Meet Dr. Harris

Dr. Harris grew up in Irondale, AL and attended medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Afterward, he completed five years of surgical training at one of the three Mayo Clinic campuses - this one in Jacksonville, FL.  It was there he learned surgery with an emphasis on minimally invasive approaches and collaboration with other medical specialties.

He practiced in Tuscaloosa for two years before returning home to Birmingham.  Dr. Harris has special interest in minimally invasive anti-reflux, gallbladder and hernia surgery as well as surgery for cancer.  He practices all areas of general surgery including surgery for endocrine disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands.  He uses a minimally invasive approach whenever feasible including use of the da Vinci robotic.  Dr. Harris is certified by the American Board of Surgery.  He operates at St. Vincent's Birmingham, St. Vincent's East, and Grandview.

Outside of work, he is involved at his church and enjoys the gym, working on his house, and spending time with his family.

da Vinci robot

da Vinci robot


833 St. Vincent's drive      suite 201 (building 3)

4600 hwy 280 (medhelp building

48 medical park drive east suite 154 (St. Vincent's east)





Phone: (205) 995-9700

Fax: (205) 995-9709

Procedures Performed by Dr. Harris

Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery

Heartburn is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease.  Proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole are often used to control the symptoms of reflux by neutralizing stomach acid.  When medications fail or patients do not want to take them long-term, anti-reflux surgery can often help.  Many patients with reflux have hiatal hernias that need to be repaired as well.  A fundoplication is an important part of most reflux surgery and is performed by wrapping part of the stomach around the end of the esophagus.  There is also a new device called LINX that can be used instead of a fundoplication.  Anti-reflux surgery usually requires a one night stay in the hospital and is usually done laparoscopically.

Colon surgery

Part of the colon or rectum may need to be removed for diverticular disease or cancer.  Except in emergency situations, a gastroenterologist will usually see you before recommending you see a surgeon.  A colostomy is usually not necessary. 

Skin and soft tissue lesions

Often referred to as lumps and bumps these can sometimes be removed in the office.  These are rarely malignant but only a medical professional can help determine this.

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

The gallbladder is most often removed because of the presence of stones that can prevent the gallbladder from emptying normally.  Usually symptoms consist of pain on the right side of the abdomen below ribs and it is usually worse after eating.  Sometimes patients can have gallbladder disease without gallstones which is called biliary dyskinesia.  A test called a HIDA scan can be performed to test the function of the gallbladder.  Gallbladder surgery is done laparoscopically with 3 or 4 very small incisions.  Patients almost always go home the same day.

breast disease

Breast mass or lesions can be totally benign, precancerous, or malignant.  A biopsy is often done in the office or by radiologist in the hospital to evaluate a lesion after a mammogram and ultrasound has been done.  Redness of the skin of the breast that does not go away may require a skin biopsy to rule out inflammatory breast cancer.

Hernia repair

A hernia is a defect in the abdominal wall that allows contents that should be inside the abdomen to protrude.  These contents are usually fat or intestines.  Sometimes the contents can become stuck and the blood supply can become choked off.  This can become an emergency if the intestines are involved.  There are a variety of approaches used to repair hernias and mesh is almost always employed to prevent the hernia from recurring.  Most hernias can be repaired with a laparoscopic approach that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital but larger hernias may require significant incisions to reconstruct the abdominal wall.  

surgery for endocrine disease

Thyroid disease: the thyroid can become enlarged (called goiter) and cause difficulty with breathing and swallowing.  Removal of the thyroid is usually necessary to treat this.  Thyroid cancer is another indication for removal of the thyroid.  Thyroid supplementation pills after thyroidectomy is necessary and easily returns patients to a normal throid levels.

Parathyroid disease: an overactive parathyroid gland can cause elevated levels of calcium which can cause a variety of problems.  Under these circumstances, the overactive parathyroid gland needs to be removed.

Adrenal disease: the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys make a variety of hormones.  When an adrenal gland is overactive, it may need to be removed.  Cancer of the adrenal gland can also occur and require andrenalectomy.  As long as the other adrenal gland is normal, hormonal supplementation is usually not necessary.

The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered
— Dr. William J. Mayo


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