Frequently Asked Questions

What are your office hours?

Our office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Clinic hours vary daily, with some occasional evening and week/end hours.

With which insurance plans do you participate?

Progressive Surgical Associates accepts many insurance plans. Many are listed here. If your insurance company is not listed, call your carrier to see if your provider is an in- or out-of-network provider. Our providers are willing to see all patients, however, there may be an increased out-of-pocket expense for those carriers where the provider is out-of-network.

Do I need to bring my medical records or imaging to my first appointment?

Yes, it is very important that you have your records sent or bring them with you to your first appointment. You must request your medical records be sent to us. If you’ve had any recent imaging (CT, MRI, etc.) please bring the disc with the actual images on it. If we do not have your records, testing and/or imaging at the time of the appointment, your appointment may have to be rescheduled.

When will my test be ordered?

Within 48 business hours. If you have Aetna, BCBS, Cigna or UHC, we need to obtain authorization. We will call you when we get authorization.

When is my procedure?

We will call you when your date is confirmed, in 1-2 weeks.

What should I do if I have paperwork that needs to be filled out for my employer?

Please drop off the forms in our office or fax them to (815) 717-8729. Please allow 5-7 business days for these forms to be completed. A one-time charge of $15 will apply. If you only need a return to work letter, this will be given at your follow-up visit for no charge.

BEFORE SURGERY

Do I need to have testing prior to my surgery? What else should I do to prepare for my surgery?

Visit our Pre-Surgical Instructions page here. You should also follow any additional recommendations made to you by your surgeon. If your surgeon ordered bloodwork this will need to completed before the day of surgery. If your surgeon advised you to obtain medical or cardiac clearance you should contact your primary care provider and/or cardiologist to obtain this.

Will I need to do a bowel prep prior to my surgery?

Your surgeon will have given you instructions and a prescription for a bowel prep if it is required for your surgery. In general, procedures that may require a bowel prep are colonoscopy and colon and rectal surgeries. Some surgeries may have you do what’s called a “gentle bowel prep” which consists of oral antibiotics and milk of magnesia the day before surgery. You will be given specific instructions for this if it is required for your surgery.

If my procedure requires a bowel prep, which instructions for should I follow?

Follow the instructions that were given to you at your appointment or were mailed to your home.

Do I need to stop eating before my surgery?

You should have NOTHING TO EAT after midnight prior to your surgery. You may have sips of water up to three hours before your surgery. If you need to take any medications the morning of surgery, you may do so with a sip of water.

Which of my medications should I take before surgery?

Patients are to continue their blood pressure and heart medications. If you normally take these in the morning, you should do so the morning of your surgery with a sip of water.

Patients should continue any respiratory medications including any inhaler as normal. If you are taking seizure medications, this should be taken as you normally would, as well.

Blood thinning medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, naproxen, Plavix, NSAIDs etc.) typically need to be stopped 5 days prior to surgery. Some of the newer anticoagulants such as Xarelto and Eliquis may not need to be stopped as soon, so always check with the physician who prescribes the medication to see how soon you should stop. You should always consult with the physician who prescribes the medication before stopping.

No diet or weight loss medications can be taken 14 days prior to surgery.

You may skip your vitamins and supplements the day of surgery.

What type of anesthesia will be used?

Your anesthesiologist will conduct a pre-operative interview with you about your medical history. He or she will then make a determination about what type of anesthesia is most appropriate for you. You will either receive a general anesthetic, which will put you to sleep during your surgery, or in cases of minor surgery, you will receive a local anesthetic, leaving you alert, but pain-free as only the surgical area is anesthetized.

When should I arrive at the surgery location?

In general, the hospital or surgery center will want you to arrive about 1 ½ hours before your scheduled surgery time. The hospital or surgery center will contact you in the days prior to your surgery to obtain information to pre-admit you. They can answer any additional questions you have at that time, as well as confirm your surgery and arrival time. These times are always subject to change.

AFTER SURGERY

When can I resume normal activity?

Refer to our Post-Surgical Instructions page for guidelines specific to your surgery. For all abdominal surgeries, walking and going up and down stairs are not restricted. Depending on the type of abdominal surgery you had, you may not perform any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 2-6 weeks after surgery depending on the type of surgery you had.

When can I shower?

Refer to our Post-Surgical Instructions page for guidelines specific to your surgery. In general, you may remove your dressing and shower 48 hours after your surgery.

When can I go swimming or take a bath?

You may go swimming or take a bath 5 days after your surgery if you have surgical glue and/or dissolvable sutures. If you have visible/external sutures or staples, you may not go swimming until the sutures or staples are removed and you are cleared by your surgeon. We advise you avoid lakes, ponds, streams and hot tubs for a month after surgery due to the risk of infection.

How should I care for my wound dressing?

Visit our Post-Surgical Instructions page here for guidelines specific to your surgery. If you have a dressing over your incision, you may remove the entire dressing 48 hours after surgery. If you have small white strips (steri-strips) over your incision you will want to leave these in place until they fall off or for two weeks. If you have surgical glue over your incisions then you don’t have to do anything.

When can I resume my blood thinner?

Following endoscopic procedures or colonoscopies you may resume your blood thinner, NSAID or anticoagulant immediately.

Following surgery you should hold aspirin for 5 days, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.

If you take a prescription anticoagulant or blood thinner you may resume it the day after surgery.

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, ketorolac, Celebrex, etc. may be resumed immediately, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.

What should I do if I am constipated or unable to have a bowel movement after surgery?

If you have not had a bowel movement for 2-3 days after your surgery, you may take a dose of milk of magnesia. Be sure to take your stool softener (docusate) if this was prescribed by your surgeon.

How soon after my surgery can I drive?

In many cases, you may resume driving a few days to two weeks after surgery provided you are no longer having discomfort and are not taking any narcotic pain medication or medications that make you sleepy.

You must arrange for a ride home from your actual surgery.

If you have had only a minor lump/bump removal under local anesthesia only, you may drive any time after your surgery provided pain, stiffness, or numbness is not hindering your movements necessary for driving.

For endoscopic procedures and colonoscopies, you may drive after 24 hours.

Individual cases may vary, however, you must be prepared physically and mentally to handle an emergency situation on the road.

Most importantly, use common sense when making the decision to drive. If you are continuing to take narcotics for pain or are impaired physically or cognitively in any way, DO NOT DRIVE.

What should I do if my wound has discharge coming out?

Clear or blood-tinged discharge is normal after surgery. You may keep the wound covered with clean, dry gauze and change the dressing as often as needed to protect your clothing. If you are having white or yellow thick discharge, worsening pain and redness surrounding the wound, or fevers and chills, these could be signs of an infection. If you think your wound may be infected, make an appointment to come see us during business hours or go to the emergency room outside of business hours.

What should I do if I am having difficulty urinating after surgery?

Urinary retention is common after surgery, especially after inguinal hernia repairs. If you were prescribed a medication to help with urination such as Tamsulosin (FloMax), you make take this as prescribed. If you still can not urinate for more than 12 hours, please make an appointment to see us that day or go to the emergency room. In the emergency room, your treatment will likely consist of inserting a foley catheter. A urinalysis, CT scan or any sort of imaging is unnecessary. If you are sent home with a foley catheter, make an appointment to see us the next day to have it removed in our office.

What should I do if I am having pain after surgery?

Pain is a normal part of recovery after any operation. Your pain will be the strongest in the first few days after surgery then should start getting better day by day. You may take over-the-counter pain medication such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol or aspirin. You may also take the medication prescribed to you after your surgery. Do not exceed the dosing instructions provided. Prescription strength pain medications (narcotics) have numerous side effects including nausea, constipation, dizziness, sedation and the potential for tolerance or addiction to the medications. Use cautiously and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while you are drowsy from pain medication.

If you had a large hernia or abdominal incision, you may have been sent home with an abdominal binder. This is to wear for your comfort and may help limit some of your pain. The binders are not waterproof and should be taken off to shower. You should sleep with the binder off as well.

When should I expect my bowel habits to return to normal after a colonoscopy?

It may take up to 10 days for your bowel habits to return to normal after a colonoscopy.

What do I do if I get a rash near my incisions?

Minor rashes, while irritating, are not a cause for concern. Minor allergic reactions to the sutures or skin adhesives are common. You may try a topical hydrocortisone cream for itching. For more severe itching, an antihistamine such as Benadryl may be taken, but may make you drowsy. If your rash isn’t clearing up after 5-7 days, you may make an appointment to see us. If you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or facial swelling, seek medical care at the emergency room immediately.

What can I eat after my surgery?

Depending on the type of surgery, you may or may not be able to resume your normal diet. You should refer to your discharge instructions given to you. You may typically resume a normal diet after a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy, hernia repair, hemorrhoidal procedure, lump or bump removal or other procedures not involving your stomach or intestines. If you had your gallbladder removed, you should stay on a low-fat diet for at least 2 weeks after surgery. If you had surgery on your colon, rectum, stomach or esophagus, you may need to stay on a soft diet after surgery.

We serve all communities and are conveniently located near Frankfort, Homer Glen, Joliet, Mokena, Morris, Orland Park and Tinley Park.