Questions and Answers

What happens after I leave the hospital?

Our surgeons are part of Northwest Surgical Specialists; we are not employees of PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. Once you are discharged from the hospital, be sure to schedule a follow-up appointment to see us at our TRACS clinic to talk about your recovery and to confirm that follow-up appointments with other specialists are scheduled. If you or your caregiver have questions or need medications refilled prior to your follow-up appointment, call our office at 541-868-9303. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — you are never alone in your recovery, even after leaving the hospital.

What if I run out of my pain medication before my office visit?

State and federal law regulate narcotic pain medication prescriptions. 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. Narcotic medications cannot be refilled after hours or on weekends or holidays.

Who will I see at my clinic visit?

Our 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 and will include two providers – one primary surgeon and an advanced practice provider. You may or may not see the surgeon who did your operation, but instead one of his/her partners.

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 and/or Tylenol 500mg every 6 hours to help with pain control. You should not take Tylenol if you are already on a mediation that contains acetaminophen.  You should not take Ibuprofen if you have peptic ulcer disease or another medical condition that make NSAIDS unsafe. We also endorse complimentary medicine in conjunction to assist in pain management.

What should I do if I feel constipated?

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 smelling, frequent diarrhea, call our office for further evaluation.

When can I start exercising again?

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

When can I return to work?

You do not have to wait until your follow-up appointment 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.

How do I get paperwork for my work, regarding time off and lifting restrictions?

Have your work fax Family and Medical Leave Act and other paperwork to our office (fax: 541-868-9306). You can also contact Amy Barber our Disability Specialist at or via her direct line (541-868-9343). Paperwork will be completed and returned as soon as possible.

What can I eat after 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.