General Surgery

General Surgery

Your decision to have general surgery is only the beginning. You and your doctor will also talk about how the procedure will be performed. Most surgeries can be performed several different ways.

You may have the option to have the surgery performed conventionally or with a minimally invasive approach. Each choice has pros and cons for your particular situation. Discuss these with your surgeon.

“Minimally invasive” describes a collection of techniques that allows a doctor to perform an operation with a smaller opening and much less trauma to your body than traditional surgery. The two most common kinds of minimally invasive surgery are laparoscopic and robotic.

  • In laparoscopic surgery, the doctor makes one or more tiny incisions and inserts temporary tubes (known as ports) into the openings. Then, a doctor will use these tubes to guide a camera, or laparoscope, and surgical instruments to the surgical site.Laparoscopic surgery has been in existence for more than a century. It started to grow in the 1980s with technology that reduced the size of the camera and other surgical equipment. The incisions are so small that it is sometimes called “Band-Aid surgery.”
  • Robotic surgery uses computers to operate tools at the end of a robotic arm. Like laparoscopic surgery, the doctor also uses a tiny camera inside the body to see the surgical site. St. Dominic’s has a highly experienced robotics team and more robots than any hospital in the state.

Both types of minimally invasive surgery have less risk of infection, less pain and shorter recovery times. Discuss with your surgeon the pluses and minuses of these different approaches. As technology advances, so do your options for safe, effective surgery.

Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physicians often provide both medical and surgical care. The field covers diseases of the ears, nose, sinuses, larynx, mouth, throat, and other areas in the mouth and face.

ENT physicians at St. Dominic’s are board-certified in otolaryngology- head and neck surgery by the American Board of Otolaryngology and have more than 100 years of combined practice experience.


Ear surgery can help address hearing loss, infections, balance disorders, ear noise (tinnitus) and some cranial nerve disorders. In one common ear surgery, a tube inserted into the ear can help relieve infections due to fluid build-up.


Surgery on the nose can be done for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Common medical conditions that can require surgery are cancer or breathing difficulties. Cosmetic surgery to reshape the nose is a common surgical procedure a few of the St. Dominic’s ENT physicians perform, although the most common procedure performed is for proper sinus function.


Throat surgery usually is undertaken to remove growths or correct other problems. It includes procedures to the voice box (larynx) and upper part of the digestive system.
Head and neck

ENT physicians can treat benign and malignant tumors, injuries, and other impairments of the face.

Neurological surgery involves operations of the nervous system: the brain, the spinal cord and nerves. Neurosurgery is usually performed to address a medical condition or to relieve pain. Doctors on staff at St. Dominic provide a full range of traditional and minimally invasive neurosurgery.

Procedures on the spine are a very common example of neurosurgery. Back surgery is usually done after you and your doctor have tried other options to relieve pain.

Back surgery often is caused by problems with a disc, a gel-like capsule between sections of the spine called vertebrae. Spinal fusion cements together two or more sections of your spine so that they no longer rub together. There may be some loss in flexibility, but the goal is to reduce pain brought on by movement. Short of spinal fusion, a doctor may operate on the disc or relieve pressure on nerves that are irritated.

Craniotomies open the skull to allow a doctor to operate directly on the brain. Usually, magnetic resonance imaging or X-rays are used to determine exactly where to operate. Many brain procedures can be done with minimally invasive techniques.

The carpal tunnel consists of a tube-like structure that protects important nerves in your wrist and hand. Carpal tunnel surgery cuts a ligament in this structure and relieves pressure on the nerve. This surgery is very common, but usually done only after other, non-surgery options have not worked. The surgery can be either traditional or minimally invasive.

Orthopedic surgery treats diseases and injuries of the bone and related muscles, joints and ligaments. At St. Dominic’s, our Joint Center is a Blue Cross Blue Shield Distinction® Center of Excellence for Knee and Hip Replacement and Spine Surgery. The designation is given to hospitals that demonstrate better outcomes and fewer readmissions.

Physicians at St. Dominic’s can treat the full range of orthopedic conditions. Many of these surgeries can be minimally invasive or done on an outpatient basis. A separate subspecialty, St. Dominic’s Sports Medicine, focuses on injuries and conditions common in competitive athletes with special outreach to high school students.

Plastic surgery can be either reconstructive or cosmetic. Reconstructive surgery helps restore a person’s appearance after illness or injury, such as after a mastectomy. Cosmetic surgery enhances one’s appearance and usually doesn’t affect functioning. Laser surgery uses concentrated light energy to help sculpt the body and smooth the skin.

St. Dominic’s plastic surgeons are affiliated with Mississippi Premier Plastic Surgery, a full-range medical practice with offices on St. Dominic’s campus. All of Mississippi Premier’s surgeons can admit patients to St. Dominic’s when an overnight stay is required. They work closely with St. Dominic’s entire hospital staff to provide personalized and high-quality care.

Urology surgery involves procedures for reproductive system and urinary tract. Many of these procedures can be minimally invasive and done on an outpatient basis.

  • Prostate surgery: a variety of procedures usually done robotically, including surgery, to remove all or part of the prostate gland
  • Ureteroscopy and cystoscopy: procedures that use a thin tube threaded through the urethra to look at the ureters, urethra, kidneys and bladder
  • Lithotripsy for kidney stones: typically an outpatient procedure; it uses shock waves to break up stones in the kidney, bladder or ureter
  • Bladder surgery: a variety of procedures; often surgery removes all or part of the bladder as part of cancer treatment

St. Dominic’s surgery for women complements the full range of services offered through our Women’s Surgery Center. The full range of surgical services is available at St. Dominic’s:

  • Hysterectomy: removal of the uterus
  • Endometrial ablation: destruction (ablation) of the uterus for therapeutic purposes
  • Endometrial biopsy: removal of a small tissue sample for laboratory analysis
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP): removal of abnormal tissue with a thin wire carrying an electrical current
  • Urogynecological procedures: surgery to address urinary and fecal incontinence and other conditions
  • Prolapse surgery: procedure to reverse a dropping (prolapse) of pelvic organs
  • Gynecologic oncology: cancer surgery of the reproductive system
  • Breast surgery: surgery on the breast for therapeutic or cosmetic reasons

For women facing breast cancer, St. Dominic’s also offers the Hands of Hope Boutique located on the hospital campus. There you can find solutions to all prosthesis, garment and personal care needs.

Women’s health care needs are unique at all stages of life. At our Madison campus, the St. Dominic’s Women’s Health and Healing Center addresses the full range of services in a new, convenient location.