Accessibility Tools

General Information

What should I do if I am having a medical emergency?

  • If you think you are having a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
  • If you have not yet been seen as a patient at Austin Surgeons and your condition is not life-threatening, call your primary care physician or proceed to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room for evaluation.
  • If you are an established patient with Austin Surgeons and your condition is not life-threatening, call the office at . During normal business hours, our staff will assist you. For emergencies outside of normal business hours, our answering service will notify the doctor on call.

How can I contact Austin Surgeons?

You can contact our office in the following ways:

Phone:

Email: [javascript protected email address]

Patient Portal (for established patients only)

How long will it take for Austin Surgeons to respond?

We respond to messages left by voicemail, by email, or through the portal within one business day.

How can Physician Service Representatives (PSR’s) help me?

  • Scheduling or canceling an appointment.
  • General questions about your appointment (time, date, what to bring, what to expect).
  • Questions about your insurance (co-pay, deductible, co-insurance, in-network vs. out-of-network, etc.).
  • Assistance with the Patient Portal.

How can Medical Assistants (MA’s) help me?

  • Questions about upcoming appointments/procedures.
  • Scheduling/rescheduling your surgery or procedure.
  • General questions about the surgical facilities.
  • Your financial responsibility and what your insurance plan will cover for your surgery.
  • Details about your surgery cost estimate.
  • Pre-operative instructions.
  • General questions about your post-operative care.

How can the Billing Department help me?

  • Questions about your account balance
  • Questions regarding how your insurance covered your services.

How will Austin Surgeons contact me?

Austin Surgeons will primarily contact you by phone. If you let us know your preferred method of contact, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Office Appointments

How do I schedule an appointment?

To make an appointment, call the office at or schedule online through our Patient Portal.

What should I do before my first appointment?

  • When you make your first appointment, you will receive an email allowing you to set up access to your Patient Portal.
  • Please log in to the portal and complete the Medical History and Patient Contact Information forms prior to your appointment.
  • Click on the “Forms” tab to access these forms. If you are unable to complete the forms prior to your appointment, please arrive 20 minutes early so you can complete the forms in the waiting room.
  • If you need help with the portal, please contact our office at , press option 3, and select your doctor.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Please bring the following documents to your first appointment:

  • Driver’s License or a valid picture ID
  • Insurance card(s)
  • Medical History
  • Patient Contact Information
  • Authorization to Disclose Health Information (if instructed by office personnel)
  • Referral letter/number (if required)
  • Applicable imaging studies (x-ray, mammogram, ultrasound, CT, MRI) on a CD, if not done at ARA Diagnostic Imaging.
  • Lab results
  • Other test results pertaining to your diagnosis
  • Relevant records from your referring doctor or emergency room visit

Please be sure to provide all insurance cards. Even if your insurance plan hasn’t changed, our staff must verify that we have the most current information on file to avoid billing problems.

Do I need to fast prior to my appointment

You do not need to fast prior to your appointment unless you are being seen for a condition that might lead to emergency surgery, such as appendicitis. If you are unsure, please ask when you schedule your appointment.

When should I arrive for my appointment?

  • Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • If you have not completed your Medical History and Patient Contact Information forms, please arrive 20 minutes prior to your appointment.

Will a surgery, biopsy or other procedure be performed on the same day as my initial office appointment?

  • Your initial office appointment is for a consultation with your surgeon. During the consultation, your surgeon may make a recommendation for surgery, which will usually be scheduled for a later date.
  • Most surgeries are performed at a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center.
  • Some minor procedures can be done in the office.
  • Only in certain situations will a procedure be done at the time of the initial visit.

Will I have lab tests or x-rays at my appointment?

We do not draw blood or take x-rays in our office. Labs and x-rays will be done at an outside facility such as Clinical Pathology Labs (CPL) or ARA Diagnostic Imaging.

Patient Portal

How does the Austin Surgeons Patient Portal work?

The Patient Portal allows you to complete forms, schedule appointments, view results placed in the portal, and send and receive messages to Austin Surgeons staff. 

How do I get access to the portal?

After you register as a new patient, you will receive an email link to access the portal.

Who do I contact if I have trouble accessing the portal?

If you are having difficulty accessing the portal, please contact our office for assistance by calling , and press option 3.

Scheduling Surgery

How will my surgery be scheduled?

  • Your surgeon’s medical assistant (MA) will schedule your surgery.
  • Scheduling may occur during your initial appointment, or at a later time. The MA will contact you by phone or email with additional details.

Where will I have my surgery?

Our surgeons perform surgeries in certain hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The facility will be determined when your surgery is scheduled. Visit the Surgical Facilities page for more information.

When will I have my surgery?

  • The timing of your surgery can vary. In general, non-urgent or “elective” surgeries may be scheduled one to four weeks after your initial consultation.
  • If further testing is required, surgery will be scheduled after the testing is complete.
  • If you have an urgent medical condition, surgery may be performed the same day or the next day.

Will I need to come back in for another visit prior to surgery?

  • If your surgery is scheduled more than 90 days after your office visit, you will be asked to come in for a pre-op appointment.
  • For patients with more complex medical problems, if your surgery is more than 30 days after your office visit, you will be asked to come in for a pre-op appointment.

Do I need approval from my insurance company for surgery?

Some insurance plans require authorization prior to surgery. Your Medical Assistant will request authorization if necessary.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule surgery?

  • To cancel or reschedule surgery, please call our office at least 72 hours before the time of surgery.
  • Cancelling within 72 hours of the time of your surgery may result in a cancellation fee.

Covid-19 Questions

What precautions are being taken in the office?

  • We stay up to date & follow CDC guidelines for healthcare professionals.
  • Staff and patients are required to wear masks in patient care areas.
  • We conduct patient visits via telemedicine when appropriate.
  • We maintain policies and practices for infection control.
  • We frequently disinfect patient care and high traffic areas.
  • We screen for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature at check-in.

What if I am having symptoms that could be Covid-19?

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we ask that you reschedule your appointment.

Payment for Services

What will I pay “Out-of-Pocket”?

  • You will pay for copays, deductibles, and coinsurances according to your insurance policy until you have reached your Out-of-Pocket maximum.
  • You will pay the estimated patient responsibility for your surgery, which is based on our contracted rates with your insurance carrier. This is only for your surgeon’s fee and does not include other providers involved in your surgery.

Who else will I get bills from?

You may also receive bills from the facility (hospital or surgery center), anesthesiologist, lab, radiology, surgical assistant, or others.

Why do I have to pay my deductible up front?

The burden of increasing collection efforts has made it necessary to collect the estimated patient responsibility prior to services being performed.

What if I paid my deductible to Austin Surgeons but the facility is also asking me to pay the deductible?

In most cases you can provide your payment receipt from Austin Surgeons to the facility, and they will take that information into consideration when calculating your facility cost.

What happens if I over-pay for surgery?

Any over-payment will be refunded once the claim has been processed by your insurance company. A refund check will be mailed to you. f you think a refund is due, feel free to call our billing department to discuss your account.

What payments are my responsibility?

You will be responsible for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles as required by your insurance company. This is only for your surgeon’s fee and does not include other providers involved in your surgery.

Who else will I get bills from?

You may also receive bills from the facility (hospital or surgery center), anesthesiologist, lab, radiology, surgical assistant, or others.

When is payment due?

Payment for office visits and procedures is due at the time of service. Payment for surgery is due once it has been scheduled.

Does Austin Surgeons provide a payment plan?

A payment plan may be available in some circumstances.

How is my payment determined if I have health insurance?

Your payment is determined by your insurance policy.

How is my payment determined if I don’t have health insurance?

Payment is determined using self-pay rates and depends on the services rendered.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Will I have a pre-op visit at the hospital or surgery center?

You will either have a pre-op visit or phone call with the hospital or surgery center.

Do I need to fast before my surgery?

  • For most surgeries, you will be instructed to take nothing by mouth (NPO) after midnight the night before surgery, except for necessary medications which can be taken with a sip of water.
  • At a minimum, the anesthesiologist will require you to be NPO (except for medications) for 8 hours prior to undergoing anesthesia. This is for your safety.

I take a blood thinner (anticoagulant). What should I do before surgery?

  • Blood thinners are usually stopped before surgery, but you must discuss this with your surgeon before surgery. Each patient’s situation is unique and this will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • In general, when your blood thinner is being managed by a specialist such as a cardiologist, we will seek your specialist’s recommendations.

I take aspirin. What should I do before surgery?

Your surgeon may want you to stop taking aspirin for 7 days prior to surgery. Please discuss this with your surgeon prior to surgery.

Will I have labs, x-rays, or other tests before surgery?

Your surgeon may order labs, x-rays, or other tests before surgery. The Medical Assistant can help you if you have questions about these tests.

What time should I arrive for surgery?

You will be told what time to arrive during your pre op visit. Typically, you are asked to arrive 1 ½ or 2 hours prior to surgery, depending on the facility.

Should I take my usual medications in the morning before surgery

During your preop appointment, you will be instructed which medications to take in the morning before surgery.

Can I drive myself home after my surgery?

If you are placed under anesthesia for your surgery, you cannot drive yourself home. You must have a ride home with someone you know. You cannot take a taxi or rideshare home.

I tend to get constipated after surgery. Can I do anything before surgery to prevent this?

Constipation is very common after surgery. If you tend to have constipation, start taking an over-the-counter stool softener like docusate sodium (Colace) twice a day for 3 days prior to surgery. Also, drink plenty of water during that time.

I tend to get nauseated after surgery. Can I do anything before surgery to prevent this?

If you tend to have nausea or vomiting after surgery, please mention this to your surgeon. They can prescribe additional medications to help with this.

Recovering from Surgery

What can I do after surgery?

  • You should get up and around after surgery. When you get home from the hospital or surgery center, you will probably want to rest for a while, but then get up and walk around in your home.
  • The day after surgery, you should also get up and around, but don’t overdo it. You should not engage in strenuous activities that strain the area of your surgery.

What medicine can I take for pain?

  • For many surgeries, over the counter (OTC) medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) will be all you need. These two medications work in different ways and complement each other. They can be combined or alternated.
  • You can take two extra-strength Tylenol tablets (500 mg each) every 8 hours, and two Advil tablets (200 mg each) every 8 hours.
  • People with liver disease should not take Tylenol, and people with kidney disease or stomach ulcers should not take Advil. You should also not take these drugs if you are allergic to them or have had other adverse effects. Your surgeon may prescribe a stronger opiate pain medication. You should minimize the amount you take of this pain medication and discontinue it as soon as possible.
  • For more information about pain management after surgery, click here.

What if I am having more pain than expected after the surgery?

If you are experiencing a significant amount of pain after surgery, or your pain is not being managed by your pain medication, please contact the Medical Assistant.

What if I think I have a fever after surgery?

If you think you have fever after surgery, please check your temperature with a thermometer. If your temperature is 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or more, please call our office.

What if I am feeling constipated after surgery?

  • Constipation is very common after surgery. It is generally OK to take magnesium, a stool softener like docusate sodium (Colace), or a laxative (Miralax, Dulcolax, or other over-the-counter laxatives) after surgery.
  • If you are having severe abdominal pain or bloating, please call our office.

How do I care for my incision after surgery?

  • For most incisions, it is helpful to apply ice for 20 minutes per hour, several times each day for the first 2 days. If your incision has superglue or steri-strips covering it, the area can get wet in the shower the day after surgery.
  • If your incision is closed with staples, you should wait 48 hours before showering. You should not submerge your incision underwater for two weeks after surgery.
  • You should not apply any antibacterial ointments or creams to the incision for 2 weeks after surgery. If you would like to use a scar-reducing cream (like Mederma), you should wait about two weeks until the superglue or steri-strips have come off.

What if I am concerned about how the area of surgery looks or feels after surgery?

It is normal for the area of surgery to feel hard, or even like there is a lump there. The area of surgery will usually be a bit painful and tender to touch. Bruising or redness right by an incision is also normal. A small amount of drainage can also be normal. If there is bright redness spreading outward from an incision, unexpectedly severe pain or swelling, a large amount of drainage, or significant warmth to touch, please call our office.

What if I have trouble urinating after surgery?

  • Difficulty urinating is quite common after being under anesthesia. Usually, it will resolve with time. Running water in the sink while urinating can be helpful.
  • If you are unable to urinate at all more than eight hours after surgery, and especially if you are experiencing significant pain or discomfort, you should go to an emergency room. Catheterization of the bladder may be needed to relieve the problem. With time, the bladder’s function will return to normal.

What if I have questions after surgery that aren’t answered here?

During normal business hours, please call our office at and ask to speak to your surgeon’s Medical Assistant (MA). If you are having an urgent issue and need to speak to the doctor outside of normal business hours, please call our office and our answering service will contact the doctor on call.

What are things I should call about urgently after hours?

You should call if you have a fever of 100.5 or higher, nausea or vomiting that does not resolve on its own or with medications, severe pain that is more than expected, signs of infection around an incision (significant redness, warmth, or drainage), or trouble breathing.