April 9, 2021
Hernia Repair 101

A hernia is best explained as “a hole in the wall.”  It occurs when there is a defect or “hole” in the strength layer of your abdominal wall, which is called the fascia.  There are several different types of hernias and each must be treated accordingly.

Where do hernias typically occur?

A hernia most commonly occurs within the torso, between the chest and hips, often occurring in the groin or belly button. Sometimes, the underlying fat or an internal organ can protrude out through the “hole” and this results in a bulge.  That bulge can be painful at times, especially with physical activity.

What are the different types of hernias?

  • Inguinal hernia: This is a hernia that affects the inguinal canal—a passageway for spermatic cord and blood vessels leading to the testicles in men, and the round ligament that gives support for the womb in women. When a patient is suffering from an inguinal hernia, intestine or fatty tissue pokes into the groin near the top of the inner thigh. This type of hernia impacts men more often than women.
  • Femoral hernia: Similar to the inguinal hernia, the femoral hernia often protrudes through the groin at the top of the inner thigh. However, these are much less common than inguinal hernias and often affect older women.
  • Umbilical hernia: An umbilical hernia occurs when fatty tissue or part of the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall near the belly button.
  • Incisional hernia: After undergoing an abdominal or pelvic operation, it is possible for the tissue in this area to split open, allowing underlying tissue to push through the site of the scar, causing a hernia.
  • Epigastric hernia: When there is a defect in the fascia allowing fatty tissue to push through the abdominal wall between your belly button and your sternum, it’s called an epigastric hernia.
  • Spigelian hernia: This type of hernia occurs when there is a defect in the fascia on the sides of the abdomen and below the belly button.

How are hernias treated?

Hernias are repaired through surgery and are a commonly performed procedure by our board-certified general surgeons here at The Premier Surgical Network. There are two main types of hernia repair, open and laparoscopic.

Open hernia repair involves the surgeon creating an incision and identifying the hernia “sac,” which contains the bulging tissue. Then, the hernia is pushed back into the abdomen and the hernia defect of the abdominal wall is closed with stitches and/or synthetic mesh. Recovery is usually quick with this procedure; most patients return home a few hours after the surgery and may begin to feel better within a few days. However, the patient should not resume strenuous activity, exercise, or lifting for at least six weeks after the surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is one of the most minimally invasive ways to correct a hernia. The surgeon uses a laparoscope, which is a thin, telescope-like instrument that is inserted through a small incision in the patient’s abdominal wall or belly button (umbilicus). While this surgery is much less invasive than other options, it does require that the patient is under anesthesia. The patient does not feel any pain during this surgery and is left with very small scars. However, the patient should not resume strenuous activity, exercise, or lifting for at least six weeks after the surgery.

To set up an appointment or learn more about hernia repair surgery, call our office today: 844-973-0002

March 1, 2021
Genetic Testing & Counseling: What You Need to Know

At the Premier Surgical Network, we are proud to offer both genetic testing and counseling services to our patients to support them throughout their breast health journey. Our team of surgeons are here to help you every step of the way when making informed decisions about your health.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing is done for individuals who have a genetic predisposition for developing breast cancer in the future, such as a family history. The BRCA gene test utilizes DNA analysis to identify changes in certain genes. These mutations can signal one of the two most common breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2; Angelina Jolie and Christina Applegate raised public awareness regarding these genes. Both BRCA mutations are uncommon and make up only 5% to 10% of total breast cancer cases.  One of the genetic panels that we use is made by INVITAE, which tests for 47 genes, not just BRCA1 and BRCA2. When patients have multiple gene mutations present, their risk for breast cancer increases significantly. If you test positive for a mutation, our team of specialists can better evaluate the potential benefits of surgery and other forms of preventive treatment.

To learn more about genetic testing and to see if you may be a candidate for genetic testing, click here.

What counseling services are offered?

Upon finding out results from genetic testing, a patient may experience many different emotions if they receive a positive BRCA test result. Feeling scared, overwhelmed or upset is completely normal and your surgeon will be able to discuss all your options with you. Additionally, finding that the BRCA testing result is negative can also bring on feelings of uncertainty, or a feeling of “survivors’ guilt” if their family members either tested positive for the gene, or have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Our surgeons know how extremely difficult these emotions can be to deal with, and are here not only as your doctor, but as someone you can talk to while navigating your choices.

Patient Story

A patient of Dr. Anjeanette Brown recently underwent prophylactic mastectomies and a hysterectomy after discovering that she tested positive for a BRCA 1 mutation. Upon this discovery, she opted to have bilateral nipple sparing mastectomies and a hysterectomy to decrease her risk of developing cancer.

Many patients elect to have prophylactic, or preventative procedures for a number of reasons, the first reason being testing positive for the BRCA gene after going over their family history with their healthcare provider. Other patients choose to remove their second breast if they’ve already had cancer in the other breast, as a preventative measure for future cancers. Only after referral to the genetic counselor with an in-depth analysis, do our surgeons perform surgery. They also work with fertility doctors if the given patient is at a reproductive age.

Prophylactic mastectomies reduce the risk of developing cancer by 90 to 95% for patients with the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 mutation, so it is a great choice for patients who test positive for the gene. It also helps them reduce their anxiety or fear of developing breast cancer, so it has many psychological benefits as well.

However, our surgeons understand the psychological and emotional impact that mastectomies, prophylactic or not, can have on a patient. It is a huge decision to make and comes bearing other decisions as well, such as whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction. Our team is here for each patient throughout their breast care journey.

To schedule a consultation, please contact or office at (844)-973-0002 or visit our website premiersurgicalnetwork.com

January 31, 2021
Tips on Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
Did you know February is American Heart Month? In the US alone, about 500,000 open heart surgeries are performed each year. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in our country. This month and all year long, our physicians encourage implementing daily practices that help create a heart-healthy lifestyle. Check in with your diet. Making minor changes in your diet can impact your long-term health. Your diet is the best tool to use in… Read More
January 4, 2021
New Year’s Resolutions For Your Best Health
As 2020 was not a year we were sad to say goodbye to, we want to start off 2021 in the best way possible! Join us in making this year a healthy and happy one with some tips from the surgeons of Premier Surgical Network.   Go to your regular or annual doctor’s appointments. Make it a point to schedule regular appointments like the doctor, dentist and eye doctor. Your body needs to be upkept and tended to in order… Read More
December 2, 2020
Ways to Combat the Winter Blues
The “winter blues” affect many people each year; this year being no exception. With the large impact that COVID-19 still has around the world, the winter months may be exceptionally difficult for many. It is imperative to keep your mental health in check during these months, and there are several ways you can boost your mood when the days are shorter and colder. Get outside when weather allows. Even though it’s less enjoyable to be outside when temperatures become frigid,… Read More
November 19, 2020
COVID-19 Breast Screening Update
Premier Surgical Network is proud to follow the American Cancer Society’s breast screening guidelines during COVID-19. While we understand that this can be a very difficult and overwhelming time for many, we would like to remind you that your breast health is a priority. Women at average risk for breast cancer should have annual screening breast mammography starting at age 45, and women ages 40-44 should also begin annual screening if they choose. During COVID-19, there has been an estimated… Read More
September 30, 2020
Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast Cancer Awareness month is celebrated each October. Breast Cancer is something that has impacted us deeply. As breast surgeons, this month means so much to us. We strive to provide compassionate care to our patients and their families as we navigate their treatment plan, surgery, and post-operative care. Breast Cancer Awareness Month allows us all to come together to support a common goal: The fight against Breast Cancer. This month, each of our surgeons answered a very important and… Read More
September 2, 2020
Lifestyle Modifications for Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast Cancer is something that has affected so many people and impacted our lives in some way or another. As with many cancers, there are several risk factors besides family history that impact this disease. On the topic of Health & Fitness Day, Dr. Ann Chuang details the correlation of breast cancer and living a healthy lifestyle. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Most of these women do not have a family history of… Read More
June 3, 2020
June is National Hernia Awareness Month
National Hernia Awareness Month is observed each June. Hernias can be described as abnormal bulges created by a weakness or a hole, usually in the abdominal wall or groin. It occurs when an internal organ, such as the bowel or bladder, extends through the wall of the muscle or tissue where it normally resides. A bulge in the abdomen or groin caused by a hernia is a common condition in both men and women and can range from pain-free to… Read More
May 15, 2020
How to Make your Health a Priority during National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day every year to remind women to take care of themselves and to make their health a priority, especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has several recommendations including getting the suggested screenings and preventative care, which may be delayed due to the pandemic. As health care providers, we hope that we will be able to resume breast cancer screenings as soon as possible. If… Read More