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May 25, 2018
No Need for Nerves When it Comes to Surgical Consultations

Recently noticed a change in the appearance of a mole on your skin?

Perhaps you have noticed a lump where no lump had been present before.

Maybe after you eat, you find that you get bloated and have indigestion.

Or, your relative was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. You have noticed blood when you move your bowels and you are concerned.

All of these reasons are concerns that you should talk about with your primary care physician, which may get you referred to the surgery office at Harrington.

In the past, when you had an appointment with a surgeon, many people became nervous. Today, many patients see us on a regular basis for wide variety of issues.

We certainly are able to evaluate your new mole and discuss to see the option of removing this either during an office appointment or in the operating room under anesthesia.

What about if your child has a problem that may require surgery? Do you have to go to Worcester, Springfield, or Boston to get treatment? For everyday issues including appendicitis, skin lesions, lumps or bumps, or hernias your children can be treated locally. One of Harrington’s general surgeons has been trained by the pediatric surgeons at Children’s Hospital Boston and is able to handle these types of procedures without requiring a long car ride to one of the larger institutions. Many times, the child will be able to go home the same day. Many children are only out of school for a couple of days, and able to return to classes quickly.

Many people have anxiety about surgery and expect to have terrible pain after the operations are completed. Currently, there are many ways the surgery techniques have improved to allow for minimally invasive approaches. These techniques diminish the amount of pain the patient will have after an operation is completed. There are also medications that can be given to the patient during the operation itself around the area where the surgery is occurring that help the patient have much less discomfort for several days after the operation has been completed. Many patients are going home with just Tylenol or ibuprofen for discomfort. Most of the patients report that they very rarely take additional medication due to the long-acting medicine that has been given at the time of the surgery because they do not have any pain. This allows for patients to return to a more normal lifestyle much more quickly than in the old days when patients were in the hospital for an extended stay after every common operation. There are still restrictions on patients after they have an operation, but these are tailored to each patient individually and are discussed with the patient prior to surgery. This allows the patient to may make arrangements so their postoperative recovery is smooth.

Finally, there really is no need to be anxious when you go to a surgical office. A great surgeon will take time to listen to your problem, perform a thorough examination and come up with the best way to try to help make you feel better.

Colette Whitby, MD, is a board-certified general surgeon at Harrington Physician Services. She performs a variety of procedures, including cancer excisions, mastectomies, oophorectomies and port placements for cancer patients, as well as general surgical services like appendectomies, colonoscopy and gallbladder removal. She can be reached at (508) 764-6966.