The Division of Surgery
Surgical treatment has been a mainstay of medicine for hundreds of years. Although conservative measures are used whenever possible, surgery is often the best answer to many medical conditions. Surgical techniques and technology have rapidly advanced in recent decades and Sheba Medical Center’s Division of Surgery is always at the forefront of these developments.
Our surgeons do not simply perform operations but are also researchers and regularly publish studies in a number of peer-reviewed journals.
Additionally, our surgeons are teachers and students. We are affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and host over 100 resident surgeons each year. We are dedicated to continuous learning and advancement of the surgical arts for the benefit of our patients.
We also focus on interdisciplinary, holistic approaches to provide our patients with tailor-made medicine. This means that our surgical, medical, support, and nursing teams work in concert to evaluate, diagnosis, and treat patients throughout their time with us.
Here are some facts and figures about Sheba’s Division of Surgery:
- We conduct about 23,500 total operations annually.
- We receive 23,000 inpatients each year.
- We see 350,000 outpatients every year.
- The Division of Surgery has 33 total operating tables.
- There are over 250 surgeons and 500 nurses in the division.
Below is information concerning common surgical procedures and what to expect as a patient.
- Hernia – The three most common types of hernia are hiatal, inguinal, and umbilical. A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach starts to push through the muscle of the diaphragm. Inguinal hernias are in the groin and are caused by soft tissue pressing through weakened musculature. Umbilical hernias are due to part of the bowels pushing through the abdominal muscles at the belly button. They are common in infants but can also occur in adults.
Hernias are repaired through surgical intervention by a general surgeon. In the past, a hernia repair was a major procedure that often required opening of the abdomen. Today, the vast majority of hernia repairs are laparoscopic, a minimally invasive form of surgery where cameras and instruments are inserted through tiny incisions. This reduces recovery time, prevents infection, and results in less pain for the patient.
- Hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids are an extremely common complaint. They are inflamed veins in the rectum and are often swollen and painful. They may bleed and can be either internal or external. Along with anal fissures and prolapsed rectum, hemorrhoids are addressed by colorectal surgeons.
If conservative treatment has failed, a colorectal surgeon may surgically remove hemorrhoids in an outpatient or inpatient setting, depending on the severity. Hospital stays are usually only a day or so, but complete recovery may take several weeks. A variety of medications are typically prescribed, including antiinflammatories, pain killers, and topical treatments.
- HIPEC – Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is used to treat several types of cancer in the abdominal cavity. In consultation with an oncologist, a surgeon will remove any tumors present and then fill the abdomen with heated chemotherapy drugs. This process allows for a single chemotherapy treatment with a massive dose of drugs to kill any lingering cancer cells after the tumor(s) have been removed. This reduces the risk of both cancer recurrence and spread.
- Appendectomy – An appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, a small organ attached to the bowel. Performed by a general surgeon, an appendectomy is undertaken when a patient is suffering from appendicitis, an inflammation of the appendix typically due to infection. Appendicitis is acute and is most common in young adults. If appendicitis is left untreated, the appendix may rupture and cause sepsis throughout the body. Appendectomies are usually performed laparoscopically today, reducing patient recovery time.
- Cholecystectomy – Also performed by a general surgeon, a cholecystectomy is another procedure often performed laparoscopically. It is the surgical removal of the gallbladder, a small digestive organ that helps to break down fat. The gallbladder may form stones, called cholelithiasis, or become inflamed, known as cholecystitis. A gastroenterologist will confirm the diagnosis, typically through the use of a HIDA scan which measures gallbladder activity.
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy can often be performed on an outpatient basis, eliminating the need to stay in the hospital. Full recovery typically takes around two weeks.
- Intestinal Obstruction – Also known as a bowel obstruction, an intestinal obstruction is caused by food not passing freely through the bowel. This may be due to scar tissue, a tumor, or a variety of other causes. If conservative treatments, like modifying diet, have failed, a colorectal surgeon is consulted. Once the obstruction has been located and confirmed on imaging, surgery can commence.
A full bowel obstruction can be life threatening and is surgically treated by partial removal of the intestines along with reconstruction. The recovery period can be quite extensive, and lifelong medical care is often necessary.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – IBD is an autoimmune disorder and includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Again, several types of conservative treatment, including medication, are tried before surgery is considered. In the case of surgery, a colorectal surgeon will consult with a gastroenterologist and remove diseased sections of the bowel. New connections, or anastomoses, in the bowel will then be created. IBD is often a painful and frustrating condition, and surgery can often offer some relief.
The following is a list of departments within the Division of Surgery at Sheba Medical Center. Each one provides specialized care and world-class medicine with a personal touch to each of our patients.
- Department of Neurosurgery – provides surgical treatment for injuries and diseases of the brain, spine, and nerves.
- Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – provides surgical care for conditions of the mouth and face.
- Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – responsible for surgical treatment of head and neck cancers, injuries, and diseases.
- Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – provides surgical reconstruction of disfigurements due to disease or accident along with cosmetic procedures.
- Department of Surgical Oncology – provides surgical treatment of cancer.
- Department of Thoracic Surgery – performs surgical procedures to the esophagus, lungs, chest wall, and diaphragm.
- Department of Ambulatory Surgery – provides surgical services to patients that are well enough to recover at home and who do not require hospitalization.
- Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care – responsible for anesthesia and critical care support for patients that need continuous cardiopulmonary monitoring, airway maintenance, and intervention.
- Department of General Surgery – performs general surgical procedures such as hernia repairs and gallbladder removals.
- Department of Pediatric Surgery – provides medically necessary surgical treatment for children.
- Department of Cardiac Surgery – provides surgical procedures of the heart and coronary arteries.
- Hand Surgery Unit – this unit is responsible for therapeutic and reconstructive surgery of the hand, treating injuries and addressing conditions caused by disease.
- Department of Urology – performs surgeries on the organs of the urinary and urogenital systems, such as the ureters and bladder.
- Gynecological Surgery Department – provides surgical treatment for disorders and diseases of the female reproductive and genitourinary systems.
- Department of Obstetrics– offers surgical services to expectant mothers, including Cesarian sections on both a routine and emergent basis.
- Department of Vascular Surgery – responsible for vascular surgical interventions, such as resolving occluded arteries and repairing trauma to the major veins of the extremities.
- Department of Orthopedics – performs surgeries to repair bone and joint problems, like hip replacements and knee arthroscopies.
- Department of Bariatric Surgery – provides surgical services for weight loss procedures, allowing patients better quality of life. These include gastric banding, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass operations.
- The Goldschleger Eye Institute – provides care for patients’ eye needs, such as cataract removal and lens implantations.