Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. What is a General Surgeon?
    A general surgeon is a physician who has completed an internship and residency at a Residency Review Committee approved program. Most of these are University based and offer rotations at busy private and county or VA hospitals. The residency is a minimum of five years.

    The last year is spent as Chief resident where one is in charge of a team of junior residents and medical students and performs between 250 and 350 major cases. There are strict criteria for the number and variety of cases that one is exposed to. The residency is considered to be one of the most demanding, both mentally and physically, of all the medical specialties.

    A general surgeon is well trained in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of congenital, infectious, malignant and benign diseases. In addition, he or she has extensive knowledge of postoperative and critical care of patients.

  2. What is Minimally Invasive (or Laparoscopic) Surgery?

    The term minimally invasive surgery is used to describe abdominal surgery performed without making a large incision through the skin and muscle to open the abdomen. Instead, a scope is inserted through a trochar inserted into the abdomen through a 1/2 inch incision. The abdomen is insufflated with CO2 gas to distend it like a tent, allowing visualization of the abdominal organs.

    Long hand-held instruments are inserted through smaller trochars and used to perform the surgery, while the surgeon views the inside of the abdomen on a TV screen. Specialized tools such as scissors, graspers, ultrasonic dissectors and endoscopic staplers facilitate the surgeon's ability to perform complex intraabdominal surgery using advanced laparoscopic techniques.

  3. What is Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery (also called da Vinci Robotic Surgery)?

    Using the most advanced technology available, the da Vinci System enables your doctor to perform this delicate operation with breakthrough vision, precision and control. da Vinci Robotic Surgery offers patients many potential benefits over traditional surgery, including:

    • Reduced surgical trauma
    • Minimal blood loss
    • Fast recovery
    • Small incisions for minimal scarring

    da Vinci Surgery also offers patients the potential for a shorter hospital stay when compared to traditional laparoscopic surgery.

    This procedure is performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a state-of-the-art surgical platform. By overcoming the limits of both traditional open and laparoscopic surgery, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for people around the world.

Billing and Insurance

  1. What do you charge and what is your payment policy?
    Details of our charges and our billing process are available in our Billing and Insurance section.
  2. What insurance plans do you participate in?
    We participate in a wide variety of insurance plans, which are listed here. If at any time you have questions, please contact our office, we will be happy to answer your questions.
  3. What is your privacy policy?
    Our privacy policy is located here. It describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed.

Preparing for Surgery

  1. How do I schedule surgery?
    Our surgery schedulers are available to help ease you through the process. You will want to choose a few dates and then contact the scheduler for coordination of surgery. We will work with you to get a date and time for your surgery.
  2. What tests do I need before surgery?
    • Blood tests such as complete blood count, electrolytes, liver function tests, and PT, PTT may be necessary, depending on your age and medications.
    • An EKG within six months of surgery is necessary if you are older than 50.
    • If you have an abnormal EKG or history of heart disease, you may need a stress test or echocardiogram. Your surgeon will discuss this with you.
    • A chest X-ray may be necessary if you have a history of lung disease or smoking.
  3. Where should I get my pre-operative tests?
    Depending on your insurance, you should be able to obtain your pre-op testing at the hospital. If not the tests may be ordered by the surgeon and performed at a participating laboratory.
  4. What are the general instructions I should follow before my surgery?
    • You will need to stop taking any medication that will thin the blood, such as Plavix, Ecotrin, Ticlid, Persantine, etc. This includes Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, or any other anti-inflammatory medications except Tylenol. This also includes St. Johnís Wort, Ginko, and other herbal medicines. You should stop these medications 7 days prior to surgery.
    • If you take the blood thinner Coumadin, special arrangements will be made.
    • If you are having colon surgery, you will need to cleanse your bowels starting the day before. We will give you separate instructions for this.
    • You should take NO FOOD or LIQUIDS by mouth after midnight the night before surgery, if you are to receive any anesthesia other than local.
    • You may take your high blood pressure medication with a sip of water the morning of surgery. If you are a diabetic, please contact our office to find out how much insulin or medication to take the day of surgery.If you take the blood thinner Coumadin, special arrangements will be made.
  5. Where should I go the day of my surgery?
    The surgery scheduler will go over all the instructions with you when the surgery has been scheduled.

After Surgery

  1. What are a few things to keep in mind during my recovery?

    Recovering After Surgery

    YOU are an important part of the team!

    A few things to keep in mind after surgery:

    1. Activity is important to prevent lung complications, promote bowel function and maintain strength and mobility. When in the hospital, the hospital staff will assist you with getting out of bed to a chair and walking at least several times a day. Our goal is walking up to 5 times per day if possible. If your surgery was outpatient, it is important that you have someone assist you in doing the same.
    2. Breathing exercises using an Incentive Spirometer (a small hand held machine that has you take long, slow deep breaths) every hour while awake after your surgery will help prevent any lung complications such as pneumonia. Turning in bed, taking deep breaths and coughing every 2 hours will also help prevent complications.
    3. Pain control is important in your recovery. It is normal to have a certain amount of pain after surgery, especially when getting out of bed and when doing the breathing exercises. Pain medication will be prescribed by your surgeon to help keep you comfortable.

    ** PLEASE NOTE: These instructions DO NOT replace the instructions given to you specifically by your surgeon. These instructions are a guideline to help assist in your recovery. **

    Contact our office at 407-647-1331 for any questions or concerns related to your recovery.

  2. Where do I recover after outpatient surgery?
    After the procedure you will go to the recovery room to wake up. You will return to same day surgery, where you will get some liquids to drink. You will be discharged when they feel you are stable, usually in 2-3 hours. If you will be receiving any IV sedation or anesthesia, you will need someone to give you a ride home.
  3. Where do I recover after inpatient surgery?
    For inpatient surgery you will go to the recovery room for up to one hour after the surgery, and then you will be transferred to a hospital room.
  4. What are the general instructions I should follow after surgery?
    A separate set of post-operative instructions will be given to you upon discharge.
  5. How can I contact my surgeon with questions after surgery?
    If you have any questions after discharge, or if you think there is a problem, call our office number. After hours, one of the physicians is always on call and can be paged through our answering service.
  6. What follow up appointments are necessary?
    Patients generally come in 7-10 days after the surgery unless otherwise specified at the time of discharge.