General Surgery

Phone: (641) 774-3374

Services offered include:

Preparing for Surgery

Thinking about an upcoming surgery can prompt many questions. Here is some basic information about how to prepare for your surgery and what to expect when you arrive at LCHC for your surgery. Before having surgery at LCHC, you must have a medical history/physical within thirty (30) days of your surgery. You may also need lab tests. This will be determined by your physician and/or surgeon.

One Day Prior to Surgery: All patients should take a bath or shower the night before, or the morning of your surgery. Continue your oral hygiene but do not swallow water or mouthwash. If you feel ill or have a fever, call the hospital surgery department so your surgeon may be notified.

  • Cataract Patients: Use eye drops four (4) times during the day
  • Colonoscopy Patients: Complete bowel preparation as directed by your physician/surgeon.

The surgical team will contact you the day before your surgery. If you will not be at the telephone given at the office, please feel free to call the LCHC Surgical Department at (641) 774-3374 or (800) 404-3111 ext. 3374.

The Day of Surgery: All patients should take blood pressure and heart medications (if applicable) with just enough water to swallow them. Bring an inhaler if you use one. Be sure to bring a list of your medications, your Social Security number, and insurance cards. Please leave other valuables at home.

  • Diabetic Patients: Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding medications
  • Cataract Patients: Use your eye drops as directed before coming to the hospital and be sure to bring them with you to the hospital.
  • Colonoscopy Patients: If using a Fleets 3 bowel preparation, take an enema one hour before departing for the hospital.

Arriving at LCHC: Come in the Main Entrance and go to the Information Desk where you will be admitted. You will then be directed to the Surgical Waiting Area and escorted to the Same Day Surgery Area. Your adult driver may go with you to the Same Day Surgery Area.

Preparation in Same Day Surgery: You will change from your clothing into a gown. You will need to read and sign additional papers related to your surgery, then, a nursing assessment will be done. An intravenous (IV) line will be started and a nurse anesthetist will talk with you prior to surgery.

The start time given to you for your surgery is an estimate. There may be circumstances that cause a delay for your procedure.

Recovery from Surgery: You will return to your room and be evaluated for readiness to be discharged to home.

Contact us with any questions you may have.

LCHC Admitting: (641) 774-3000 or (800) 404-3111

Surgery Nurse: (641) 774-3374 or (800) 404-3111 ext. 3374

At LCHC, our surgical services team provides a wide range of services close to home. Partnering with general and specialty surgeons, we are able to offer emergency surgery as well as a wide range of procedures from podiatry and orthopaedic surgery to cataract surgery and colonoscopy screenings in our state-of-the-art surgical facility. Whether you are having surgery that requires an inpatient stay in the hospital, or outpatient surgery, our surgical staff will offer exceptional care before, during, and after your surgery.


Along with general anesthesia for surgeries, LCHC also offers other anesthesia services:

  • Analgesia for Labor
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  • PICC Lines


An appendectomy is the only treatment for appendicitis – inflammation of the appendix. Once diagnosed with appendicitis, the appendix should be removed prior to it rupturing and then spreading the infection to the abdomen. If the appendix has already ruptured, surgery is still performed and is more complex. An appendectomy may be performed either traditionally – with a large incision, or by laparascopy – consisting of three to four small cuts with the use of a scope.

Symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Pain near the belly or upper abdomen that sharpens and moves to the lower right abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever
  • Painful urination
  • Severe cramps
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas

Cataract Surgery

If you are experiencing blurred or cloudy vision or difficulty driving at night, you may have a cataract in one or both eyes. Cataract is the common term for a cloudy eye lens. The only way to know for certain if you have cataracts is to visit your eye doctor for a complete eye exam.

Cataract Surgery is the recommended treatment for cataracts. The cloudy eye lens is easily removed and replaced with a clear implanted lens. The procedure takes only minutes and is accomplished with very little discomfort.

LCHC’s Surgical Center is equipped to deliver leading edge technology and compassionate care close to home which helps you save time and money. Partnering with Matthew P. Rauen, M.D., Ophthalmologist at Wolfe Eye Clinic, the LCHC Surgical Center has been performing cataract surgery for over 11 years, and has performed over 3,600 surgeries. Dr. Rauen sees patients for cataract surgery evaluations regularly at Chariton Vision Center or at his office in West Des Moines. Even if you are not a current patient at Wolfe Eye Clinic, you can still utilize LCHC’s surgical services to help you see your silver lining!


The observation of the lower digestive system – the large intestine. This procedure, a direct exam of the colon, can help diagnose early cancers, tumors, polyps, abscesses, and inflammation. Colonoscopy can usually assist with the diagnosis of reasons for pain, anemia, or rectal bleeding. Polyps, which may lead to colon cancer, can be removed and tissue can be collected for further study. Colorectal cancer, which is the only truly preventable cancer, may be prevented through the removal of polyps.

Your physician may order a colonoscopy if you are exhibiting any of the following warning signs of gastrointestinal disease:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal tenderness, pain or rigidity, epigastric pain
  • Change in bowel habits, such as constipation, caliber of stools, or chronic diarrhea
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration or fever
  • Heartburn
  • Iron-deficiency anemia


Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is a scope examination that visualizes the stomach and part of the small intestine. EGD Can help diagnose ulcers, gastritis, tumors, polyps, cancers, and lesions. It can also gather specimens for further study.

Your physician may order an EGD if you are exhibiting any of the following warning signs of gastrointestinal disease:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal tenderness, pain or rigidity; epigastric pain
  • Change in bowel habits, such as constipation, caliber of stools, or chronic diarrhea
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration or fever
  • Heartburn
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Full feeling after eating

Epidural Steroid Injection

Epidural steroids have been safely and effectively used in the treatment of chronic neck and back pain for the last 40 years. Back and neck pain are usually treated conservatively with bed rest, physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, back exercises, and low-dose narcotics. A majority of patients will improve on this regimen. However, when conservative therapy fails, epidural steroid injections are an effective next step in treatment. Epidural steroid injections work by several mechanisms. They break the cycle of pain, followed by muscle spasm, followed by more pain which occurs in this condition. Pain relief afforded by epidural steroids may allow a larger and more pain free range of motion. This increases the effectiveness of physical therapy in preserving muscle strength and range of motion.

By administering a low-dose, long-acting medication, epidural steroids can effectively deliver the anti-inflammatory effect directly to the site of injury. This reduces the dose of medication necessary as well as increases its effectiveness.

Epidural steroids are effective in the treatment of pain associated with bulging or herniated discs in the back and neck. Epidural injections can be used to treat inflammation from problems such as spinal stenosis and failed back surgery syndrome. They reduce inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the nerves, thereby providing pain relief. Epidural steroids are simple and safe. The primary risk of the injection is headache, which occurs in about 1 in 100 patients. Epidural steroids are safely performed by a pain specialist, usually an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. You should not have an epidural steroid injection if you have any type of local or stystematic bacterial infection, are pregnant, or have any history of bleeding problems.

The epidural steroid injection pain relief can last anywhere from days to months. If excellent pain relief is obtained from the first injection, there will be no need to repeat it. If the first epidural steroid injection does not relieve your pain and symptoms completely within 2 weeks, you may be scheduled for a second injection. Three to four injections may be given in a 12-month period.


The gallbladder is a pear shaped organ that sits just under the liver. It’s main function is to store bile, which is produced by the liver. At times, surgical removal of the gallbladder is necessary to treat various conditions.

  • Gallstones (cholelithiasis): causes pain, nausea, and inflammation. Gallstones are a common occurance.
  • Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder, usually due to a gallstone. Cholecystitis can cause severe pain, fever, and may require surgery.
  • Gallstone pancreatitis: When a gallstone becomes impacted and blocks the ducts that drain the pancrease which causes inflammation of the pancreas. This is a serious condition that requires medical intervention.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the contents of the stomach, acid or occasionally bile, flows back into the esophagus. The acid or bile irritates the esophagus’ lining and causes GERD symptoms. Over time, the inflammation to the esophagus can lead to other complications including the narrowing of the esophagus, esophageal ulcer, and Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous changes to the esophagus). Medications may be used to treat GERD, however, surgical intervention is sometimes needed.

Initially, an endoscopy may be performed. This is a surgical procedure where a flexible tube, equipped with a camera and light, is led through the throat and allows visual examination of the esophagus. A biopsy may be collected during the procedure for further testing.

If medications do help, or you wish to avoid long-term medication use, other surgery is available to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter, create a barrier, or form scar tissue to prevent reflux.

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

The sentinel lymph node is the first area in the body where cancer cells may move to after they have left the original cancer site. A biopsy is performed to if a cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and is a less extensive surgery than a lymph node dissection – however, if cancer is found in the biopsied node, more surgery will be required to remove additional lymph nodes.

Thermal Ablation

This procedure is done primarily to treat uterine bleeding problems. It is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys most or all of the tissue that is responsible for menstrual bleeding with the outcome being, typically, that patients may never bleed again, or see a dramatic reduction in bleeding.

Other Surgery

Lucas County Health Center is able to offer these other surgeries as well:

Click each link to read about LCHC’s providers with our Specialty Clinics and to make an appointment.