General Surgery Q & A

Below are our archive of questions and answers in General Surgery.

Question 5/7/02: My daughter, age 37, is severely overweight. Because of health issues, her physician has recommended Gastric Bypass Surgery. We checked and her insurance will not cover this. She is a Teacher and cannot afford the $14,000 that the Baptist Hospital wants for that surgery. Is this performed in Jonesboro, and what are the arrangements if insurance will not pay, and it is a "have to" surgery??
Answer: Thank you very much for your question concerning the gastric bypass operation. The operation is done in Jonesboro by Dr. Bruce Jones. He is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery. The operation can be done at St. Bernard's Medical Center. The cost is variable. The average cost can be found by enquiring at the St. Bernard's Medical Center business office. Certainly, time payment arrangements can be made. Thank you very much for your inquiry. NEA Clinic - (870) 932-4875 (for appointment)

Question 5/4/2002: I was diagnosed about 2 years ago with GERD. I was prescribed raininitine(sp) which I took faithful. It did not help. Was then put on Prilosec and it seemed to help for a little while. Was then changed again to Protonix. Was on that for several months. About 4 months ago I had the camera down the throat test, and found a huge ulcer. Was then put on Nexium. I still have severe pains in my stomach. I take my meds right. How much longer do I have to suffer from this?
Thank you for your question concerning Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It sounds as though you have had quite a difficult time. I am not clear from your question whether the ulcer that was recently found is in your esophagus or in your stomach. Ulcer disease of the stomach is a chronic problem, which waxes and wanes; that is, ulcers will occur and then heal with appropriate medication, and they may return again. It has been found that ulcers in the stomach are related to a germ called Helicobacter, and when folks are discovered to have an ulcer, every effort should be made to eradicate this germ from the person. Several medications taken simultaneously over about a two-week period are required. However, treatment for stomach ulcer is now generally quite successful. An ulcer in the esophagus is a different story. Such an ulcer usually occurs from significant reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. This ulcer should respond to medications such as you have been taking and should completely heal. Unfortunately, that medicine will then be required indefinitely, since the reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus will continue to occur. If long-term use of the medication is not satisfactory, for one reason or another, there is a very good operation (which usually can be done laparoscopically) to create a new valve between the esophagus and the stomach and prevent the acid reflux. A patient information brochure on this procedure (laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication) may be picked up in our office at 800 S. Church, Suite 104, Jonesboro, Arkansas. Very Sincerely Yours, K. Bruce Jones, M.D., F.A.C.S. NEA Clinic - (870) 932-4875 (for appointment)