Category: News

Minimally Invasive Gallbladder Surgery

gallbladder surgery incision siteYour gallbladder is an organ that stores bile to help you digest fat. Sometimes the gallbladder can become inflamed, infected or blocked. If these ailments occur, your physician may suggest minimally invasive gallbladder surgery, called Cholecystectomy. It’s one of the procedures most commonly performed by the physicians of Premier Surgical Lawson Group in Johnson City, TN.

Process of Minimally Invasive Gallbladder Surgery

During minimally invasive gallbladder surgery, a surgeon removes the gallbladder with precision instruments through either a small incision in the belly button or a few small incisions. One of the instruments used has a small camera attached to it, which allows the surgeon to take pictures inside the body to guide the operation.

Benefits of a da Vinci Cholecystectomy

There are many benefits to da Vinci surgery, including:

  • Low rate of complications
  • Minimal, if any, scarring from the surgery
  • Minimal pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Low rate of wound infection

Risks of Minimally Invasive Cholecystectomy

Every surgery comes with risk. If you are undergoing a minimally invasive Cholecystectomy, there are a few risks to keep in mind, such as:

  • Potential injury to small and large intestine
  • Urinary retention
  • Hernia at the incision site
  • Potential bile duct injury

If you’ve been recommended for gallbladder removal surgery, your Premier Surgical Lawson Group surgeon will discuss whether you are a candidate for a minimally invasive cholecystectomy. Call our office at (423) 975-5650 to request a surgical consultation.

We’re moving!

Starting June 5th Permier Surgical Lawson Group will be located at
101 Med Tech Parkway, Suite 405 in Johnson City.

Get directions to our new office, view our hours, and meet with our surgeons.


5 Surprising Truths About The Gallbladder

It’s hardly surprising that most people never even mention their gallbladder, or even know it’s there unless it gives them problems. Gallstones would be one of those problems, and they are quite painful. Our gallbladder helps us digest fatty foods, but we don’t really need it. While that certainly seems surprising, it’s not the only fun fact. So, the team at Premier Surgical Lawson Group at our surgery center in Johnson City, TN, is sharing 5 surprising truths about the gallbladder.

Truth # 1: Even Though The Gallbladder Has A Purpose, We Don’t Really Need It

The gallbladder stores bile secreted from the liver and is capable of storing 30 to 50 ml of liquid. Located under the liver, the gallbladder helps us to digest fats. After eating fatty foods, it releases bile and deflates to become smaller.gallbladder surgery in the tri-cities

The surprising truth is that if the gallbladder is removed, it doesn’t necessarily affect our digestion. We would need to watch how much fat we eat afterwards, and our body will still produce bile, but now it will go directly from the liver into the small intestine. We will have a greater risk of hepatic or liver problems due to the impaired digestion of fats, but we can still live a healthy life.

Truth # 2: Our Gallbladder Was Probably More Important Centuries Ago

Most meat eating animals have a gallbladder, and since primitive man was a hunter, his meals came in spurts. He might catch an animal and gorge on the creature all at once with no food in between the next big catch. The meals were larger and fewer than we enjoy today.  That’s a lot of fat to digest all at once.

Today, besides helping us to digest fats in our food, our gallbladder also helps us to digest fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.  So the gallbladder has a function even for vegetarians.

Truth # 3: Quirky Facts From Eastern Medicine And The West

Centuries ago in China, bold and brave people were thought to have a “big gallbladder.” It was associated with strength.

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates believed that our temperament was influenced by 4 Humours: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood. He also believed that disease was caused by an imbalance in these humours, and for example, the yellow bile made people irritable.

By the Middle Ages gall became a synonym for bile, which also meant “embittered spirit.” Then, in the late 19th century, the word gall became known as having boldness or impudence.  Modern English uses the word gall like : “He has a lot of gall to say that.”

Truth # 4: Record Setting Number Of Gallstones Was In The Thousands

People who suffer from gallstones normally have anywhere from 2 to 20 stones, and that is painful enough. Imagine the pain of the poor woman from England in 1987 who had exactly 23,530 stones removed. This lady was the ripe age of 87. Ouch!

Truth # 5: The First Gallstone Removal Surgery Was A Fluke

In the mid 19th century a physician was trying to discover why his female patient was in such excruciating pain. While performing exploratory surgery, he cut into the gallbladder and several little bullet like objects came out. He may not have even know what it was.

The young patient lived to be 77, but it wasn’t until 15 years later that the first surgery to remove the entire gallbladder was performed in Germany. This surgery is known now as a cholecystectomy.

Talk to your doctor if you repeatedly experience pain or discomfort after eating a meal with fatty content. There are diagnostic tests that can determine if you have poor gallbladder function or gallstones. If so, a cholecystectomy may be recommended.

Schedule Your Gallbladder Surgery in The Tri-Cities

Gallbladder removal is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States. The surgeons of Premier Surgical Lawson Group in Johnson City are trained and well experienced in gallbladder removal. If you’ve been diagnosed with gallbladder disease, request a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons, by calling (423) 975-5650.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting American women. It’s also the second most common cause of cancer deaths in women.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Premier Surgical

What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins at the breast. Just like most types of cancer, breast cancer develops when the cells in the affected site start to grow out of control.

Causes and Risk Factors
Doctors still don’t know the exact cause of breast cancer, but they’re able to pinpoint some factors that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. This includes:

Being female
Women are at higher risk of developing breast cancer than men. This has something to do with the hormonal differences between the two.

A family history of the disease
If you have family members who have or had breast cancer, then your chance of developing it is higher.

Radiation exposure
Having received radiation treatments to your chest can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

Postmenopausal hormone therapy
Women who have received combined (estrogen and progesterone) hormone therapy to ease the symptoms of menopause are more likely to develop breast cancer than those who haven’t had hormone therapy.

Unhealthy lifestyle
Being obese, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of breast cancer.

Can breast cancer be prevented?
Although there are certain factors you don’t have control of (e.g. a family history of the disease), there are things you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

You can:

Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening
You can discuss with your physician when to have and what breast cancer screening strategy that would work best for you.

Learn how to examine your breasts
Be familiar with your own breasts by learning how to do self-breast exams. If you notice any unusual changes in appearance, discharges, or presence of lumps, see your doctor promptly.

Live a healthy lifestyle
If you’re overweight, start making changes to get into a healthy weight. Eat a well-balanced diet, have regular exercise, quit smoking, and moderate your alcohol consumption – all of these can benefit you in the long run.

Limit postmenopausal hormonal therapy
Talk to your doctor for a better approach to hormonal therapy. For some women, choosing the lowest dose makes a good compromise.

Treating Breast Cancer
If you observe any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately. These could indicate breast cancer:

A breast lump that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Changes on the skin over the breast
Unusual breast discharges
Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast
Changes in the size or appearance of the breast

Treatment for breast cancer depends on a lot of things, including the type of breast cancer, cancer stage and grade, one’s current health status, and preference.

Dr. Elizabeth LawsonDr. Elizabeth Lawson of Premier Surgical Lawson Group in Johnson City  perform a variety of breast cancer surgeries (one of the treatment options for breast cancer). She partners with area oncologists and radiation oncologists to to identify the breast cancer treatment that’s best for you.

To learn more about your breast cancer surgery options, visit


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