Our Services

Surgical Services at GVH

State-of-the-Art Surgical Care in Gunnison Valley, Colorado

Gunnison Valley Health offers new state-of-the-art operating rooms, board certified surgeons, and a highly skilled nursing staff working together to perform surgeries.

Our fully equipped surgical suites accommodate the following procedures:

  • General
  • Orthopedic
  • OB-GYN
  • Ear, nose, and throat
  • Dermatology
  • Urology
  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient

Our RN staff is all Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)-certified and experienced in pre- and post-operative care as well as serving in the operating room. We want to make things as comfortable as possible for our surgical patients. We have added more space, more privacy, and healing music to the pre-operative and post-operative areas. We hope to make your surgical experience at our Gunnison Valley hospital as pleasant as possible!

Information for Patients: Preparing for Anesthesia and Surgery

At Gunnison Valley Hospital, we want surgery and recovery to be as uncomplicated as possible for our patients and those who care about them. If you have been admitted to the hospital for surgery, there is some additional information you should have. Prior to surgery, a medical history is taken and a complete physical exam performed. Sometimes, blood tests, urine tests, electrocardiogram, and / or X-ray studies are performed as well. All of this establishes a total picture of your health and contributes to the safety of the surgical procedure.

Some additional information to note:

  • General Surgery - In addition to emergency abdominal surgery, Dr. John Bishop provides the expertise to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy and appendectomy, and radiologically-directed breast biopsy. In our Endoscopy Suite, we routinely perform colonoscopies, esophogastroduodenoscopies, and sigmoidoscopies.
  • Anesthesia - Certified registered nurse anesthetists are available to discuss anesthesia options prior to your surgery. Approximately 80% of our procedures are performed under regional anesthesia, allowing our patients to remain awake through their surgery if they so choose. We encourage you to help decide what type of anesthesia would best fit you.

What to Expect in the Pre-Anesthetic Interview / Testing

You've met with your surgeon and are now scheduled for surgery. The pre-op interview is your chance to ask questions about preparing for the surgery and to discuss any special needs you might have. It is important that you are an active partner in your care and wellness.

After meeting with your surgeon and signing your consent, the operating room staff will do the pre-op assessment. The goal of the interview is to identify potential risks to you before you are given anesthesia and medications. Testing may be requested-such as blood testing, chest X-rays, and / or EKGs-depending on your past medical history and physical condition. It's important to share information about your medical history. If your medical history indicates, your primary care physician may be asked to give a medical recommendation regarding your health before anesthesia is given.

If you take medications regularly, you should be told which medicines to take before surgery. This information should be provided to you in writing to prevent any confusion. If you are diabetic, you will need special dosing instructions on your insulin or oral medications in preparation for the surgery. Please bring your insulin and glucometer on the day of surgery. Bring any rescue inhalers you use to help with breathing.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

It's understandable that you might be anxious on the day of your surgery. Notify your surgeon or nurse if you become sick, or run a fever. Remind us of any special needs such as bladder or bowel control issues or use of any assistive devices such as hearing aids or dentures. If employees don't introduce themselves, ask them to please do so. You have a right to know who's involved in your care.

You'll need to have a driver on the day of surgery for the trip home and should not stay alone after surgery. Transportation and personal arrangements must be made in advance, and driver's name with contact number or location should be given to the admitting nurse for later use. This is regardless of the type of anesthesia planned. Due to medications, no legal decisions should be made for 24 hours.

You must not eat or drink anything after midnight. If you have been instructed to take medications the day of surgery, they may be taken with a small sip of water. You may brush your teeth and spit out any rinse water. Please leave all valuables at home. Come bathed or showered. Remove all body piercing and jewelry before to coming to the facility. If you wear contact lenses please remove them and leave them at home. Please wear your glasses and bring your glasses case. Wear loose fitting clothing, such as XL t-shirts, or sweat pants. A button up shirt is a must for shoulder surgery. Sturdy slip on shoes maybe helpful. If you are having shoulder or breast surgery, do not use deodorant on the surgical side.

What to Know About Our Pre-Operation Holding Area

Please arrive at the hospital at the pre-determined time as discussed with your physician and operating room (OR) staff. Please use the emergency room (ER) entrance on the west side of the building. Take the elevator to the second floor and call us on the telephone in the waiting room to let us know you are here. One or two family members may accompany you to the pre-op holding area. You or your caregivers can also use this telephone to contact us in the pre-op area at any time. If this phone rings while you are in the waiting room, please answer.

The time of your surgery is sometimes approximate and unavoidable delay may occur. If this happens, we will try to notify you by telephone should time permit. If a hospital emergency occurs or if the case ahead of you has taken longer than planned, it can cause delays. It's never easy to wait, so try to distract yourself by reading or using relaxation techniques. Your understanding will always be appreciated when there's a delay.

Our anesthesia staff will interview you on the day of surgery and plan your care with you. You will be asked to sign your consent for anesthesia services at this time. You may or may not be given some intravenous sedation to relax you in the holding area. If you are receiving some kind of block or local, many times this procedure is accomplished in the pre-op area.

What to Expect in the Operating Room

The physical layout varies slightly from one facility to the next, but once you arrive in the operating suite you may feel overwhelmed by the activity and the attire of the personnel in the area. Do not be alarmed! A lot of activity will occur simultaneously to your arrival.

By now, you will have met the anesthesia provider and your operating room nurse who will accompany you to the OR. The same questions asked of you throughout your preparation will be asked once more-such as whether or not you have allergies, when you last had something to eat or drink, or which extremity and type of procedure you are about to undergo. You may notice bright lights, instruments, equipment, and an environment that is so clean we call it "sterile." As you move from the stretcher to the operating room table, warm blankets will be provided to offset the cool temperature of the operating room.

The anesthesia provider will remain in close proximity to your head and airway monitoring your vital signs throughout the surgery. The anesthesia provider will apply monitoring equipment and begin giving medications through your intravenous line to relax you and make you comfortable. The surgeon will perform the surgery, with the assistance of a scrub nurse / technician, while a circulating nurse oversees your entire care to ensure overall safety.

Information for Families During Surgery

While you are in surgery, your family may receive updates on the length or progress of your surgery. Your family or friends will need to let the pre-op nurse know where they can be reached while you are in surgery. If the telephone rings in the waiting room, they need to answer it, as it may be an update from the operating room. Once your surgery is complete, the surgeon will speak to your family.

What to Expect in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

When your surgery is over, you will be observed for a period of time in an area known as the Post Aesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Your anesthesia provider and circulating RN will bring you to the PACU on a stretcher and give a report to your nurse. The type of anesthesia you have received will determine your length of stay, area of care, and overall post-operative course.

During your stay in PACU, the nursing staff will monitor your vital signs, overall condition, and that you are responding appropriately. Once you achieve set criteria, you will be evaluated for discharge to home, to inpatient services, or to post observation.

Admission to a Facility

When overnight observation or extended stay is needed, you'll be taken to your hospital room directly from the PACU. Family and friends can join you in your room after you're transferred to the floor. Any personal belongings stored by the PACU will be brought to your room.

When you arrive in your room you will meet your new nurse and will be shown how to use the nurse's call light for help. Appropriate diet, activity levels, and medications for you-including medications for pain, nausea, or sleeping, or antibiotics-will be explained. As always, you remain a partner in your care and recovery. Ask questions when you have them and give feedback that will aid in your recovery and discharge!

What to Expect if You Are Going Home on the Day of Surgery

When surgery is over, you'll be observed for a period of time. Your nurse will work with you to treat any physical concerns and to plan your discharge. Very few people need to stay overnight when outpatient surgery is planned. Focus on returning home as you had planned. Once you have been discharged from PACU, you will be transferred to post-observation or discharged directly home. Your activity level will be evaluated and you'll be offered something to drink.

If you are being sent home on medications for pain control, your nurse will tell you when to take your next dose. Always follow dosage instructions to prevent complications from occurring. Report any unusual reactions if they should happen. If your surgeon has given you pre-op prescriptions, please make sure you have had them filled before arriving at the hospital.

Before leaving you will receive verbal and written instructions for self-care, including general instructions for wound care, diet, medications, bathing, activity restrictions, and signs to watch for. You'll also be given a follow-up appointment. A member of the nursing staff will telephone you on the next business day after your surgery to follow your progress and to assist you and your family with whatever questions you might have. Home readiness rather than street fitness is the goal of ambulatory surgery. This means that you are ready for discharge to home for further recuperation. You should not resume normal recreational or professional activities immediately. Follow your physician's instructions.

Contact Gunnison Valley Health with Any Questions

Please remember the following points, repeated from the information above. If you fail to follow these instructions you may risk having your surgery canceled:

  • You must have nothing by mouth after midnight unless instructed differently.
  • You must have a 24-hour caregiver in the home.
  • You must have a ride home from the hospital.

If you have any questions, please contact our office. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you need to talk to your surgeon, please call their office during business hours. After hours, please call the hospital directly. If there is an emergency please call 911!