Your stomach is unique, and the number of problems that it encounters is practically endless. It can be the cramps that you get when you gobble down your grandma’s rich chicken salad, or the usual bloated stomach when you are out with friends. But what are the problems that should be a matter of concern for you?

Dr. Sara Hartsaw & Dr. Jake Rinker
General Surgery

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Stomach Aneurysm or Aortic Aneurysm

Also known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, it often grows slowly and usually without any symptoms. It is difficult to detect as many aneurysms never rupture. Many of them may start small and remain that size, but a lot of them expand over time and some may grow rather quickly. Again, to predict how fast a stomach aneurysm may enlarge is tough.

Its symptoms may include:

  • Pulsating feeling close to navel
  • Deep and constant pain in your abdomen
  • Back pain


Obesity is when an abnormal amount of fat accumulates in your body and many times around your important organs. It is usually 20% or more over your ideal body weight. Obesity is often associated with extreme health conditions, and usually, a lot of these are life threatening. Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of obesity. Your doctor may recommend weight loss surgery under extreme circumstances.

Some of these are:

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Also known as sleeve gastrectomy this procedure reduces the size of the stomach so that the patient feels full sooner after eating. A major portion of the stomach pouch is removed which ensures that there are much less hunger-causing hormones. The pouch is then stapled securely to ensure no leaks and infections. This form of bariatric surgery has been the most successful so far because it is more of a permanent solution to obesity.

Gastric Bypass Surgery: This surgery is an alternative to gastric sleeve, but it can be reversed as and when the patient requires. Gastric bypass is also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or RNY. This is a rather complicated stomach surgery, but it is sufficient for the ones who do not seek a more irreversible procedure like the sleeve gastrectomy. The surgeon cuts and staples the top portion of your stomach to create a small pouch. The remainder of the stomach is left attached to the upper part of your small intestines. Then the small intestine is cut and connected to the pouch. After this, your surgeon will take the end of the small intestine which is attached to the remaining portion of the stomach and attaches it to the “Roux limb.” This way the digestive juices produced in the stomach come in contact with the food in the intestines and the food gets digested leading to lesser absorption of fats.

Less invasive treatments include:

Liposuction: Not that liposuction is any less complex, but the results are mostly superficial and you may return to your previous state of health if you do not make any considerable lifestyle changes. Liposuction is also called liposculpture, suction lipectomy, or simply “lipo.” This is a type of cosmetic surgery which melts down and “sucks” fat from various parts of your body. The most commonly targeted body parts are:

  • Neck
  • Upper and backs of arms
  • Calves
  • Back
  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Chin

Abdominoplasty: This is also known as tummy tuck. People who have struggled with obesity their entire life face this issue more often. It is a surgical procedure in which the excess skin and fat of the patient is removed. This helps give them a better appearance by tightening their abdominal muscles.

At High Plains Surgical Associates, General Surgeons Dr. Sara Hartsaw & Dr. Jake Rinker continuously work to provide you with the best in medical services. They have given everyone in Gillette, Wyoming hope and a reason to live life to the fullest since 1994.