Surgical Associates
of Ithaca, P.C.

Cayuga Professional Center
1301 Trumansburg Rd
Ithaca, New York 14850
(607) 273-3161


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers









Q:   Will you let my referring doctor know Iíve been seen here?
A:   Whenever a patient is referred to us, we send a report to the referring doctor. If your treatment is urgent, we may call your doctor directly. If a patient requests confidentiality, however, we abide by that request.


Q:   How long does it take to get surgery scheduled?
A:   It takes a week or two to get on the operating room schedule for elective surgery, unless additional tests are required, which may add time. Emergency surgery, on the other hand, is scheduled immediately.


Q:   What are the various costs associated with surgery?
A:   If your surgery is performed at Cayuga Medical Center, you will be charged for the services of the anesthesiologist, the pathologist, and any other physician consultations. The bills from these doctors will come separately. The medical center will also charge you usage fees for the operating room, patient room, medications, and medical supplies used during your stay.


Q:   How many of these procedures have you done?
A:   The answer to this question varies, depending on the procedure and the particular surgeon; however, we will be happy to let you know what we have done. Don't be surprised if one of our surgeons refers you to another surgeon with more expertise. For example, if you require endocrine surgery, we may ask you to see Dr. Foster because she specializes in that area.


Q:   I am scared not of the surgery, but of the anesthesia. How can you help me?
A:   There are risks to and alternatives for every procedure, but in general you face less risk having anesthesia than you do driving to the hospital. The anesthesiologists at Cayuga Medical Center are all board certified and experienced in their specialty. Everyone receiving anesthesia is under the direct care of a physician; we do not utilize nurse anesthetists. We have the utmost confidence in the ability of our anesthesiologists to keep you safe and comfortable.


Q:   I read about this procedure on the Web. Do you do it?
A:   Usually the answer to this question is, yes, we do. We pride ourselves on keeping up to date; we regularly seek out courses to upgrade our skills. But we'll be honest with you: not everything you read about on the Web is right for everyone.


Q:   Can my loved one watch the surgery?
A:   For minor office procedures, the presence of a loved one may be comforting and we will not object. For major procedures involving anesthesia, our priority is to focus our attention on the patient. Other people in the room can be distracting.


Q:   When will I feel back to normal?
A:   You'll be surprised at how good you feel after most minor procedures. But when you've had anesthesia for a major surgical procedure, full recovery can take six to eight weeks or more. Don't expect too much of yourself too soon.


Q:   Can you do this procedure with a laser?
A:   A laser is a cutting tool and is not magic. We are credentialed to do laser procedures when appropriate, but often simple, standard surgery does an excellent job and with better results. We are all also very experienced in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery, which is much more easily tolerated by patients than standard open surgery in many cases. We use laparoscopic technology whenever appropriate.


Q:   How soon can I travel?
A:   We take pride in our work: we want to be sure you recover well and that we are available to help you. If you must travel after surgery, please let us know and we will help make arrangements for care to be available where you are going.


Q:   Will I see you after the surgery?
A:   We try to see all of our patients soon after surgery to let you know what we found, how you are, and what to expect. We will also call you to check on your progress and answer your questions after you return home. For simple procedures, sometimes our nurse practitioner or physician assistant handles post-operative checks. But your doctor will always be available to answer your questions and will see you if you need us.


Q:   Do I need to see a subspecialist for this?
A:   We enjoy practicing in Ithaca because of the variety of patients we can safely, comfortably treat, but we do not hesitate to recommend subspecialists for things we can't handle.


Q:   What do I do if I have a problem after surgery and your office is closed?
A:   We are always on call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can make arrangements to open the office if necessary or we can see you in the Emergency Room. Don't ever worry about bothering us; we would much rather have patients contact us if there is a problem.


Q:   Can a plastic surgeon do this better?
A:   Plastic surgeons are experts in skin and soft tissue and we rely on their expertise whenever necessary. But the way your scar appears has more to do with the way your wound heals, and most of the skin closure techniques we use are the same as those used by plastic surgeons.


Q:   Am I the first person you've ever seen with this embarrassing condition?
A:   No.