If You Need Surgery, Think
Special to the Journal by James Metcalf, MD
The decision to have surgery
is often a complex process involving a number of factors and can be quite
stressful. In addition to the medical indications you discuss with your surgeon,
there are often other factors such as timing, work schedules, and the location
where you feel confident in having your procedure.
As a surgeon these questions
are often raised with me before surgery. I would like to share my thoughts
regarding why I feel a majority of the time staying locally for your procedure
can be beneficial.
Cayuga Medical Center is
nearing completion of its newly expanded, multimillion-dollar Department of
Surgical Services. We are now operating in brand new surgical suites, which
offer state-of-the-art surgical, anesthesia, and imaging technology. New
surgical video equipment enables multiple specialties to perform minimally
invasive endoscopic procedures and microsurgery, as well as more traditional
surgeries. The entire renovation will result in improved preoperative as well
and postoperative areas.
The surgeons on staff at
Cayuga Medical Center are all board certified, meaning they have met a rigorous
set of credentials established by their peers to maintain a high competency
level. Unlike a number of facilities, all surgical cases here are done by board
certified anesthesiologists, as well. Physician board certification has been
shown to be a major safety indicator.
As important as we surgeons
like to think we are, equally important are the nurses, surgical technologists,
and support staff who really do most of the work. At Cayuga Medical Center we
are fortunate to have a very stable nursing staff throughout the surgery
process. Many of them have worked here for many years and use their experience
to help train the next generation of caregivers. The surgical technologists and
support staff are all committed to providing a quality surgical environment.
Following your procedure you
go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where the staff is excellent in the
care of post-anesthetic patients. A number of patients will be discharged from
the PACU on the day of their procedure. However, if you are admitted you will
typically go to the Short Stay Unit on the third floor, which is the primary
surgical floor. The staff there is equally experienced and they administer
quality pain management and postoperative care. Should you have a more
sophisticated procedure or a problem requiring specialized care, our Intensive
Care Unit is staffed by full-time intensivists and a highly trained nursing
We provide a complete line
of elective and, if needed, emergent surgical care at Cayuga Medical Center.
Orthopedists routinely perform the latest arthroscopic techniques, as well as
total joint replacements. Neurosurgeons do neck and back surgery, as well as
care for problems within the brain. General surgeons utilize the latest
laparoscopic techniques for both general and bariatric procedures. The Ear,
Nose, and Throat surgeons provide an array of care for both children and adults
to include advanced surgery for head and neck cancers. Plastic surgery, oral
and maxillofacial procedures, gynecologic and urologic procedures are all
routinely performed. A number of ophthalmologic, gastroenterology, and
podiatric procedures are performed at Surgicare on Brentwood Drive.
One advantage we provide is
a local connection if you have problems following your surgery. All patients
have questions inevitably after surgery and it is usually easier to have them
resolved if you have a local provider familiar with your case.
As a neurosurgeon, I
sometimes see problems that are beyond the scope of what we provide at the
community hospital level. Our relationship with the highly regarded University
of Rochester Neuroscience Program, allows me to get a patient rapidly plugged
into their system. It has been my experience here that the surgical staff is
very open to referring their patients to a facility offering a higher level of
care whenever necessary. Most specialties have longstanding relationships with
their peers at larger centers throughout the region.
I encourage you to consider
Cayuga Medical Center as a surgical option. Most of all, ask lots of questions
and have a clear understanding of the surgery you are about to undergo.
Confidence in your surgeon and the team who will back him or her up is
paramount to your piece of mind.
Dr. Metcalf is
board-certified in neurosurgery. He serves on the medical staffs of Cayuga
Medical Center and the University of Rochester Medical Center. He can be
reached at Progressive Neurosurgery of Cayuga Medical Associates at (607)