Here When You Need Us Most

Complex, life-threatening injuries from vehicle crashes, falls, assaults, farming accidents, or other events can happen at any time. In trauma surgery, every second counts, which is why Surgical Associate’s trauma surgeons and nurses stand ready 24/7 to provide care.

Surgical Associates’ trauma surgeons treat injured patients in central and northern Wisconsin, as well as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The surgical team manages the care of injured patients at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, a tertiary care hospital for the Aspirus network. Designated as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgery, the hospital cared for more than 7,500 trauma patients in 2016.

Transfer agreements arranged with many rural hospitals in the Aspirus network guarantee specialized trauma care to any injured patient in our network. In 2016, hospitals across 82 Wisconsin counties and multiple states sent their most critically-injured patients to the Aspirus Trauma Center.

Educational programs offered throughout the region help rural hospitals provide initial trauma care and determine when a patient transfer to our trauma center is necessary.

Training and Expertise to Beat the Odds

Surgical Associates’ skilled trauma team has exceptional training and experience in caring for patients who’ve suffered life-threatening injuries. Fellowship-trained trauma and critical care surgeon Dr. Jennine Larson leads a department proficient at delivering the well-rehearsed, quick-response care these cases demand.

We also work with a wide range of specialists—including board certified emergency physicians, certified nursing assistants, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, vascular surgeons, hand surgeons, urologists, ENT specialists, ophthalmology and cardiology teams, wound care providers, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, recreational therapists, and plastic surgeons—to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary care, from prevention all the way through rehabilitation.

Outreach and Prevention

Not only are we committed to saving lives through trauma surgery, we also look to reduce the number of traumatic accidents in Wausau and the surrounding communities.  Aspirus Trauma Center participates in several injury prevention initiatives. This includes Safe Kids, which offers outreach programs throughout the Wausau area.

The injury prevention initiatives focus on many areas, including:

  • Car seat and seatbelt safety
    • Regular car seat checks are open to the public and free of charge.
  • Bike and pedestrian safety
    • Programs are offered through area schools during Bike and Walk to School Day twice a year.
    • Free helmets are given to children involved in the Community Connection program during summer bike rodeos.
    • Throughout the school year, Safe Kids sells ski and bike helmets to area elementary and middle schools at a reduced a rate.

The Asprius Trauma Center also participates in local Community Mass Casualty Training, which helps emergency response teams practice scenarios and coordinate communication systems.

Aspirus Health Foundation

Gifts made to the Aspirus Health Foundation are an easy way you can support local childhood safety initiatives, including programs focused on car seat, bicycle, home, pedestrian, water, and fire safety.

To find out more about the Aspirus Health Foundation, please call 715-847-2470 or visit

Trauma Patient Referrals

  • Outpatient Referrals
    • Surgical Associates Clinic: 715-847-2022
  • Inpatient Referrals
    • Physician Connect: 715-847-2737
  • Main toll free hospital line: 1-800-283-2881


Here are some of the most common questions about general surgery. Click on any question to reveal the answer.

Will my insurance cover my surgery?

  • Call your insurance company and let them know that you are having surgery, what kind of surgery and the date of your surgery. They will give you a summary of your benefits.
  • If your surgery is elective, preauthorization may need to be obtained and Surgical Associates will submit the required information for preauthorization. Surgery will not be scheduled until we know that we have that preauthorization. Whether or not surgery is elective or not, Surgical Associates will contact your insurance to make sure precertification has been obtained.

What will be my arrival time for surgery?
The timing of your procedure is not figured out until the day before. You will receive instructions from your surgeon’s office.

What kind of prep will I need before my procedure?
This depends on the type of procedure you are having. Some procedures will require a bowel prep, other procedures require just nothing to eat or drink after midnight, and other procedures require just showering with an antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of surgery. Your surgeon’s office will give you these instructions when your surgery is scheduled.

Will I need to stay in the hospital overnight or go home the same day?
This depends on the type of surgery you have. Your surgeon will advise you on what to expect in this regard.

What about my medications? Will I need to stop any of them before surgery?
Bring your medications to your appointment with you so we can confirm what medications you are taking and advise you on how to take each medication before and after surgery. Blood thinners, for example, may have to be stopped for a period of time prior to surgery.

Will I need a driver?
Yes. Most procedures we do require an anesthetic of some type. However, if you do not have anesthetic, it would not be a bad idea to have someone come with you anyway. Some people get tense during their procedure and become shaky afterwards, even after a minor procedure. We would rather you get home safely instead of taking any chances.

How long will I be off of work?
The amount of time off of work depends on the type of surgery that you have. Your surgeon and appropriate office staff will guide you on the expected time off.

Will I have any restrictions after surgery?

  1. Depends on the type of surgery you have. You may have lifting restrictions for a short period of time, or eating restrictions, or shower/bathing restrictions.
  2. You will not be allowed to drive if you are taking any narcotics or medications that would inhibit driving safely.

Will I see my surgeon after surgery?
Yes. You will have a postop appointment 1, 2 or 3 weeks after surgery so we can check your incisions and make sure you are healing well and as expected.

What if I have forms that need to be completed for my employer or disability company?
Surgical Associates has specific staff who will take care of filling out those forms. Bring the forms with you to your appointment. Make sure you have filled out your portion of the forms and signed wherever you are required to before handing them in. Also, make sure your name and date of birth on those forms and instructions on where to send the forms when they are completed by the office staff.

When can I drive after surgery?
After surgery you will be sore and have some limited mobility. Once you are completely off of any narcotic pain medications and once you feel that you can quickly slam on the brake if you needed to, you can drive. Your surgeon will advise you on what to expect for the timing of this.

Below you will find a list of helpful online resources, including general information about common procedures, patient information from surgical organizations, and helpful definitions of terms.