Understanding Health Conditions
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- Breast Cancer
- Vein Problems
- Gallbladder Surgery
- Carotid Surgery
- Colon Surgery (including colon cancer)
- Skin Malignancy
- Temporal Arteritis
- Adrenal Masses
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a "silent" problem because it usually causes no symptoms. A healthcare provider sometimes discovers it during a routine exam. More often, testing for unrelated problems may lead to the discovery of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Once found, your healthcare provider will order other tests to measure its size and follow its growth.
Your options for treatment depend on many factors. How big is the aneurysm? Is it growing? If so, how quickly? How is your overall health? Considering these and other factors can help you weigh the risks and benefits of each type of treatment.
Having breast cancer means that some cells in your breast are growing abnormally. Learning about the different types and stages of breast cancer can help you take an active role in your treatment.
Several types of surgery are used to treat breast cancer, including lumpectomy, simple mastectomy, and modified radical mastectomy. The goal of each is to remove the cancer. You and your surgeon will decide which approach is best for you.
Leg veins carry blood from your feet back to your heart. If a vein is damaged, blood flow back to the heart is reduced. As a result, you may develop vein problems in your legs.
Vein problems can cause leg conditions such as varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, or chronic venous insufficiency. Treatments may include home treatment, medications and/or surgery.
Hemorrhoid tissues are "cushions" of blood vessels that swell slightly during bowel movements. Too much pressure on the anal canal can make these tissues remain enlarged and cause symptoms. This can happen both inside and outside the anal canal.
If your symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend removing the hemorrhoid. This can be done in your doctor's office or at a surgical center. In most cases, no special preparation is needed. Keep in mind that your treatment may differ depending on your symptoms and the location of the hemorrhoid.
A hernia (or "rupture") is a weakness or defect in the wall of the abdomen. A hernia will not heal on its own. Surgery is needed to repair the defect in the abdominal wall. If not treated, a hernia can get larger. It can also lead to serious medical complications. Fortunately, hernia surgery can be done quickly and safely.
Painful attacks caused by gallstones may be treated by removing the gallbladder. This surgery is called cholecystectomy. Removing the gallbladder can relieve pain; it will also prevent future attacks. You can live a healthy life without your gallbladder. You may also be able to go back to eating foods you enjoyed before your gallbladder problems started.
Peripheral arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to the tissues outside the heart. As you age, your arteries become stiffer and thicker. In addition, risk factors, such as smoking and high cholesterol, can damage the artery lining. This allows plaque (a buildup of fat and other materials) to form within the artery walls. The buildup of plaque narrows the space inside the artery and sometimes blocks blood flow.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when blood flow through the arteries is reduced due to plaque buildup. It often happens in the legs and feet but can also occur elsewhere in the body. If this buildup occurs in the carotid artery (a large artery in the neck), it can be a major contributor to stroke. Peripheral artery bypass surgery may be recommended to bypass this blockage and create a new path for blood flow.
The colon (large intestine) is a muscular tube that forms the last part of the digestive tract. It absorbs water and stores food waste. The colon and rectum have a smooth lining composed of millions of cells. Changes that occur in the cells that line the colon or rectum can lead to growths called polyps. Over a period of years, polyps can turn cancerous. Removing polyps early may prevent cancer from ever forming.
After discussing your colon problem, you and your doctor may decide that laparoscopic treatment is right for you.
Common skin cancers, such as squamous and basal cell cancers, are commonly attributed to overexposure of the skin to the sun. as are some less common forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma. A biopsy will demonstrate what kind and size of skin cancer is present, and your surgeon will determine an appropriate plan to stage and treat the problem.
Temporal arteritis is inflammation and damage of the blood vessels that supply to the head. The temporal artery runs over the temple to the outside of the eye; if inflammation affects the arteries in your neck, upper body and arms, it is called giant cell arteritis. Blood work and a biopsy from the artery may be done to reach a diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan.
The adrenal glands are two small organs located near the kidneys. They produce hormones that help control bodily functions such as blood pressure and glucose levels. Adrenal masses may occur if hormones are produced in excess. In most cases, these tumors are benign and can be removed with laparoscopic surgery.