Why does it take so long to schedule my surgery?
Scheduling surgery takes time, on average, seven working days. The time frame varies somewhat depending on your insurance company. If you are insured by an HMO or a PPO, we either need prior authorization or pre-certification from your insurance plan before we can proceed in scheduling the surgery. We then coordinate the schedules of the surgeon, an assistant surgeon (if required for your type of surgery), the anesthesiologist and the operating room to schedule a time and date that works for all these individuals and for you. We know you may be anxious about surgery and waiting for the date is not easy. Our staff will notify you as soon as possible with your surgery date and instructions.
Where will my surgery be done?
Our general surgeons operate exclusively at Harford Memorial Hospital (HMH). HMH is in close proximity to their office, which allows them to move quickly from seeing patients in the office, to the operating room, to rounding on patients who have been hospitalized allowing them to provide high quality care in an efficient manner.
Will I be allowed to eat or drink before my surgery?
It is important to make sure that your stomach is empty before surgery in order to minimize the chance of vomiting during surgery and to avoid complications. You will generally be instructed to not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight on the night before your surgery. The surgery scheduler will give you specific instructions on your surgery time and on whether to take your routine medications on the day of surgery. Please call our office if you have any additional questions.
What will I be able to do after my surgery?
The first few days you may feel tired and you can expect to have some pain. Everyone has a different tolerance for pain. You will generally need to take the pain medication more regularly for the first few days postoperatively. Walking is good for you and should be done each day to increase your strength and help your bowels return to regular function. You will likely have gas pain and you may notice that having a bowel movement is more difficult initially. Bowel function generally slows down following surgery due to inactivity and pain medication. As you increase your activity level and decrease your pain medication, you will gradually return to your normal bowel function. You can encourage bowel movements and reduce constipation by eating a high fiber diet and drinking plenty of liquids. If you were on a special diet before surgery, you should resume the diet your doctor recommends for you.
You should not drive or operate machinery as long as you are taking narcotic pain medicine. Avoid strenuous activity and do not lift any weight over 10 pounds until given instructions by your doctor. Ask your doctor when you can resume driving.
What will my recovery be like after Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopy is generally considered to be an outpatient procedure. If you are having surgery, you may be asleep from one to four hours and occasionally longer. You should avoid activities that require concentration for at least two days following surgery. You can usually return to work and resume moderate activities sooner than if you had open abdominal surgery. You may need from one to three weeks of recovery time before returning to heavy activities or exercise and for complete recovery.
When should I make my postoperative appointment?
You should call our office to schedule your postoperative appointment as soon as possible after you return home. The postoperative appointment should be approximately 7-10 days after your surgery unless the doctor tells you otherwise.
Will I have swelling or discoloration after hernia repair?
You may have swelling or discoloration in the incision which may go into the groin and genital area several days after surgery. This should resolve within 7 to 21 days. There are no restrictions as to sexual activity as long as no discomfort occurs.
How do I know if my incision is healing normally?
It is normal for your incision to look a little swollen and discolored. Notify our office if you have excessive pain in the area, redness with swelling that is increasing, red streaks, bleeding, drainage that appears pus-like in the incision area, or fever above 100 degrees. These are signs of infection and you will need to be evaluated by the doctor.