Frequently Asked Questions

NEW PATIENT

Do I need an office visit before scheduling my surgery?

Unless you need emergency surgery, you will have a consult appointment with the surgeon in the office. The doctor will review your medical history, your test results and evaluate whether surgery is the best line of treatment for your situation and any precautions or preparation needed for your particular case.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

You should bring the following to your initial office visit:

  1. Your insurance cards
  2. A photo ID
  3. Any completed paperwork which you will have received from our office
  4. A referral from your primary care physician (if required by your insurance)
  5. If you had tests or images (x-rays, mammograms, CAT scans, MRI) performed OUTSIDE of the Reading Health System, please obtain the disc(s) to bring to your first appointment
  6. If you do not speak English it is recommended that you bring someone with you that can help interpret.
If I am coming in for an irregular mammogram, will my doctor biopsy the lump in the office?

This will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  The general rule of thumb is if the doctor can feel the lump, it MIGHT be able to be biopsied in our office. Please know that your surgeon will evaluate your individual situation in order to determine the best course of action for you.

Where do I park when I come for my appointment?

Our office is conveniently located at the Doctors Office Building, 301 S. 7th Avenue, Suite 305, next to the Reading Hospital. There is a parking garage directly across from our office and complimentary valet parking is available.

What does FACS mean after my surgeon’s name?

All three of our surgeons are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, which is a scientific and educational association of surgeons focused on improving the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. This designation means that your surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation and are consistent with the high standards established by the American College of Surgeons.

Are there alternatives to surgery?

Your surgeon will review with you the risks, benefits and alternatives to surgery. If you leave our office and have additional questions, please call 610-374-7720 to speak with your doctor. We want you to feel comfortable with the decision and fully understand all of the risks, benefits and alternatives.

What are the risks of my surgery?

Your surgeon will review with you the risks, benefits and alternatives to surgery. If you leave our office and have additional questions, please call 610-374-7720 to speak with your doctor. We want you to feel comfortable with the decision and fully understand all of the risks, benefits and alternatives.

ABOUT MY SURGERY

Who do I call if I have questions before my surgery?

Your surgeon is available to answer your questions prior to the surgery. In addition, our office staff is here to help you as you prepare for surgery. You can call our office to discuss your questions at 610-374-7720.

Click here to see the Resources.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Our doctors operate at the Reading Hospital and Reading Hospital SurgiCenter at Spring Ridge. The type of surgery that you are having might determine where your surgery will be; your doctor will discuss this with you.

What do I need to do before my surgery?

Your surgeon and the surgery scheduler will have reviewed this with you.  The general guidelines are outlined here. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you need further information. 610-374-7720 ext. 12

Click here to see the “before your surgery” instructions.

What can I eat before my pre-admission testing appointment?

You may eat before your pre-admission testing appointment.  

 

Where do I go for my pre-admission testing appointment?

Prior to your surgery, you will have a PRE-ADMISSION TESTING APPOINTMENT (PAT). Some PAT appointments require you to go to the hospital for an in-person appointment; the other option is a telephone PAT appointment. You will be told at the time of surgery scheduling what to expect depending on what type of surgery you are having and where it is taking place.

 

What kind of anesthesia will I need?

There are several types of anesthesia options including local, regional, and general anesthesia. Regional and general anesthesia are administered by a licensed Anesthesiologist who is a physician specializing in this procedure. You will meet with your Anesthesiologist prior to your surgery. They will ask you many questions to select the correct method to properly sedate you for surgery. During your consult, the Anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist (under the supervision of the Anesthesiologist) will go over the specific guidelines and risks for the anesthesia planned for your procedure.

Will someone need to drive me home after my surgery?
  • If you have any kind of sedation, you need a driver
  • If you have local anesthesia only, you are able to drive unless told otherwise by your surgeon.
Can I drink anything the morning of my surgery?

You will receive instructions at the time of your preadmission testing appointment regarding what you can eat or drink prior to presenting for your surgery. In general, you may have clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to presenting for surgery.

Can I take my routine medications the day of the surgery?

You will receive instructions at your pre-admission testing appointment regarding which medications to take on the day of your surgery. If there remains any questions regarding which medications to take, it is safest to bring the medicines with you on the day of your surgery and you will receive instructions after arriving.

AFTER MY SURGERY

What do I do if I need to reach my surgeon after hours?

A surgeon is on call 24 hours/day every day of the year. If you have a question after hours, please call our office (610-374-7720) and the surgeon on call will get back to you. If it is a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

When can I drive?
  • YOU MAY NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE TAKING prescription pain medicine
  • This will depend on the type of surgery that you had. You should follow the instructions that you were given at discharge. If you are unsure of those instructions, please call our office at 610-374-7720.
  • As a general rule, you should not drive until you feel that your reaction time is back to normal and you feel well enough to operate the vehicle safely.
When can I take a shower?
  • Usually 24-48 hours after surgery but it depends on the specific surgery done.
  • You can wash right over the area with soap and water.
  • Pat the area dry and cover it if there is drainage otherwise, can keep it open to air.
  • If you were given different post-operative instructions, please follow them or call our office to discuss.
What should I do to control pain?
  • If you were given a prescription for pain medicine, follow those instructions
  • If you are able to take ibuprofen products, Tylenol or Advil can be used or whatever you normally take for pain.
  • Ice packs and/or heating pads as appropriate or instructed by your surgeon.
What are the signs of infection?
  • Fever over 101 and chills
  • Redness, pus
  • Generally not feeling well
What should I do if I run a fever?
  • Take some Tylenol and call the office if it persists for more than 24 hours (fever over 101)
  • Look for fever, chills, redness, swelling and call us if present
What should I do about constipation?
  • Take more fluids (apple juice or prune juice might help).
  • Increase activity as instructed by your surgeon.
  • You may take over the counter stool softeners or MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia. It is recommended that you start with half of a normal adult dose initially.
  • Use as little prescription pain medicine as possible since they can cause constipation.
Is it safe/advisable to move around or should I spend most of my time resting?
  • As a general rule and depending on the type of surgery that you had, walking is the best thing you can do and it is usually okay to go up steps.
  • Avoid heavy lifting—more than 10 pounds is probably too much. (No more than a gallon of milk)
  • If you were given different post-operative instructions, please follow them or call our office to discuss. 610-374-7720
Can I drink alcohol?
  • DO NOT drink alcohol if you are taking pain medicine.
  • It is not advisable to drink alcohol if you are taking antibiotics.
What should I eat and drink after surgery?
  • Eat small amounts, bland food is better. Avoid greasy, fatty spicy foods until you feel that your system can tolerate them.
What should I do if I have blood on my incision?
  • If it is just a little bit of bleeding, wash and hold pressure for 5 minutes
  • If there is still active bleeding after the five minutes, call the office at 610-374-7720
When do I need to see the doctor after surgery?

Your discharge instructions should tell you when to reschedule a post-op appointment with the surgeon. Please call our office if you have any questions (610-374-7720)

When can I take my steri-strips off?

They should be on at least 5 days, but after 7 days they can come off. It is okay if they fall off after 7 days.

When will I get my biopsy results?

Typically biopsy results are back within ONE WEEK. We monitor results and will call you as soon as they are available. If you have not heard from our office within ONE week, please call us at 610-374-7720.

How do I get my FMLA/Disability Forms completed?

Our office is happy to fill out these forms for you. Please drop them off at our office. It is our goal to complete these forms in a timely manner. Please allow THREE business days for the forms to be completed. There is a $10 form fee.