Southwestern Surgery FAQ

  • Why does it take so long to schedule my surgery?
  • Where will my surgery be done?
  • Will I be allowed to eat or drink before my surgery?
  • What will I be able to do after surgery?
  • What will my recovery be like after Laparoscopic Surgery?
  • When should I make my postoperative appointment?
  • Will I have swelling or discoloration after a hernia repair?
  • How do I know if my incision is healing normally?

  • Why does it take so long to schedule my surgery?

    Scheduling surgery takes, 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. Our surgery schedulers 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 physicians do surgery at Tucson Medical Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, Tucson Surgery Center, Camp Lowell Surgery Center, and Foothills Surgery Center. If you have insurance that specifies which hospital participates with your plan, we will schedule your surgery at that hospital or surgery center. If your insurance allows you to go to any of these facilities or if you are financially responsible for your services, please let us know if you have a preference.

  • 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 schedulers 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 surgery?

    The first few days you will feel tired and you can expect to have pain. Make sure you have your prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital. 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. But 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 diet which includes grain cereals, raw fruits and vegetables and 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 still need to take 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 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 one to three weeks of recovery time before returning to heavy activities or exercise and for complete recovery. Your physician will discuss this with you at your postoperative appointment.

  • When should I make my postoperative appointment?

    If you did not schedule your postoperative appointment with the surgery scheduler, you should call our office to schedule this 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 a 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.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended to be used as a substitute for treatment or diagnosis by a licensed physician. Further, it is not intended to be all-inclusive. Always consult a physician regarding the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition.