TMH Living Well: Top-notch surgery care offered at The Memorial Hospital
While surgery is not something you likely wish to experience, it’s reassuring to know that skilled surgeons are on the ready in Craig to save your life when the unexpected happens, or improve your health and wellbeing with an elective surgery.
The Memorial Hospital has two general surgeons who are highly skilled in a variety of surgeries and elective procedures to improve your quality of life.
Meet the surgeons
Dr. Jeff Womble and Dr. X. Alexis Driggs take pride in the good surgical outcomes they achieve at The Memorial Hospital. Dr. Womble is board-certified and attended the prestigious Brigham Young University and received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas. Dr. X. Alexis Driggs is also board-certified and attended BYU, as well the University of Utah. She received her doctorate in medicine from the University of California. The surgeons appreciate the well-equipped operating rooms at TMH.
“The surgical suites are most definitely on par with those of larger hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. They are fully integrated with full video capabilities for laparoscopic and arthroscopic surgeries,” Womble said.
Patient Lynette “Sis” Pell called the surgery department a “precisely timed clock,” claiming she is “TMH’s biggest fan” for removing a tumor before it perforated her bowel. The entire staff is exceptional. Several of the nurses at The Memorial Hospital that work in the operating room hold special certifications from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).
Common surgeries at TMH
Three common surgeries performed at the hospital include procedures to resolve gallstone disease, appendicitis and hernias. The surgeons perform many other procedures, including treatment for hemorrhoids, thyroid surgeries, pacemaker and port placements and of course emergency surgeries.
“We’ve both performed many of these surgeries hundreds of times,” Womble said.
Gallbladder surgery is common when gallstones are present that cause symptoms. Gallstone disease can cause pain in the abdomen, and can result in nausea, vomiting and bloating. In surgery, the gallbladder is removed to alleviate further problems.
When your appendix gets infected, you start feeling sick quickly. It starts with abdominal pain, often followed by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills and fever. Appendicitis often results in emergency surgery to remove the inflamed appendix.
Hernias occur when an organ pushes through a weakened area in, most commonly, the wall of the abdomen. With a hernia, you may notice a lump that increases in size at different times that can be painful. Hernias tend to result in surgery, either elective or emergency.
Doctors Womble and Driggs are also highly skilled at completing surgery for breast cancer and colon cancer. With breast cancer, patients receive either a lumpectomy or mastectomy to remove the tumor. With colon cancer, a cancerous polyp or the part of the colon that contains cancer is removed, along with nearby tissue.
Besides surgeries, diagnostic procedures are also completed at TMH. A common procedure called an endoscopy allows a surgeon to insert a camera or scope inside the body to examine the inside of your digestive and urinary tracts. Endoscopes help diagnose such problems as ulcers, GERD, cancer, swallowing problems and more. A specific endoscopy called an EGD, available at TMH, allows surgeons to examine the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine. Endoscopes are also used during colonoscopies to screen for, and prevent, colorectal cancer.
“We do a very good job at providing excellent care, right here at home,” Womble concluded.
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The Lower and Central Yampa River Basin, which include Craig, Hayde, Rangely, Dinosaur and Meeker, will be under a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service starting at 6 a.m. Thursday.