A general surgeon is one who provides a range of elective and emergency surgical care covering a range of different anatomical
areas and organ systems. Many general surgeons, such as myself, also have a specialist interest, and in some cases the lines
between general and specialty surgery are not distinct.
The commonest general surgical conditions I see are hernias, skin lumps and bumps and pilonidal disease, although I have discussed some conditions often regarded as general surgery in other areas. Please click on the link to find out more about these conditions
Hernias are weak areas of the abdominal wall and are very common, more so in men, although we do not really know what causes them in many cases. There are lots of types of hernias, the commonest types being groin (inguinal or femoral) or midline (umbilical or epigastric) herni- as, although other rarer types do exist. The most frequent reasons for people to see their GP about hernias are pain or concern about the presence of a new, unidentified lump.
The only definitive treatment for hernias is an operation to close the weak area, and often this involves using an artificial piece of mesh for reinforcement. Not all hernias need to be repaired, however, especially if they are longstanding, smaller and not causing any symptoms or affecting your quality of life.
What can I expect in clinic?
In your clinic appointment, I will make a full assessment, including examination of your hernia (or hernias) and make a recommendation as to whether surgery would be advisable. If we do decide that at present surgery is not needed, then of course this can be revisited down the line if the situation changes. If surgery is advisable then I will discuss the procedure and any potential side effects in detail.
LUMPS AND BUMPS
Lumps in or just below the skin are very common. Most do not give any symptoms and the vast majority are benign. People tend to report them if they are particularly large, unsightly, get in the way (such as catching on clothing or when shaving), if they cause symptoms such as itching or pain, or simply because they have noticed a new lump and are concerned about it.
What causes these lumps?
The two commonest superficial lumps that I see are sebaceous cysts which arise from glands in the skin that become blocked and swell, and fatty lumps called lipomas. Sometimes it is necessary to do further tests such as an ultrasound or MRI scan to get a detailed picture of what the lump is and where it is coming from.
Do I need to have surgery?
An operation is usually the only way to get rid of these lumps, however in many cases simple reassurance that it is a benign problem is all that is needed. If it is causing problems and needs to be removed then I will discuss this with you in clinic in more detail. Usually they are