Mason General Hospital Surgery Clinic is part of Public Hospital District No.1, which consists of Mason General Hospital, MGH Ankle & Foot, MGH Eye Clinic, MGH Family Health, MGH Shelton Orthopedics, MGH Surgery Clinic, Oakland Bay Pediatrics, Mountain View Women's Health, and Shelton Family Medicine.
Patients at MGH Surgery Clinic are treated like family in the comfort and convenience of their office, located directly across N. 13th Street from Mason General Hospital. Being close to home is important to patients, and a warm, caring environment where the staff is considerate of your questions and concerns about your procedure is vital to your preparation and recovery. The staff at MGH Surgery Clinic are true medical professionals, giving you total peace of mind and reassurance regarding your surgical procedure. Board-certified and board-eligible physicians and quality care are not the only reasons to visit MGH Surgery Clinic, because here, you truly are treated like family.
Also on staff at MGH Surgery Clinic is Rosa Gonzales, Surgery Clinic office manager/receptionist. Call today to make an appointment to get back to your life again, and stay close to home for your surgery!
Board-certified General Surgeon, Eldie L. Cruz, M.D. is on staff at MGH Surgery Clinic. His surgical interests include: surgery of the gastrointestinal tract, colon, hernia, and cancer surgeries, thyroid disorders, and laparoscopic surgeries. Dr. Cruz is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
John E. Clayton, D.O., board-eligible in general surgery, is also on staff at MGH Surgery Clinic and Mason General Hospital. Dr. Clayton received his medical degree from Kansas City University School of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Missouri in 2006; and completed his internship and general surgery residency at Garden City Hospital in Garden City, Michigan. His specialty is in men’s and women’s breast health, hernia, gallbladder, and other types of general surgery. Dr. Clayton is available for new surgical appointments.
A Caring Team
Surgery is something that no one should take lightly. To help you through this uncertain time, however, you can rest assured that at MGH Surgery Clinic, you will receive care beyond expectation. The staff at MGH Surgery Clinic (located across the street from MGH) are friendly, compassionate, and most of all, caring. They will help you get back on your feet while keeping you close to home, family, and friends.
Some of the surgeries performed in the comfort of Mason General Hospital's Surgery Department include gastrointestinal tract, colon, hernia, thyroid, breast disease and cancer surgeries, and laparoscopic procedures.
Eldie L. Cruz, M.D graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, in 2004, where he also did his residency. What Dr. Cruz likes most is helping people get well, and finds surgery to give the most tangible results. He enjoys the variety that surgery has to offer, admitting that no two days in surgery are alike, and no two patients are ever alike. One of his special interests is in gall bladder surgery, which is mostly now done laparoscopically (through small incisions in the abdomen). Dr. Cruz is impressed by the high standards MGH's Surgery Department employs. “We have great equipment, and the OR staff is team-oriented,” he said. “As surgeons, we receive great support from administration and medical staff personnel.” In the spring of 2012, MGH opened a new state-of-the-art surgery wing which includes even better facilities and equipment for patient care. “The new wing is a wonderful addition,” he added.
Dr. Cruz is the first medical doctor in his family. He has two sisters, a business woman and a teacher. “We are the first in our family to graduate from college,” he mentioned. He was born and raised in a small town in northern New Mexico and now enjoys the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Cruz enjoys married life and his hobbies of fishing and basketball.
John E. Clayton, D.O., specializes in performing breast cancer surgery, colonoscopies and upper endoscopies to investigate potential abdominal problems. He values the preventive aspect in all of these procedures – especially the ones involving breast cancer. As with many diseases, early detection of breast cancer provides a good chance of successfully curing it, thanks to more and more available treatment options.
“It’s true that the majority of women are not going to develop breast cancer,” he said. “Nevertheless, as with most other cancers, the chances of developing breast cancer depend on a variety of risk factors, including family history”. Dr. Clayton strongly encourages all women to know if breast cancer runs in their family and to examine their own breasts on a monthly basis. In particular, he said women should become familiar with their breast tissue, in order to recognize and report any suspicious changes to their healthcare providers. Early detection is crucial in catching the disease in time to successfully treat it.
“Very frequently”, he said, “breast cancer is a disease that can be cured by surgery combined with post-operative treatments from an oncologist. Though other treatments are often involved as well, Dr. Clayton really appreciates being able to aid people in recovering from cancer through surgery. “The mainstay with breast cancer treatment is still surgery, and so it’s nice to be able to provide that,” he said.
Moving to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2011 to begin his practice as a general surgeon at Mason General Hospital Surgery Clinic was a welcome change for Dr. Clayton and his wife. After having spent the previous five years in Detroit, Michigan, where he completed his surgical internship and residency at Garden City Hospital, the couple are really appreciating the milder winters and the pretty scenery this area has to offer. He also loves spending time with his year-old son. “When I’m not at work, I’m basically at home with him,” Dr. Clayton said.
Preparing for surgery
Prior to your surgery, your surgeon’s office will schedule an appointment for a pre-anesthesia visit. During this visit a surgical services nurse will get your medical history, your medicine list with doses, and perform some clinical testing ordered by your surgeon and anesthesia provider.
Your insurance will be billed for the clinical tests.
You will also have a visit with the surgical services registrar who will complete your information for our records, accept payment of deductibles and co-payments, and provide you with information regarding payment options. Please bring all insurance cards and picture identification. You will sign all required surgical agreements and Medicare forms, if applicable.
You will be billed for any balance after your insurance company fulfills its obligation to Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics. Questions about your bill after your surgical procedure should be directed to the Patient Accounts office at (360) 432-3288.
The evening before surgery
- If you have a fever, cold, or infection of any kind, you must notify your surgeon immediately.
- Eat a light dinner the evening prior to your surgery in accordance with surgeon orders.
- No food after midnight before the day of surgery. This reduces the chance of vomiting which can lead to pneumonia and lung damage.
- Take a thorough bath or shower and wash your hair prior to your arrival for surgery.
What to bring, how to prepare
Unless otherwise directed by your physician, continue taking all your medications until midnight the night before surgery.
- Wear casual, loose-fitting clothing that can be folded and stored in a small closet or special bag. All patients must wear a hospital gown.
- If your child is the patient, bring a favorite toy.
- Any crutches or slings that you already own should be brought with you if your surgeon says that you need them.
- Remove all makeup including nail polish and perfumes before you arrive. Your skin needs to be visible to surgical staff so we can provide safe care.
- Contact lenses (bring your own case), dentures, hearing aids, and wigs will be removed just prior to surgery. Any foreign object is a hazard during surgery.
Please, no jewelry
With safety in mind, it is very important to remove ALL body jewelry, wedding rings, and body piercings prior to admission to the hospital for your surgery. For safety purposes, if jewelry is not removed prior to surgery, we reserve the right to remove it (including cutting off the jewelry if necessary).
Upon arrival for surgery
Check in at the main entrance Information Desk. A services selection machine will give you a number when your press the “Surgery” key. Your number will flash when they are available for you.
- The registration staff may need to verify information, collect a deductible or co-pay, or do any clinical tests ordered on admission. When the process is complete, the surgical staff will be notified and one of the nurses will escort you to the surgical center.
- When you arrive in the surgical center the nurse will prepare you for surgery. You must remove all clothing, including undergarments, and dress in a hospital gown. You will also receive a visit from the anesthetist or anesthesiologist. He or she will want to know your medical history and will discuss anesthesia with you.
Accompanying family & friends
Once you are prepared for surgery, one family member or friend may wait with you. They are welcome to use the cafeteria on the lower level. Surgery times may be changed due to unforeseen cancellations, emergency cases, or medical reasons such as reactions to medications or anesthetic. We will not be able to give exact times to waiting family and friends. There is a surgery waiting room for the person who will escort you home, and we will call them when you return to the outpatient department, or when you are ready to be discharged.
Special instructions for children
Patients under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. One parent must be in the hospital at all times, even when the child is in surgery or recovery. Please make arrangements for other children to be cared for at home.
After surgery – recovery room
- Receiving general or regional anesthesia requires you to be monitored as you wake from surgery.
- We will update your family or friend or your status. The criteria for discharge are set by your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
- When you are discharged, your nurse will give you verbal and written instructions regarding medications and home care.
After surgery – at home
- Rest for the remainder of the day.
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery, or for as long as you are taking prescription or any other pain medications.
- Do not drive or sign any legal document for at least 24 hours after surgery, or while taking prescription pain medications.
- The person driving you home must be able to escort you to your door. A responsible adult is to remain with you for 24 hours to help you avoid injury to yourself. Medications and anesthetics can alter your judgment, perception, and reactions, even to familiar surroundings.
- Have a responsible adult available at home for care of any dependents.
- The day after your surgery you will receive a follow-up call from our nurse to see how you are doing and answer any questions and concerns.
- Call your surgeon’s office for a follow-up appointment, return-to-work information, or if you have questions.
- Bring your ID and insurance cards, along with any orders that you received from your physicians.
- Ask your physician if you need to fast prior to having any lab testing done, and for how long you need to fast.
We want to save you time and steps, so following the above instructions will speed up your visit and get you on your way much quicker.
How do I know if I have a hernia?
There are five different types of hernias; inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional, and hiatal. All hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle or fascia: The pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot. Sometimes the muscle weakness is present at birth, other times it occurs later in life. Poor nutrition, smoking, and over-exertion can all lead to muscle weakness and as a result, hernias are more likely to occur. Any increase in pressure in the abdomen can lead to a hernia, including obesity, lifting heavy objects, diarrhea or constipation, or persistent coughing or sneezing. They all share common signs and symptoms, including:
- An obvious swelling beneath the skin of the abdomen or the groin; which may also disappear when you lie down, and can be tender to the touch.
- A heavy feeling in the abdomen that is sometimes accompanied by constipation or blood in the stool.
- Discomfort in the abdomen or groin when lifting or bending over.
- In the case of a hiatal hernia, heartburn is more likely to occur, but most hiatal hernias come with upper abdominal pain.
When do I see a doctor about a hernia?
If you suspect you have a hernia, please consult with your primary care provider immediately, as they will determine if you need to see a surgeon regarding a hernia. Having surgery can prevent a rare but serious problem called strangulation. This occurs when a loop of intestine or piece of fatty tissue is trapped in a hernia and the blood supply is cut off, killing the tissue.
See your primary care provider if:
- You suspect that you have a hernia. Sometimes hernias require urgent medical care and an accurate diagnosis is important.
- If you can’t get the hernia to go back in. This is called an incarcerated hernia and is more likely to lead to strangulation.
- You know you have a hernia, and you are nauseated and vomiting, or are unable to have a bowel movement or pass gas. You may have a strangulated hernia or an obstruction, which are emergencies. Seek medical care immediately.
Breast cancer surgery: What do I need to know?
There are four types of breast cancer surgeries; lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, total mastectomy, and modified radical mastectomy. All surgeries are done to remove cancer while it’s still in the breast, and if you suspect you have breast cancer, please see your primary care provider to schedule a mammogram right away. If the mammogram indicates cancer, your surgeon will then be able to advise you on which procedure is right for you and the type of cancer you have.
Lumpectomy – A lumpectomy aims at maintaining a normal breast appearance when the surgery is over. In a lumpectomy, the surgeon removes the cancerous area and the surrounding margin of normal tissue within the breast. A lumpectomy is often followed up with a five to eight week course of radiation therapy. Women who have small, early-stage breast cancers are ideal candidates for this type of surgery.
Partial Mastectomy – A partial mastectomy is more extensive than a lumpectomy, yet still strives to maintain a normal breast appearance after surgery. In a partial mastectomy, the surgeon removes the cancerous and surrounding tissue within the breast, and the tissue removed is generally more than that of a lumpectomy procedure. A partial mastectomy is also followed up with a six to eight week course of radiation therapy.
Total Mastectomy – In a total mastectomy, the entire breast containing the cancerous tissue is removed. A total mastectomy is most frequently used for further cancer prevention, or when the cancer does not go to the lymph nodes.
Modified Radical Mastectomy – In a modified radical mastectomy, the entire breast containing the cancerous tissue is removed, along with the lymph nodes in the arm pit.
As is the case with all surgeries, you should thoroughly discuss these surgical options with your doctor to achieve the best results. Whichever type of surgery is your best option, you should be able to return home after a short hospital stay.
How do I know if I have gallbladder disease?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that lies just under the liver in the upper abdomen. The gallbladder stores bile, a fluid made by the liver to digest fat. One main health risk associated with your gallbladder is gallstones.
Gallstones are made from cholesterol and other things found in the bile of your gallbladder. They can be smaller than a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. Gallstones can be excruciatingly painful, especially if they are blocking a bile duct. Symptoms are rare, but the most common symptoms of gallstones include mild to severe pain in the pit of your stomach, or upper right part of your belly, fever and chills associated with the pain, or the yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes. Call your primary care provider immediately if you have sudden or bad pain in your belly or chest and you are not sure of the cause. Symptoms of gallstones may feel like chest pain caused by a heart attack and other serious problems. The most common treatment of gallstones is to have your gallbladder removed via laparoscopic surgery, which involves small cuts in your abdomen to remove your gallbladder. This type of surgery allows recovery within a week or two.
What are the symptoms and treatments for colon cancer?
In its early stages, colon cancer usually shows no signs or symptoms. However, the most likely warning signs early on include:
- Changes in bowel movements, including persistent constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of not being able to empty the bowel completely, an urgency to move the bowels, rectal cramping, or rectal bleeding.
- Dark patches of blood in or on stool; or long, thin, “pencil stools”.
- Abdominal discomfort or bloating.
- Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite, and/or weight loss.
- Pelvic pain, which occurs at later stages of the disease.
There are many types of treatments available for colon cancer, and the best way to determine which one is right for you is to talk to your primary care provider and surgeon about them. One recommendation for treatment of colon cancer is surgery, and the type of surgery chosen depends upon the stage of the cancer.