Don't Ignore Signs!


Gallbladder Symptoms

 - May include any or all of the following:

- Pain or tenderness under the rib cage on the right side

- Pain between shoulder blades

- Stools light or chalky colored

- Fatty stools

- Indigestion after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods

- Feeling of fullness or food not digesting

- Nausea

- Vomiting

- Dizziness

- Bloating

- Gas

- Burping or belching

- Diarrhea

- Constipation or frequent use of laxatives

- Headache over eyes, especially right

- Bitter fluid comes up after eating


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Gallbladder Surgery


"  (cholecystectomy) removes the gallbladder  and gallstones through several small cuts (incisions) in the abdomen. The surgeon inflates your abdomen with air or carbon dioxide in order to see clearly.

The surgeon inserts a lighted scope attached to a video camera (laparoscope) into one incision near the belly button. The surgeon then uses a video monitor as a guide while inserting surgical instruments into the other incisions to remove your gallbladder.

Before the surgeon removes the gallbladder, you may have a special X-ray procedure called intraoperative cholangiography, which shows the anatomy of the bile ducts."

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Our History!

"Jackson Surgical Associates was founded in 1970. The clinic's current physicians are Dr. Dean Currie, Dr. David Villarreal, Dr. David Laird, Dr. Daniel Day and Dr. Garrison Smith.


Through the years, the surgeons at Jackson Surgical Associates have seen many changes in medicine and surgical techniques, but one thing remained constant: They always specialized in providing the best surgical care possible.

Dr. George Dodson, who had been practicing in Jackson for 20 years, opened his own clinic in early 1970, and was joined by Dr. Eddie Crocker, who had been practicing here five years. That August, Dr. Barnett Scott, who had been working at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, joined them. Dr. Tom Edwards was the next to join the group."

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Doctor of the Week: Garrison Smith, M.D.


"Dr. Smith, who is board certified in general surgery, earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) where he served as Class President throughout his four years of medical school.  During this time, he also earned a Certificate in Health Systems and Leadership.  His internship and residency were completed at the UTHSC Surgery program in Memphis, TN where he served as a chief surgery resident.  His training included the full scope of general surgery, with special interests in minimally invasive and endocrine surgery.  He also had extensive trauma training at the Presley Memorial Trauma Center, including six months as the chief resident on the service.

During medical school, he received the award for Outstanding Performance as a Student in the Art and Science of Surgery as well as the Distinguished UT Student Service Award.  He was inducted into The Imhotep Society for providing leadership, time, and service that significantly contributed to student life.  As a surgical resident, the UT College of Medicine - Class of 2013 selected him for the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award and Outstanding Resident Role Model.

A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Dr. Smith and his wife, Tonya, have two daughters, Brianna and Lily.  He is also the son of Dr. Clyde E. Smith, who is a Hematologist/Oncologist and Palliative Care physician for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.  His interests include aviation, running, boating, outdoor activities, and spending time with his family."

Doctor of the Week: Daniel Day, M.D.!


Areas of Special Interest: minimally invasive da Vinci Surgery

Dr. J. Daniel Day earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. His surgical internship and residency were at Mercer University School of Medicine/Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia.

A graduate of Central High School in Knoxville, Dr. Day has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a masters degree in counseling psychology from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Doctor of the Week: David Laird, M.D.!


Dr. David Laird, who is board certified in general surgery, is a medical graduate of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. His internship in general surgery was at Methodist Hospitals of Memphis; his residency was at the UT School of Medicine in Memphis. A major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Laird moved to Jackson after serving as the Chief of Surgical Services at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, N.M. His experience includes the full scope of general surgery and extensive endoscopy experience. He also had indepth trauma training at the Presley Memorial Trauma Center in Memphis.

The employees of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital selected Dr. Laird as the 2007 Guest Excellence Doctor of the Year. The award is based on the physician's care and concern for patients, professionalism, integrity, respect for other health care professionals, and willingness to go beyond the scope of duty. 

Doctor of the Week: Dean Currie, M.D.

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After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a degree in biomedical engineering and mathematics, Dr. Dean Currie earned his medical degree at UT Center for the Health Sciences in Memphis. His internship and residency were at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where he was the Chief Surgical Resident.

The employees of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital selected Dr. Currie as the 2008 Guest Excellence Doctor of the Year. The award is based on the physician's care and concern for patients, professionalism, integrity, respect for other health care professionals, and willingness to go beyond the scope of duty.

Gallbladder Problems?

"One of the side effects of gallbladder removal can be the dumping of bile which is now not as easily regulated and can send someone running to the bathroom immediately after eating. A more common side effect is a decrease in the secretion of bile. If the bile produced by the liver becomes thick and sluggish, painful symptoms and bile stones can occur. Bile stones can form in the liver as well as the gallbladder. One woman had her gallbladder removed only to end up back in surgery again two or three days later where they found stones in the bile ducts of the liver causing her a lot of pain.

However, removing the gallbladder may be an absolute medical necessity but, unless it is diseased, ruptured or otherwise sick, know that just having cholelithiasis or gallbladder stones does not mean you have to take it out. If you have gallbladder attacks, pain or discomfort or digestive problems but not a diseased gallbladder, this does not mean you necessarily have to have gallbladder surgery. Get a second opinion. 
You do have an option of cleaning up your diet, doing some work on your gallbladder and liver and keeping your organ of fat digestion. If you happen to think that nature made a mistake and that you don't need it anyway, you probably wouldn't be reading this page in the first place.

What's the worst thing that can happen? You try to clean up your act - spend time eating healthy and detoxing the bile and liver and...the gallbladder still needs to come out!"

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Hernia Surgery

"Hernia repair has been around for a long time. That means traditional techniques have been perfected while new options and materials have been developed. While not every technique is right for every hernia, they all have common goals: to provide the strongest repair and least chance of recurrence with the least possible discomfort and quickest recovery.

Until about 25 years ago, hernias were repaired one way, referred to as ‘open tension’ repair. Here’s what that means:

  • Open — An incision of 3" to 6" is made in the abdomen to give the surgeon access to the hernia.
  • Tension — The edges of healthy tissue around the hernia are pulled together and sewn with sutures.
  • The incision is then closed with dissolving sutures or abdominal adhesive.

This method has been tried and true for decades and may be the only way to repair a very large hernia. The incision tends to be painful and recovery can take as long as five to six weeks. The incision also leaves a scar, although it’s usually very low on the abdomen. Tension repair has a higher recurrence rate than non-tension, or mesh, repair."

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Hemorrhoid Surgery

"Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins around your anus or in your lower rectum.

The two types of hemorrhoids are

  • external hemorrhoids, which form under the skin around the anus
  • internal hemorrhoids, which form in the lining of the anus and lower rectum

Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women1 and affect about 1 in 20 Americans. About half of adults older than age 50 have hemorrhoids.

You are more likely to get hemorrhoids if you

  • strain during bowel movements
  • sit on the toilet for long periods of time
  • have chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • eat foods that are low in fiber
  • are older than age 50
  • are pregnant
  • often lift heavy objects

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Thyroid Problems? Check Here!

"Your doctor may recommend that you consider thyroid surgery for 4 main reasons:

  1. You have a nodule that might be thyroid cancer.
  2. You have a diagnosis of thyroid cancer.
  3. You have a nodule or goiter that is causing local symptoms – compression of the trachea, difficulty swallowing or a visible or unsightly mass.
  4. You have a nodule or goiter that is causing symptoms due to the production and release of excess thyroid hormone – either a toxic nodule, a toxic multinodular goiter or Graves’ disease.

The extent of your thyroid surgery should be discussed by you and your thyroid surgeon and can generally be classified as a partial thyroidectomy or a total thyroidectomy. Removal of part of the thyroid can be classified as:

  1. An open thyroid biopsy – a rarely used operation where a nodule is excised directly;
  2. A hemi-thyroidectomy or thyroid lobectomy – where one lobe (one half) of the thyroid is removed;
  3. An isthmusectomy – removal of just the bridge of thyroid tissue between the two lobes; used specifically for small tumors that are located in the isthmus.
  4. Finally, a total or near-total thyroidectomy is removal of all or most of the thyroid tissue."

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PAD Follow Up

"The most common symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the lower extremities is a painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising.

The pain of PAD often goes away when you stop exercising, although this may take a few minutes. Working muscles need more blood flow. View an animation of blood flow. Resting muscles can get by with less. 

If there's a blood-flow blockage due to plaque buildup, the muscles won't get enough blood during exercise to meet the needs. The "crampy" pain (called "intermittent claudication"), when caused by PAD, is the muscles' way of warning the body that it isn't receiving enough blood during exercise to meet the increased demand.

Many people with PAD have no symptoms or mistake their symptoms for something else. View an illustration of PAD.

Other symptoms of PAD include:

  • Leg pain that does not go away when you stop exercising
  • Foot or toe wounds that won't heal or heal very slowly
  • Gangrene, or dead tissue 
  • A marked decrease in the temperature of your lower leg or foot particularly compared to the other leg or to the rest of your body
  • Poor nail growth on the toes or hair growth on the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction, especially in men with diabetes"

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What to expect with PAD!

"Your balloon angioplasty or stenting procedure will be performed in the hospital, in a specially-equipped room called a catheterization ("cath") lab. The procedure will be done by a physician who specializes in angioplasty and stenting. Your care team will also include nurses and cath lab technicians.

Your doctor will decide which site on your body would be the best place to access one of your arteries – typically your groin area, arm, or foot. The selected area will be cleaned, shaved and numbed with a local anesthetic.

Your doctor needs to know what other medications you are taking. In most cases, you should take any medications that you usually take, especially blood pressure medications. Check with your doctor about which ones to take and which ones not to take.

Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • Cannot take aspirin
  • Have any allergies
  • Have a history of bleeding problems
  • Are planning to have any other surgeries or dental work soon

Your doctor may instruct you take aspirin and other medications for several days before your procedure. These medications will help prevent blood clots from forming during the procedure.

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a period of time before your procedure. If your doctor wants you to take your regular medications, you may take them with a little water."

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Breast Cancer Myths

"The Breast Cancer Myth

Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.

The Truth

Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.  But if you discover a persistent lump in your breast or notice any changes in breast tissue, it should never be ignored. It is very important that you see a physician for a clinical breast exam. He or she may possibly order breast imaging studies to determine if this lump is of concern or not. 

Take charge of your health by performing routine breast self-exams, establishing ongoing communication with your doctor, getting an annual clinical breast exam, and scheduling your routine screening  mammograms.

The Breast Cancer Myth

Men do not get breast cancer; it affects women only.

The Truth

Quite the contrary, each year it is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 410 will die. While this percentage is still small, men should also check themselves periodically by doing a breast self-exam while in the shower and reporting any changes to their physicians. 

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola.  Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment."

These are only a few of the myths involving breast cancer. Please click the link below for more information!

Breast Cancer Surgery

"Surgery is a common treatment for breast cancer, and its main purpose is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. There are different types of surgery. You may have a choice about which type to have. Or your doctor may recommend a certain operation based on your breast cancer type and your medical history. It’s important to know about your options so you can talk about them with your doctor and make the choice that is right for you.

Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery as part of their treatment. Depending on the situation, surgery may be done for different reasons. For example, surgery may be done to:

  • Remove as much of the cancer as possible (breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy)
  • Find out whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm (sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection)
  • Restore the breast’s shape after the cancer is removed (breast reconstruction)
  • Relieve symptoms of advanced cancer"

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Breast Lump Biopsy

"When other tests show that you might have breast cancer, you will probably need to have a biopsy. Needing a breast biopsy doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. Most biopsy results are not cancer, but a biopsy is the only way to find out. During a biopsy, a surgeon will remove cells from the suspicious area so they can be studied in the lab to see if cancer cells are present.

There are different kinds of breast biopsies. Some use a needle and some use an incision. Each has pros and cons. The type you have depends on things like how suspicious the tumor looks, how big it is, where it is in the breast, how many tumors there are, other medical problems you might have, and your personal preferences. Ask the doctor which type of biopsy you will have and what you can expect during and after the procedure."

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Carotid Endarterectomy

"A carotid endarterectomy is performed in a sterile surgical suite or standard operating room. You may go home the same day or stay 1–2 nights after the procedure depending on your medical condition. 

  • You receive a local anesthetic or general anesthesia. 
  • Your vascular surgeon makes an incision at the front of your neck. 
  • After removing the plaque from the artery your vascular surgeon repairs the artery by stitching in a natural graft (formed from a piece of vein from elsewhere in your body) or a woven patch. 
  • The incision is closed."

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Understand Diverticulitis

"A previously healthy 45-year-old man presents with severe lower abdominal pain on the left side, which started 36 hours earlier. He has noticed mild, periodic discomfort in this region before but has not sought medical treatment. He reports nausea, anorexia, and vomiting associated with any oral intake. On physical examination, his temperature is 38.5°C and his heart rate is 110 beats per minute. He has abdominal tenderness on the left side without peritoneal signs. How should his case be managed?"

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Abdominal Aortic Surgery

"The surgery will take place in an operating room. You will be given general anesthesia (you will be asleep and pain-free).

Your surgeon opens up your belly and replaces the aortic aneurysm with a man-made, cloth-like material.

Here is how it can be done:

  • In one approach, you will lie on your back. The surgeon will make a cut in the middle of your belly, from just below the breastbone to below the belly button. Rarely, the cut goes across the belly.
  • In another approach, you will lie slightly tilted on your right side. The surgeon will make a 5- to 6-inch (13 to 15 centimeters) cut from the left side of your belly, ending a little below your belly button.
  • Your surgeon will replace the aneurysm with a long tube made of man-made (synthetic) cloth. It is sewn in with stitches."

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