Colon & Rectal Surgery
What to Expect for Colon & Rectal Surgery in La Crosse
We make every effort to accommodate patients' scheduling needs. Most often, clinic appointments with a surgeon can be arranged when you call the department. When you call, please provide us with any information you have regarding testing that has been completed related to your current state of health, such as ultrasounds, CT scans, etc.
Clinic appointment registration
If you are a new patient to Mayo Clinic Health System, you will be connected to Registration when making your appointment with the surgeon. They will ask you for some information and get you preregistered in our system. If you are unable to do this at that time, Registration will later contact you or you may call 608-392-9882.
What to expect at your first appointment
Your first appointment with the surgeon is a consultation. If you are a new patient, the surgeon will do a focused history, physical exam and review of prior lab tests or X-rays. If surgery is recommended, you and the surgeon will discuss the surgical procedure, how you should prepare for the surgery and determine a date for the surgery. If needed, the surgeon may order further imaging or laboratory studies prior to scheduling surgery. Please bring your complete list of medications, including dosages, with you to your appointments. If a minor procedure needs to be performed, the surgeon may be able to complete it during your first visit, if schedules permit.
Preparing for surgery
The admission nurse will call you two days prior to your scheduled surgery with instructions. You will need to call 1-866-424-6351 between 6 and 10 p.m. the evening before your surgery to learn what time to report for surgery the next day. You will be asked to come at least one to two hours prior to your scheduled surgery time to prepare you for the procedure.
- Before your surgery
Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. You may take your morning medication with a small sip of water on the day of surgery. If you are diabetic, please consult your provider for instructions regarding your diabetic medications. If you are having surgery, continue to take your aspirin, even on the day of surgery. In addition, if you are taking blood-thinning medications (i.e., coumadin, Plavix, Pletal, NSAIDS), please consult your provider for instructions regarding these medications.
- During surgery
Depending on what type of surgery you have, you may go home the same day or need to stay at the hospital for a day or two. If you stay in the hospital, your care team will see you once or twice a day to see how you are feeling and make sure your pain is under control.
- After surgery
Prior to going home, you will receive postoperative instructions from your care team, pertaining specifically to your type of surgery. You will be instructed on wound care, medications, activity or diet restrictions, and what to expect in the healing process. If you do not have a drain, you may shower in 48 hours. If you have wound dressings in place, please leave them intact. You may drive when you are completely off pain medications. If you notice any signs or symptoms of infection after surgery, you should immediately call 608-392-9001 and ask to speak with the general surgeon on call. Signs and symptoms of infection include redness on the skin around the incision, warmth on the skin around the incision, fever and/or chills, increased pain or tenderness and purulent drainage from the incision.
Most surgeries require a follow-up appointment with the surgeon in the clinic within one to two weeks after your surgery and are included in the cost of surgery. No additional charges will be billed to you. Whenever possible, your postoperative appointment will be made for you when your surgery is scheduled. If not, it will be scheduled after your surgery or upon your discharge from the hospital.
Whenever possible, we try to schedule tests and follow-up with the surgeon on the same day. We make every effort to have pathology results available when you're scheduled for any follow-up appointments, so they may be reviewed with you. We also may ask you to call for your pathology results two to three days following your procedure. We will contact you as soon as we receive reports to help reduce anxiety that can be associated with waiting for results.