and comprehensive pre-operative and post-operative care.
Liver, Biliary Tract & Pancreas Diseases
Disorders managed include benign (i.e. non-cancerous) diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreas. We routinely care for patients with symptomatic gallstones, gallbladder polyps, cholecystitis, cholangitis, choledocholithiasis, bile duct strictures, acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, tumors and endocrine tumors.
Our general surgeons evaluate and treat all types of hernias, including inguinal (groin) hernia, umbilical and ventral hernia, incisional hernias, flank and parastomal hernias, as well as hernias of the diaphragm and stomach (paraesopahgeal hernia). Most patients with hernias are initially seen by their primary care physician or internist because of a lump or abdominal pain. A surgical opinion is then sought for these hernias. In many cases, the surgical procedures for these hernias can be completed on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending certain factors (i.e. size, duration, prior mesh, etc.). Repair of these hernias can be performed open, laparoscopic or robotically (see below).
Weight Loss Surgery
UT Health physicians have performed bariatric (weight loss) surgery since the 1980s, making our highly experienced providers the providers of choice in San Antonio and South Texas. Our board certified, fellowship trained bariatric surgeons help our patients reach their lifelong goals through minimally invasive (laparoscopic or robotic) weight-loss surgery procedures that cause less scarring and faster recovery. Surgeries offered include Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy, LapBand removal, and revision weight loss procedures. We also offer patients guidance on proper nutrition and exercise to help them achieve lifelong health and wellness to live a happier life.
The General and MIS division manages a broad spectrum of upper gastrointestinal tract disorders, and performs endoscopic evaluation of the upper and lower GI tract (see below). Patients with GERD (acid reflux), hiatal hernias, achalasia, benign strictures of the esophagus, stomach or duodenum, peptic ulcer disease, gastroparesis, benign and malignant tumors of the stomach, duodenum and small intestine are routinely seen and evaluated in all our clinic sites.
Colon, Anorectal and Pelvic Floor Surgery
The Colorectal Section contains surgeons that have undergone specialized training (i.e. fellowship) in colorectal disorders, and are Board Certified in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Our surgeons are capable of treating all diseases and conditions of the colon and rectum, including colorectal cancer and polyps, diverticular disease, motility disorders, irritable bowel disease, constipation, fecal incontinence, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis), and disease of the anus, such as fistula, abscesses, cancer, and hemorrhoids.
Laparoscopy and Robotic surgery
When appropriate, Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) can provide dramatic improvements in patient care. Instead of making large incisions, many procedures are now successfully performed using very small incisions and special instruments while viewing a monitor (laparoscopic) or a console (robotic). This approach offers many advantages to patients over traditional open surgery, such as reduced pain, fewer wound complications, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery time, and cosmetic differences. This technology continues to evolve, and a wide variety of diseases are now being successfully treated using this approach. MIS has been successfully performed at UT Health since the early 1990’s, beginning with the laparoscopic treatment of gallbladder disease. Now appendectomy, hernia repair, anti-reflux surgery, colon resection, adrenalectomy, splenectomy, bariatric (weight loss) surgery, and pancreatic surgery can often be performed using the MIS approach.
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic technique, using flexible scopes to evaluate disorders of the GI tract. Endoscopy is generally used to evaluate patients with abdominal pain, ulcers, gastritis, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, bleeding in the upper or lower GI tract, changes in bowel habits, polyps. Our division also performs colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening, and upper endoscopy for evaluation of GERD, hiatal hernia, bariatric surgery, peptic ulcer disease and feeding tube access (i.e. PEG tube).