Listed below are the major subspecialties within our group. At the bottom of each description you will find additional reading links from WebMD to provide further education. If you have questions, write them down and bring them to your appointment so you can ask the doctor.
You can also contact us online at any time.
Surgery of the abdomen and its contents is at the core of general surgical practice. Surgical treatment of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, spleen, gallbladder, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, adrenal glands and aorta are all in the scope of our expertise. Diseases of these organs requiring surgical treatment are many, but are usually due to pain, bleeding, infection, blockage, injury or cancer.
Breast disease, especially breast cancer, is a common problem. Mammograms and breast ultrasound are being used more frequently to detect abnormalities. The physicians of Surgical Specialists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases. We provide ultrasound exams, needle biopsies and surgeries of various types. Our goal is to provide early and accurate diagnosis, followed by a clear treatment plan that our surgeons can monitor and control, ensuring the highest quality care for our patients.
In the case of breast cancer, we will see that you receive a diagnosis quickly, with a full explanation of the treatment options available. We will coordinate your care with other physicians and will help direct your treatment. We will provide referrals to cancer physicians (oncologists) and radiation doctors when appropriate. We may also combine our efforts with plastic surgeons when breast reconstruction is part of the treatment plan. Our goal is to see that you have the best treatment available for your condition.
Several of the surgeons in our group have been leaders in Sentinel Node Biopsy trials. This is a less invasive method of sampling the underarm lymph nodes. Women who are appropriate candidates to enter the studies can do so through Charlotte Surgical.
Cancer is one of the most common reasons that a person requires an operation. Some of these procedures are relatively simple and some may be large operations requiring a longer hospital stay.
Some of the cancers we commonly operate for include: melanoma and other skin cancers, breast cancer, colon and rectal cancers, cancers of the stomach and intestinal tract, pancreatic cancer, liver and bile duct cancers, sarcomas and other muscle or fatty tissue cancers, thyroid cancer, adrenal cancer and others. We also commonly perform diagnostic biopsies by sampling tissue in the office or in the operating room. We also frequently remove lymph nodes from the neck, underarm (axilla) or groin (inguinal) or other areas in order to diagnose, stage, or locally control a cancer.
As you can see, cancer operations form a large part of our practice, and we deal with cancer patients every day. We try to provide special care and attention to our cancer patients, and provide them with appropriate referrals to medical oncologists and radiation oncologists as necessary.
This is another large segment of our practice. All surgeons in our group participate in the treatment of these diseases. Colorectal disorders, which require surgical treatment, include colon cancer and polyps, colonic bleeding, diverticular disease, volvulus (twisting) of the colon, ischemic (gangrenous) colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis), hemorrhoids, perianal abscess and fistula, Anal fissure, rectal prolapse and others. Sometimes the problem may be successfully treated non-surgically.
It is common for us to work with a gastroenterologist (intestinal doctor) in treating these diseases.
Endocrine glands include the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas and adrenal. These organs produce hormones which have important effects in regulating body functions. Surgical treatment of these glands may be for cancer or because a gland is producing too much of a certain hormone.
Endoscopy is the practice of using a flexible lighted camera to enter the intestinal tract from above (to look at the esophagus, stomach and small intestine) and below (to look at the colon and rectum).
Many of the surgeons at Surgical Specialists practice endoscopy and are able to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases endoscopically. These procedures may be used to investigate abdominal pain or bleeding, examine for ulcers and esophageal reflux, check for and remove polyps, or to discover and biopsy cancers.
The procedures are usually done with sedation but do not require full anesthesia. All the area hospitals have their own endoscopy areas, which adds to your convenience.
A hernia is a separation or opening in the abdominal wall muscles which is not supposed to be there. This is an extremely common condition. The hernia may exist in many different locations, but most are in the groin (inguinal or femoral), under the belly-button (umbilical) or arising through an old incision (ventral or incisional). Hernias cause pain and can be disabling. In addition, intestine can sometimes become trapped within the hernia which can be a surgical emergency.
Hernias may be fixed in many different ways. Sometimes a laparoscopic approach works well, and sometimes the traditional ways are more appropriate.
Sometimes mesh (plastic) is used to provide strength and reinforcement to the repair. Hernias are a problem that we see often, and are experts at fixing.
Laparoscopic surgery allows the surgeon to perform a procedure using small incisions, visualizing the site through a small telescope-like instrument: the laparoscope. The benefits to the patient is that smaller incisions heal with less discomfort. This usually results in a shorter hospital stay, and less time away from normal activities.
Physicians at Surgical Specialists often perform laparoscopic surgery for:
Some of these procedures many be performed on an outpatient basis (hernias, gallbladders).
Skin cancers such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are common problems, particularly in older people. The latter two can usually be dealt with by surgical excision alone. Melanoma is a more serious skin cancer which can be fatal if not removed in the early stages. Moles which have very dark pigmentation, are growing, bleeding or changing should be examined and excised.
We also treat all sorts of "lumps and bumps," usually in the office under local anesthesia. Lipomas (fatty tumors) and cysts are extremely common skin disorders curable by excision. Chronic skin infections may also sometimes by treated surgically (hidradenitis suppurativa). Rare, severe skin infections with dead tissue are treated by radical operations with subsequent skin grafting (necrotizing fasciitis).
Surgical Specialists of Charlotte provides all trauma care on a 24-hour basis for Presbyterian Hospital. We are trained in emergency care of accident victims including emergency surgery for life threatening chest and abdominal trauma. We direct and coordinate the care of all severely injured patients in the initial stage of resuscitation, and often throughout the hospitalization. This may include car and motorcycle accidents, falls, gunshot and stab wounds, burns, assault and occupational injuries.
Several of our doctors also provide Level One Trauma coverage at CMC Hospital in downtown Charlotte and work with the teaching service there.
Several of our surgeons specialize in vascular surgery. This is the practice of treating diseases of the circulatory system – arteries and veins. Treatment may or may not include surgery. Sometimes a minimally invasive procedure can be done. Types of procedures typically performed are bypass surgery for blocked arteries, repair of aneurysms (dilated arteries), removal or chemical treatment of varicose veins, and others.
Varicose veins are enlarged veins, usually in the legs, which are diseased and do not function properly. They are often painful and and can lead to permanent changes in the skin and tissues in the lower legs and ankles, sometimes leading to ulcers and dark discoloration. In addition, varicose veins can be unflattering and unsightly, making some people less willing to wear skirts or shorts for fear of their appearance.
Non-operative methods of treating varicose veins include pressure stockings, but these do not treat the underlying problem. Our surgeons can diagnose and treat varicose veins; from very large to very small "spider" veins. New minimally invasive ablation treatment of incompetent veins practiced here allows less pain and quicker recovery. Larger veins which need to be removed can usually be done with tiny incisions. Smaller veins can often be injected and treated in the office with excellent cosmetic results. Ultrasound studies can be conducted here by our surgeons to determine which treatments will be best for your vein problems. If you need more information or for an evaluation please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Treatment of wounds and skin infections is a large part of our practice. These may include diabetic ulcers, gangrene, venous ulcers, and wounds from injuries. In addition from expertise in dressing care, we may provide surgical treatment such as debridement (cleaning), skin grafting, arterial bypass or amputation.