General surgeons perform a variety of procedures at ThedaCare. In addition to abdominal organs, they operate on blood vessels, skin, breasts, glands and other areas of the body.
Some general surgeons have additional expertise and advanced education and training in areas such as trauma surgery or cancer care. These specialties require high-level skills and experience to perform procedures to treat injuries that affect more than one area of the body.
Like all of our doctors and care providers, general surgeons are part of a closely connected team. They collaborate and coordinate with your primary care doctor and other experts as needed. Whether it’s child-friendly pediatric care, specialized women’s health care or rapid-response to a multiple-injury trauma, the right experts are always at hand.
General surgeons use the latest technology and techniques. Whenever possible, we use sophisticated, minimally invasive approaches that can lessen discomfort and speed healing. These include endoscopic surgery involving computer-guided scopes and robotic-assisted procedures. Techniques like these enable our general surgeons to operate with remarkable skill and precision.
Types of general surgery include:
- Acute care
- Breast and soft tissue
- The endocrine system
- Gastrointestinal tract
Whenever possible, our surgeons use less invasive techniques, to minimize discomfort and help you heal faster. ThedaCare is on the leading edge of innovations with the best equipment, technologies and methods. Using smaller incisions and advanced technology, our team of surgeons have the expertise to operate using sophisticated Endoscopic, Laparoscopic, Robotic and minimally invasive and computer-guided approaches.
ThedaCare Surgical Partnerships
ThedaCare partners with two leading surgical practices that serve patients throughout our region.
Surgical Associates of Neenah and Fox Valley Surgical Associates have a long standing relationship with ThedaCare and have the deep expertise to provide quality surgical care for the residents of our community.
Specialty Surgical Care available in the Fox Valley and Rural Communities
ThedaCare is proud to offer specialty surgical care not only in the Fox Valley Metro area but to our rural communities as well so you do not need to travel for your procedure and can recover close to home near family and friends.
Surgical procedures are offered in the following Regional Medical Centers:
Surgical procedures are offered in the following critical access hospitals in our region:
ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano
100 County Road B
Shawano, WI 54166
ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca
800 Riverside Drive
Waupaca, WI 54981
ThedaCare Medical Center-New London
1405 South Mill Street
New London, WI 54961
Your primary doctor can refer you to a general surgery specialist for evaluation. If you do not have a primary care doctor, find a ThedaCare doctor now.
When you’re scheduled for surgery, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. We encourage you to think about your questions in advance. Bring a written list to your appointment so you don’t forget any details. Along the way, feel free to ask for assistance at any time you need it. Our care team is here to guide you.
You’re welcome to bring a responsible adult family member or friend to your appointment to assist you. Sometimes, they can help you to remember, understand or follow up on important details.
Questions to ask your surgeon include:
- Why is this procedure needed, and what are its benefits?
- What are the alternatives to surgery?
- What if I decide not to have the surgery?
- Is this an inpatient or outpatient surgery?
- How long will the procedure take?
- What are the risks and possible complications from the surgery?
- What type of anesthesia will I receive, and who will be giving it?
- What should I do to prepare for my surgery?
- When can I go home?
- What medical supplies, equipment and assistance will I need when I go home?
- When can I expect during recovery?
- What restrictions and precautions are there?
- When can I return to work or other normal activities?
Most patients will receive a call a few days prior to their procedures from our patient care team to review a list of questions and to answer any specific questions that you may have regarding your procedure. Here is a list of important information to consider in advance of your procedure:
- Follow your care team’s instructions for eating and drinking, including gum, candy, water and soda. Do not make exceptions, unless advised by your care team.
- You can brush your teeth the morning of your surgery, but don’t swallow any toothpaste.
- Do not take prescription or over-the-counter medication without your provider’s permission.
- Tell your doctor about current medical problems, symptoms or concerns.
- Shower within 24 hours before your surgery with either Dial or special soap given to you by your provider.
- After you shower, use a freshly laundered towel, put on freshly laundered clothes and sleep on freshly laundered linens.
- Wear loose-fitting comfortable clothing.
- Don’t wear jewelry, nail polish, makeup or perfume.
- Keeping warm lowers your chance of post-surgery infection. If you feel cold, ask for warm blankets.
- Download this National Institutes of Health guide about preparing for inpatient surgery.
- The day of surgery and during your stay, prevent infection by washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Be sure all visitors and care providers wash their hands as they enter and leave your room.
- If your child is having surgery, you may feel anxious, too. Download Who Will Hold My Hand? A Guide for Parents Whose Child Needs an Operation from the American College of Surgeons.
- Insurance documents with your name and policy number
- A driver’s license or other official photo ID
- Appropriate medical records, including information about allergies or other conditions
- A list of any questions you have
- An acceptable form of payment, if your policy requires a copay
- Personal care items
- Reading materials, electronic devices, puzzles or hobbies that help you relax
- Eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and dentures, including storage cases
- Names and phone numbers to contact in case of an emergency
- A list of prescription and over-the-counter medication, herbs or supplements you take, including when and how much you take – ask your doctor before taking or bringing medications to the hospital
You can expect some pain, soreness or swelling around your surgery site. Your health care team will provide therapies to manage any discomfort. They’ll tell you about wound care and the healing process.
There are risks with any surgical procedure. They include infection, too much bleeding, reaction to anesthesia or other complications. Tell your doctor and nurses about levels of pain or symptoms, such as nausea.
People who smoke or use alcohol and drugs have a higher risk of complications. Other risk factors include diabetes and obesity Learn more about what to do before surgery to reduce risks.
Your care team will advise you what to do during the days, weeks or months after surgery. Understanding and following all directions is key to your successful recovery.
Working with your care team, you can prevent infections that can develop in or around a wound. An infected wound can lead to other problems. It can require antibiotics, a longer hospital stay and extra nursing care at home. Serious infections may require additional surgery.
Ask your doctor and nurse about other steps to prevent problems.
During Your Stay:
- Depending on the type of anesthesia you have received and your condition, a nurse may take you to a recovery care unit or directly to a private inpatient room. Your family will be able to join you once you are settled and ready for visitors.
- Wash your hands well. Use soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners. Be sure your visitors and care providers wash their hands when entering and leaving your room.
- Stay warm. It can lower your chance of infection after surgery. Let a nurse know if you feel cold and you’ll receive warm blankets.
- Ask which medications you will be receiving before, during and after surgery.
- Make sure you understand how to care for your wound. Ask questions before you go home.
- Health conditions such as diabetes or prediabetes raise your risk of infection after surgery. Work with your doctor and care team to ensure your successful, healthy recovery.
- Don’t take medications without your doctor’s consent. Keep your doctors and nurses informed about:
Herbs and supplements
- Follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
- Keep your bandages clean and dry.
- Keep pets away from your wound.
- Do NOT irritate your surgical wound by picking, squeezing, itching or rubbing it.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before caring for your wound.
- After you bathe or shower and until your wound heals, use a freshly laundered towel, freshly laundered clothes and freshly laundered linens.
- When you leave the hospital, a care team member will escort you. If you are going home the day of surgery, plan to have a family member, friend or care provider be available to transport you home.
- Your doctor may prescribe post-surgery therapies and rehabilitation. At ThedaCare, we encourage you to take an active role in your care for better long-term results.
Your ThedaCare team will show you how to prevent infection and provide personalized post-surgery instructions to help protect your wounds and promote healing.