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Southern DHB General Surgery - Southland

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    The Department of General Surgery at Southland Hospital deals with:
    • conditions of the abdomen
    • vascular system
    • breast
    • neck
    • skin
    • includes trauma.
     
    Many conditions can be treated with ‘Key Hole’ surgery.

    General Surgery provides Inpatient and Outpatient services (Outpatient services by appointment only).

    An acute 24 hour service for emergencies is provided.
     
    What is General Surgery?
    The role of the General Surgical Department varies from hospital to hospital, but in broad terms general surgery can be said to deal with a wide range of conditions within the abdomen, breast, neck, skin and, in many hospitals, vascular (blood vessel) system.
     
    While the name would suggest that the focus of general surgery is to perform operations, often this is not the case. Many patients are referred to surgeons with conditions that do not need surgical procedures, but merely require counselling or medical treatment.

    Practitioners

    • Dr Alice Febery

      General Surgeon
    • Dr Jerry Glenn

      General Surgeon
    • Mr Murray Pfeifer

      General Surgeon
    • Associate Professor Konrad Richter

      Associate Professor Konrad Richter

      General Surgeon - Associate Professor
    • Mr Paul Samson

      Mr Paul Samson

      General Surgeon
    • Mr Julian Speight

      Mr Julian Speight

      General Surgeon
    Procedures

    Skin Disorders

    Skin conditions dealt with by general surgery include lumps, tumours and other lesions of the skin and underlying tissues. These are often fairly simple conditions that can be dealt with by performing minor operations under local anaesthetic (the area of skin being treated is numbed). Often these procedures are performed as outpatient or day case procedures.

    Endocrine Disorders

    Abnormalities of the endocrine system treated by general surgery include disorders of the pancreas and adrenal glands in the abdomen and the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the neck. These are often very complex conditions requiring extensive investigations. If surgery is required it is often quite complicated and will usually mean a stay in hospital for several days or even longer.

    Breast Disorders

    General surgery covers breast diseases including breast cancer. These conditions are often initially dealt with in a specialised breast clinic which is able to perform a number of investigations (e.g. mammography, ultrasound, needle biopsy) during the initial outpatient clinic visit.

    Gastrointestinal Disorders

    Conditions of the gut dealt with by general surgery include disorders of the oesophagus, stomach, small bowel, large bowel and anus. These range from complex conditions such as ulceration or cancer in the bowel through to fairly minor conditions such as haemorrhoids. Many of the more major conditions such as bowel cancer will require surgery, or sometimes treatment with medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

    Haemorrhoids are a condition where the veins under the lining of the anus are congested and enlarged. Less severe haemorrhoids can be managed with simple treatments such as injection or banding which can be performed in the clinic while larger ones will require surgery.

    Salivary Gland Disorders

    Disorders of the salivary glands may be dealt with by the general surgical department or the ENT (ORL) department depending on the local policy.

    Gallstones

    General surgery covers some disorders of the liver and biliary system. The most common of these is pain caused by gallstones. These are formed if the gallbladder is not working properly, and the standard treatment is to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy). This procedure is usually performed using a laparoscopic (keyhole) approach.

    Hernias

    A hernia exists where part of the abdominal wall is weakened, and the contents of the abdomen push through to the outside. This is most commonly seen in the groin area but can occur in other places. Surgical treatment is usually quite straightforward and involves returning the abdominal contents to the inside and then reinforcing the abdominal wall in some way.

    Vascular Disorders

    Vascular (blood vessel) disorders treated by general surgery include varicose veins, blockages and narrowings in the arteries or abnormal swellings of the arteries (aneurysm). The most common of these conditions facing the general surgeon is varicose veins. This occurs when veins in the legs and thighs become enlarged and twisted. This is often caused by the failure of the one-way valve system in the veins, in which case it can be treated surgically by removing the segments of veins containing the malfunctioning valves as well as those veins which are significantly dilated.