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MBChB PhD FRCS

FAQs

Consultant Laparoscopic Colorectal and General Surgeon

Laparoscopic general surgery

A hundred years ago, all surgeons were general surgeons and they would operate on any part of the body.

Since then, surgery has become more specialised; we now have Breast Surgeons, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Ophthalmic Surgeons, Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgeons, Upper Gastrointestinal and Colorectal Surgeons, and the list continues to grow as more specialisation happens.

General surgeons are still with us, but today this term describes a surgeon who performs:

  • Hernia repair surgery
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Management of abdominal emergencies, for example, appendicitis, diverticular disease, gallbladder-cholecystitis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding and bowel obstruction

What do general surgeons do today?

“General surgeons are trained over many years in a multitude of emergency procedures. We carry out emergency operations to take the appendix out, particularly in cases where the appendix has ruptured and the patient is at high risk of a general abdominal infection (peritonitis). Emergency general surgery is also used to treat bowel obstruction due to cancer or other causes (such as adhesions from previous surgery) and to investigate gastrointestinal bleeding.

General surgeons can also be called on to operate when a patient with a hernia and or gallstones becomes acutely and seriously ill, and requires emergency surgery rather than a planned operation. We can also investigate unexplained pain in the abdomen, both acute and chronic, and we can treat abdominal trauma caused by accidental injury or violence.”

Mr Jonathan Wilson, Laparoscopic Surgery Specialist offers laparoscopic general surgery, including hernia repair, gallbladder removal to his NHS and private patients and as an emergency treatment within the NHS.

Laparoscopic general surgery

What happens?

Laparoscopic surgery is performed using four to five small incisions, which act as ports for a laparoscope (a fibre-optic camera) and three to four surgical instruments.

Since the late 1980s, we have seen the development of laparoscopic techniques in general surgery. These have several advantages for patients. Laparoscopic general surgery is also often called:

  • Minimally invasive general surgery
  • Keyhole general surgery

Types of laparoscopic general surgery

The techniques involved require considerable skill and experience; as a highly trained laparoscopic general surgeon, Mr Wilson is able to offer:

  • Laparoscopic hernia repair: this is available to patients with abdominal and groin hernias (inguinal, femoral, umbilical, epigastric, incisional). It has shorter recovery times, less pain after surgery and fewer complications such as wound infections compared to open surgery. Laparoscopic hernia repair techniques are also being used more often in more complex hernia cases.
  • Laparoscopic gallbladder removal: minimally invasive surgery is used to remove the gallbladder in patients with symptoms due to gallstones. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has significantly shorter recovery times, less scarring and patients experience less post-operative pain.
  • Specialised laparoscopic colorectal surgery: laparoscopic techniques are used in bowel surgery to treat bowel cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease and rectal prolapse.
  • Minimally invasive colorectal surgery for other conditions, such as haemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistulae, and pilonidal disease.