Irene Suchil

Tomah woman's surgery performed minimally invasive and close to home

When Irene Suchil experienced severe abdominal and back pain with cold sweats her husband Richard urged Irene to get it checked out. A trip to Emergency and a follow-up visit to her primary care provider, Glenna Olson, PA, Gundersen Tomah Clinic, confirmed that Irene was suffering from gallstones.

Gallstones are hardened deposits of cholesterol and other things in digestive fluid (bile). Most gallstones don't cause symptoms and people are not even aware they have them. But when gallstones get large, as in Irene's case, or cause a blockage, treatment may be necessary.

Ms. Olson referred Irene to Gundersen surgeon Timothy Minus, DO, Gundersen Tomah Clinic. Although a general surgeon, Dr. Minus specializes in minimally invasive surgery for problems of the digestive system.

"I got scared when they started to talk about surgery," remembers Irene. "Dr. Minus told me I might not have any more problems or the problem could get worse—there was no way to predict for sure. But if I decided not to have surgery I'd need to follow a restricted diet to help avoid further problems."

Irene went on to say, "Finally, I decided not to do the surgery. But that night the pain returned and I changed my mind in a hurry. Besides, I'm Hispanic and it would have been hard to stay away from spicy foods which I shouldn't eat on the restricted diet."

With the decision made, Irene was happy to learn she could have surgery at Tomah Memorial Hospital—just blocks from her home. Irene was also very relieved to learn that Dr. Minus could remove her gallbladder in a minimally invasive same-day surgery.

Gundersen surgeons perform many surgeries using minimally invasive techniques. Surgery is performed through very small incisions using long, slender, specialized instruments. With these instruments the surgeon can cut, cauterize, stitch, staple, grab, manipulate and remove tissue. With only very small incisions, there is less pain and blood loss, shorter hospital stays, quicker recoveries and smaller scars.

Irene had surgery to remove her gallbladder in April 2014. "Everything went perfectly," she says. "Dr. Minus explained everything in detail and he did an awesome job."

Irene is back to enjoying favorite activities such as camping, fishing and taking walks with her husband along Lake Winnebago...and enjoying her favorite spicy foods.

If you live in the Tomah area and have been told you need surgery you may be able to have surgery close to home at Tomah Memorial Hospital with Dr. Minus. Talk with your primary care provider about a referral or call General Surgery at Gundersen Tomah Clinic at (608) 372-4111 or (888) 600-3240.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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