General Patient Information

If you are scheduled to have an operation done by one of our surgeons, the doctors and staff of Surgical Specialists of Spokane will work hard to help you through the pre-op phase of the surgery, the procedure and the post-operative care. This information will give you general instructions and answer frequently asked questions.

Office Hours
The office is open from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM during the week (except holidays). Please try to conduct business and make routine inquiries during those hours. If you have questions or problems, it is best to call early in the day if possible.

After Hours Emergencies
Two doctors are always available for urgent or emergent problems. The doctors in the group rotate the night and weekend call; therefore, you may not get to speak to the doctor that did your surgery. If you need to contact the doctor on call after hours, call the office number, and you will be forwarded to his cell phone or to the answering service. Your call will be routed depending on which hospital you are associated with. One doctor covers Sacred Heart and the Valley Hospital; the other doctor covers Deaconess and Holy Family Hospital. If you get his voice mail, leave your number and he will call back as soon as possible. If your surgeon is not available, please be prepared to explain to the surgeon on call:

  • Who your surgeon is
  • What operation you had
  • The date of the operation
  • In which facility the operation was done

During the early post-operative period we suggest you:
Contact the doctor on call for the group with issues pertaining to your operation rather than contacting your primary care physician.

Do not go to the Emergency Room without contacting the doctor on call. He can facilitate the visit to the ER, and hopefully, help avoid long delays. After talking with the doctor on call, you may decide the trip to the ER is unnecessary.

Pre-operative Instructions
Fasting: It is important to follow your instructions about fasting before your surgery. Ask the doctor which of your routine medications you should take that day in spite of not eating.

Pre-op shower: The night before AND the morning of your surgery, take a thorough shower (preferably with antibacterial soap such as Dial and Hibiclens but any good soap will do) with emphasis to the area of the planned incision. Do not shave the area. If any shaving is necessary, it will be done in the operating room.

Post-operative Appointments
Please call the day after your surgery to set the post-operative appointment.

Prescriptions
Please try to get prescriptions filled during office hours. Call early in the day when needing prescription refills as your doctor may be in surgery or unavailable to give authorization until the following day. It is particularly important that narcotic prescriptions are filled while the office is open. The doctors have a legal responsibility to ensure patients are not receiving these drugs inappropriately. The group’s policy is to only give narcotic prescriptions and refills during office hours. In some circumstances narcotic refills will be allowed at night or during the weekends if the pharmacist calls the doctor. New narcotic prescriptions will not be written during these times.