Questions and Answers

Should I call the hospital if I have questions or concerns?

Your doctors are part of the private practice group Northwest Surgical Specialists. We are not employees of PeaceHealth RiverBend. To reach your doctors and nurses, call our office at 541-868-9303.

What if my pain medication runs out before my office visit?

State law strongly encourages physicians to provide a limited amount of narcotic pain medication. If you are almost out and do not think you will have enough to last until your clinic visit, call our office Monday-Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. One of our nurses will review your case with a provider and a refill can be authorized. Narcotic medications cannot be refilled after hours or on the weekend or holidays.

Who will I see at my clinic visit?

The trauma and acute care surgeons are part of a larger team of providers. Typically, your follow-up appointment will be scheduled on a Tuesday morning at our TRACS clinic, which will include two providers – one primary surgeon and a physician extender. You may not see the surgeon who did your operation, but instead one of his/her partners or the physician extender. Since we work as a team, your primary surgeon will be well-informed about your follow-up care and provide answers to any questions.

Are narcotic pain medications the only option for pain control?

In addition to narcotic pain medications, you can take ibuprofen 800mg every 6-8 hours on a schedule to help with pain control, provided you do not have peptic ulcer disease or another medical condition that make NSAIDS unsafe.

I feel very constipated; what should I do?

While on narcotic pain medications, you should be taking Colace 100mg twice daily. If you do not have a bowel movement after 3 days, take Milk of Magnesia – one dose every 8 hours for 3 total doses. If that does not work, call our office for other suggestions. You should also walk and move about as much as you are able and drink 8 glasses of water per day to help facilitate bowel movements. If you experience watery, foul, frequent diarrhea, call our office for further evaluation.

When can I start exercising again?

Regarding activity level, each surgery and each surgeon will have different restrictions. Please refer to your discharge paperwork for specifics. If you have additional questions regarding your activity, please contact our office.

How do I get paperwork completed for my work – time off and lifting restrictions?

Have your work fax FMLA and other paperwork to our office (fax: 541-868-9306). The paperwork will be completed and returned to your office as soon as possible.

When can I return to work?

You do not necessarily have to wait until your follow-up appointment with our office to return to work. However, we will not release you back to work until you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication. Our office can provide you with a return-to-work letter if you employer requires one prior to your follow-up visit. You may have lifting, pushing, and pulling restrictions based on what type of work you do and what type of surgery you’ve had.

What can I eat after my gallbladder surgery?

Your body takes, on average, one month to compensate for the loss of the gallbladder. Thus, if you have a high-fat meal in the first few days/weeks after surgery, you may experience foul-smelling gas, bloating and cramping pain. After approximately one month, you can return to eating whatever you desire.