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General and Gastrointestinal Surgery

at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

General and Gastrointestinal Surgery

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital's board certified general surgeons offer advanced surgical care for patients with a variety of conditions affecting the appendix, colon and rectum, esophagus, intestines, liver and gallbladder, spleen, stomach, thyroid and adrenal glands. We have special expertise in the repair of a variety of hernias. We are also happy to take care of minor problems of the skin and superficial tissues all over the body. Approaches to each patient are individually designed, offering minimally invasive surgery options for many patients that result in smaller incisions, less pain, shorter or no hospital stays and improved outcomes.

Common general surgical procedures performed at BWFH include:


A hernia is a protrusion of an internal organ or tissue through a weakness in the body’s muscular wall. A combination of muscle weakness or strain caused by lifting, weight gain, constipation or straining during bowel movements may cause or contribute to a hernia. If severe enough, normal activities may be painful. The vast majority of hernias occur in the abdomen. They are very common, and affect men and women of all ages.

There are several types of hernias:

Abdominal Wall
Incisional: These occur at the site of a previous incision.
Umbilical: These occur at the navel.
Epigastric or Ventral: These usually occur above the navel below the breastbone.

Inguinal: These occur in the groin and are far more common in males.
Femoral: These occur low in the groin and are far less common overall and seen more often in females.

The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm.
Hiatal hernias are often associated with gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).
Some are paraesophageal (next to the esophagus).
Most commonly treated using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Treatment is usually elective hernia surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall. Board certified general surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital perform hundreds of simple and complex hernia operations each year. Our surgeons continue to perfect the use of minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair. Some hernias can be repaired using small incisions and laparoscopic techniques that result in less post-surgical pain and a quicker recovery.

Surgeons at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital are the same surgeons you find at Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as faculty members at Harvard Medical School. They are also committed to training the next generation of surgeons through our Surgical Residency and Fellowship Programs.

Intestinal Conditions

The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is a long tube in the digestive system that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. Food travels from the mouth down the GI tract and is digested by the body or expelled as feces. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for chronic inflammatory disorders of the small intestine and large intestine, also known as the bowels. The most common disorders are Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and regional enteritis.

Liver, Gallbladder and Bile Duct Conditions

Located on the right side of the abdomen under the ribs, the liver is one of the largest and most important organs in the body, essential for digesting food, storing energy and removing toxins. The hepatobiliary or biliary system refers to the liver, the gallbladder and the bile ducts and how they work together to make bile which aids in digestion.

Board certified surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital are among the world’s leaders in hepatobiliary surgery, with expertise in diagnosing and treating a range of conditions, from common disorders such as gallstones, to complex bile duct stones and rare liver and gallbladder cancers. Our surgeons pioneered and continue to perfect the use of minimally invasive surgery techniques, including laparoscopic bile duct exploration and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) and cholecystectomy.

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.

Learn more about BWFH