SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- With an abundance of new technology, less invasive procedures and highly skilled surgeons, abdominal surgery has become safer and more practical for Americans over the last decade.
"Abdominal surgery is much different than it was years ago," said Dr. Har Chi Lau, of Hudson Valley Surgical Group, Minimally Invasive Center in Sleepy Hollow. "In the old days, we didn't have CT scans or laparoscopic surgery, so doctors would go directly to open surgery if they thought you had appendicitis or another abdominal problem."
Instead of undergoing open surgery to discover the cause of pain in the abdomen, surgeons can now use radiographic imaging or laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery to get a clearer picture. Technology has increased so dramatically that in some cases, doctors can help locate and resolve an issue and avoid open surgery altogether.
"Before I even take an X-ray, I always take a good medical history of my patient," said Lau. "Then, based on that medical history and the exam we decide whether to obtain imaging studies. Examining a patient really gives insight to where we know what needs to happen next."
Some of the more common abdominal procedures Dr. Lau performs are colon, hernia, gallbladder, stomach and appendectomy surgery. However, while technology has improved abdominal surgery, the skill and experience of a surgeon is still invaluable. "The more experience a surgeon has, the more likely a patient is going to get through a surgery uneventfully," said Lau. “And with the use of our unique minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopic approaches we have mastered keeping surgery to a minimum, limiting how much actually gets cut.”
Lau explains that while CT scans and other rendering technology has streamlined abdominal surgery, having an experienced doctor see the problem in the flesh is always the best option.
"You want an experienced abdominal surgeon, someone who knows how to maneuver around the abdomen," he said. "Much like the Grand Canyon, you can look at a picture of it but it's never the same as looking at with your eyes. That same principle applies to an experienced surgeon with a surgical case."
To learn more about abdominal procedures available, visit HVSG's website.