Hernia patients who seek treatment immediately are more likely to enjoy a quick recovery

One of the more common conditions treated by NCMA’s General Surgery physicians involves hernia repair surgery using laparoscopic surgery. While the national statics indicate most people wait to treat a new hernia, best outcomes among NCMA patients occur for those who seek treatment sooner rather than later.

Hernia repairs have always been common and routine surgical procedures and technologies to treat hernias have advanced as a result. Information provided by the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that more than five million Americans currently suffer from a hernia – and three million new cases are reported annually. While the only effective treatment for a hernia is surgery, only about 750,000 Americans will actually seek treatment.

What is a Laparoscopic Procedure?

A laparoscopic or ‘minimally invasive’ surgical procedure is a technologically advanced option to traditional or open surgery – giving patients the opportunity to enjoy a quicker recovery. Laparoscopic surgery makes it possible to treat conditions like hernias using very small incisions, usually only millimeters in length. The general surgery physician then incorporates the use of specialized surgical instruments including a laparoscope – or a fiber-optic instrument – that is inserted in the abdominal wall. This device transmits images to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the operative area on the screen.

Dr. Allen Cortez, General and Laparoscopic Surgery / Trauma Care“The minimally invasive approach to hernia repair is preferable to open surgery,” said NCMA General & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Allen W. Cortez, MD. “A hernia can be painful, unsightly and if left untreated can cause life threatening complications. I recommend that patients with hernia symptoms seek treatment sooner, rather than taking the wait-and-see approach.”

The minimally invasive approach to hernia surgery makes it possible for patients to be treated on an outpatient basis using local or epidural anesthesia rather than general anesthesia – expediting the recovery process. Surgery can take less than 45 minutes to complete and patients usually go home within a few hours of surgery, and are able to return to normal activities in only a few days.

What causes a hernia?

Hernias are generally caused by a weakness in the abdominal wall or groin area, and there are many causes for a hernia, including:

• age
• chronic coughing
• pregnancy
• constipation
• lifting heavy weight
• sudden weight gain

Hernias can also be congenital in nature, and those usually involve the belly button or appear as umbilical hernias, groin or inguinal hernias. Patients are especially susceptible to hernias following abdominal surgery which can weaken the tissue surrounding abdominal muscles, leading to a breach or separation. Women who undergo C-sections or hysterectomies, or men who have abdominal surgeries are most susceptible.

If left untreated, hernias can become so advanced that they require emergency surgery. A hernia becomes a particularly serious issue when it protrudes to the point that it cannot be pushed back into the abdomen or groin.

When to Consult a Physician

Patients need to seek treatment any time a newly discovered lump in the abdominal wall or groin area appears. These types of symptoms are also accompanied by pain and obvious swelling. “Patients who opt to wait to see a physician risk the hernia becoming larger which can be more difficult to repair,” explains Dr. Cortex. “If we can catch it in the early stages, it’s a much less involved surgery, but if it becomes larger and protrudes through the intestinal wall even more, complications are possible.”

NCMA’s General Surgery Team treat and manage a full spectrum of surgical procedures. In addition to general surgery services, physicians also have expertise, special interest and experience in the following areas: colon and rectal surgery, endocrine surgery, surgical oncology, trauma surgery and vascular surgery. For more information visit our website or call (707) 579-2100.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group joins NCMA

Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) welcomes Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group to its model healthcare organization. Women’s OB/GYN has built a first-rate obstetrics and gynecology practice for Santa Rosa women and their families, and the practice is excited to offer patients access to NCMA’s full range of specialty health services.

NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

Santa Rosa, Calif., July 2014 — In keeping with its goal of providing Northern California with a comprehensive network of state-of-the-art health services from leading specialists in a full-spectrum of medical fields, NCMA is proud to welcome Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group to its ever-growing practice. For nearly 25 years, Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has offered a comprehensive selection of premier obstetrics and gynecology services to women in the North Bay Area. An all-women practice, Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has fostered a safe, comfortable environment for women where practitioners fully comprehend patient needs and expectations. The practice offers an elite team of doctors, midwives, nurses, and medical assistants that coordinates care to provide unmatched OB/GYN health services to its patients.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s elite physicians include Amita Kachru, MD, and Shazah Khawaja, MD. The doctors at this practice share in the whole-body care philosophy, meaning that they always strive to find the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems rather than simply treating the symptoms. Drs. Kachru and Khawaja carry specialty expertise in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, uro-gynecologic procedures, as well as general obstetrics and gynecology care.

The providers at Women’s OB/GYN also offer pregnancy care in collaboration with certified nurse midwives (CNMs). CNMs are specially trained in providing healthcare to pregnant women from conception through labor and delivery. Many women opt to have CNMs serve as their primary healthcare providers during pregnancy. Maximizing the birth experience and the health of newborns and their mothers is a CNM’s primary goal for pregnant patients. Achieving this goal requires expert knowledge about the gestation period and birthing process, as well as heightened empathy between providers and their patients. By working in close collaboration with the practice’s physicians, Women’s OB/GYN CNMs serve as the perfect health resource for pregnant women whom prefer to involve the personal touch of a midwife during their pregnancies.

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group, located at 500 Doyle Park Drive, Ste. 103 in Santa Rosa, is currently accepting new patients. From pregnancy, menopause, minimally invasive surgery, incontinence, and regular gyn and breast health screenings, the team of health professionals at Women’s OB/GYN is committed to both alleviating patient ailments and maximizing patient long-term health. Visit www.womensobgynmed.com for more information on the practice’s services and providers.

To start care with a knowledgeable OB/GYN physician who will always treat you with compassion and expertise, call (707)-579-1102 to schedule an appointment today.

Northern California Medical Associates is the premier provider of medical and surgical care north of the Golden Gate and has been serving individuals and families since 1975. In addition to OB/GYN health services, NCMA offers exceptional care in cardiology, cardiovascular/thoracic surgery, internal and family medicine, urology, vascular surgery, endovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, rheumatology, podiatry, pulmonology, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat). Every highly skilled professional comprising the NCMA team shares a strong commitment to preventive programs and health screening designed to promote and maintain everyday health. NCMA has successfully built a legacy of excellence that is recognized nationwide.

For a complete listing NCMA services and physicians in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, visit NCMAhealth.com.