Common Types of Gastrointestinal Surgical Procedures

Gastrointestinal (GI) surgeries are performed to treat GI disorders including, gallbladder disease, colorectal cancer, tumors or inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and more. Your doctor may choose to perform the surgery as an open or minimally invasive procedure, depending on your health condition. 

Minimally Invasive GI Procedures

A minimally invasive or laparoscopic procedure allows your doctor to operate with smaller incisions and a tiny video camera. Benefits of this procedure include:

  • Less blood loss and pain
  • Smaller scars 
  • Lower risks of infection
  • Shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery time

Some common types of minimally invasive GI procedures include:

  • Colon and Rectal Surgery – Treats disorders of the large intestine, including the rectum, colon, and anus. 
  • Nephrectomy – Removes a diseased or cancerous kidney. 
  • Adrenalectomy – Removes growths in the adrenal glands, which are found on the top of the kidneys and produce hormones required for proper body functioning. 
  • Foregut Surgery – Treats conditions of the upper GI tract including, the stomach, upper portion of the small intestines, or esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach).
  • Appendectomy – Removes an infected appendix, the small finger-like pouch at the end of the large intestine.
  • Splenectomy – Removes the spleen. 
  • Hiatal Hernia Repair – Fixes paraesophageal hernias and Hiatal hernias. A hiatal hernia is an opening in the diaphragm (the muscle separating your chest from your abdomen) that shifts stomach or other abdominal organs into the chest, causing eating or breathing difficulty, heartburn, or chest or abdominal discomfort. 
  • Bariatric Surgery – Makes the stomach smaller to help with weight loss.
  • Pancreatic Surgery – Can be used in treating various pancreatic conditions. 
  • Cholecystectomy – Removes gallbladder to treat gallstones. 
  • Nissen – Treats severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as gastric reflux, strengthening the muscle that contracts to keep stomach acid away from the esophagus.  Chronic acid reflux patients often experience chest pain, a burning sensation in their throats, chests, mouth, sore throat, or difficulty swallowing. 
  • Retroperitoneum Surgery – Treats testicular cancer. 

Laparoscopic surgery offers a variety of benefits. But, sometimes an “open” procedure is better suited for the situation.

Open GI Procedures 

Open GI surgeries are performed with larger incisions, leading to larger scars, more pain, and longer hospital stays and recovery time. However, open surgery is a good option when your treatment site is inflamed, infected, or scarred from previous surgeries or if problems occur during laparoscopic surgery.  

Some open GI procedures are:

  • Appendectomy – An emergency surgery to remove the appendix. 
  • Whipple Procedure (Pancreaticoduodenectomy) – A complex surgery used to treat cancer or other pancreatic growths. 
  • Abdominal Surgery – Includes various procedures to diagnose or treat abdominal disorders. 
  • Roux-en-Y – Bypasses or connects the intestines to treat obesity or severe reflux. 
  • Adrenalectomy – Removes one or both adrenal glands.
  • Nissen fundoplication - Strengthens the muscle between the esophagus and stomach to treat severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux.

Contact us today to learn more about gastrointestinal (GI) tract surgery in Anchorage


Dr. Madhu Prasad, M.D., FACS

Dr. Madhu Prasad has over 30+ years of experience working as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist and providing the highest level of care in Anchorage, Alaska. He believes in providing quality care to patients and their families. Inspired by compassion and humanism, Dr. Prasad and his team work for the well-being of their patients.

Common Surgical Procedures

Comments are closed