Surgery FAQ

What can I expect at my first visit?

On your first visit, you can expect to go through a physical examination, to talk to the surgeon about your medical history, and to perform the tests that the surgeon thinks are necessary.

How are hernias repaired? What precautions should be taken after undergoing a hernia repair surgery?
Hernia repair may be done through either of the two surgical techniques available. These include traditional repair and laparoscopic technique. In the traditional approach, the abdominal wall is cut open for moving the protruding tissues back in place. The weak region is reinforced using a synthetic mesh. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The laparoscopic technique is less invasive compared to the traditional repair. During this procedure, tiny fiber-optic tools are passed through small key-hole sized surgical openings made in the abdomen. Three tiny incisions may be placed. In one of the openings, a video camera will be inserted to guide the surgeon in the manipulation of the surgical instruments that are passed through the other two openings. The laparoscopic procedure is done under general anesthesia, but the recovery period is shorter, and the patient may return home on the day of the surgery.

You will be prescribed painkillers to take care of any post-operative discomfort. Avoid lifting heavy objects or any activity that exerts strain over the surgical area. You may return to routine activities gradually. If problems such as excessive bleeding, swelling, fever, severe pain, and redness at the area of the incision develop, please consult your surgeon immediately.

When is gallbladder removal surgery indicated? How is it performed?
The surgical removal of the gallbladder is advised in conditions such as gallstone pancreatitis in which the gallstones move into and block down the common bile duct, the pancreatic duct or both in some cases. It is also recommended when gallstones cause biliary colic or acute pain in the abdomen because of spasm or obstruction in the cystic or bile duct.
The surgical removal of the gallbladder is termed, ‘cholecystectomy’, and is performed using a laparoscopic technique or the open technique. The laparoscopic technique is the most commonly used for simple cholecystectomy. Your surgeon will make several tiny incisions in the abdomen. Hollow tubes will be inserted through these openings. Surgical instruments and a lighted camera are placed into these tubes. The abdomen will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas for better visibility of the internal organs. The gallbladder is then removed and the small incisions are closed using sutures, surgical clips or glue. The entire procedure may last for about 1-2 hours.

In the open cholecystectomy technique, your surgeon makes an incision of about 6 inches in length, in the upper right side of the abdomen. The incision cuts through the fat and muscle to access the gallbladder. Then, the gallbladder is removed, and ducts are clamped.  The incision is then closed with sutures. This procedure may take about 1-2 hours.

How is minimally invasive surgery beneficial?
Minimally invasive surgery is beneficial because it reduces the post-operative discomfort and leaves a smaller scar.

Currently, minimally invasive procedures are most commonly chosen whenever surgical treatment is advised. The reason being, that this procedure offers several benefits to the patients. These include:

  • Significant reduction in post-operative pain
  • Lesser blood loss
  • Lesser scarring
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Faster return to normal routine
  • Better clinical outcome

How long will my stay at the hospital be?

Your stay at our hospital may vary as it depends on the kind of surgery performed, the type of anesthesia administered, and your specific needs

Most patients undergoing minor surgical procedures on an outpatient basis can return home within 1-3 hours after the surgery

Should I discontinue taking my medications prior to surgery?

Your surgeon will tell you what you need to do regarding your medications.
Yes, you may need to discontinue certain medications that you take regularly. Your surgeon will inform you about the medications to be stopped before a surgical procedure along with the time at which they should be stopped and when you can resume taking these following the surgery.
What are the possible risks and complications of undergoing a surgery?
Surgery is almost always associated with certain risks. That is why it is important to compare the benefits of the surgery against its risks. Your surgeon will provide information about the possible complications such as bleeding and infection, and regarding the potential side effects that may occur after the procedure. The methods of pain management after the procedure will be discussed by your surgeon. If any of these complications arise, immediate medical attention should be sought.

What conditions do general surgeons treat?

A general surgeon takes care of a wide variety of patients with conditions such as a hernia, lymphoma, sarcoma, bowel obstruction, stomach and colon cancer, pancreatic and biliary tract cancer, multiple injuries due to trauma, vascular disorders, and malignancies in the head and neck region
General surgeons provide advanced, comprehensive surgical care, and can manage both routine and critically ill patients. Typically, a general surgeon takes care of a wide variety of patients with conditions such as a hernia, lymphoma, sarcoma, bowel obstruction, stomach and colon cancer, pancreatic and biliary tract cancer, multiple injuries due to trauma, vascular disorders, and malignancies in the head and neck region.

What documents do I need to carry when I come for the first appointment?

When you come for your first appointment you should bring along your valid provincial health card, a referral from your primary care physician, all the medical records pertaining to your condition such as X-ray reports, CT, MRI scan reports, laboratory test results, a list of current medications taken, and, if relevant, the report of any previous surgical procedures.