Undergoing surgery can be worrisome for you and your family. To make it easier, we've identified some ways to help you prepare. We hope that readier you are, the more comfortable you will feel.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will give you specific instructions to help you prepare. Meantime, the following information is a general outline of what to expect prior to and the day of surgery.
Before Surgery | Day of Surgery | Recovery | Post Surgery | Instructions for Family
Your doctor may schedule a series of tests, including blood and urine analysis, X-rays and an electrocardiogram (EKG).
- Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) staff will call you 3-7 days prior to surgery and schedule an appointment (if you have not already called). A phone interview may be appropriate instead of an in-person appointment.
- The PAT appointment will be scheduled, on average, 72 hours prior to surgery.
- Clerical staff in the PAT department will assemble your medical chart.
- Necessary lab work, EKG, or radiology testing will be completed.
- The PAT Nurse will:
- Complete vital signs, assessments, and consents.
- Complete Pre-Op teaching instructions, including preoperative showering instructions.
- Communicate the arrival time (1.5 – 2 hours prior to scheduled procedure start time) and parking instructions.
- Review your chart the day before surgery, ensuring completeness and accuracy.
- Call you prior to the day of surgery to inform of changes in the arrival time.
You will sign a surgery permit. A parent or legal guardian would sign for a minor. The next of kin or legal guardian would sign for a patient unable to sign for himself. Guardians would need to bring proof of guardianship.
Food and Drink
During surgery, it is important to have an empty stomach to avoid any complications. You will be asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight (including water, gum and candy).
Bathe or shower as usual the day of your surgery, removing all makeup and nail polish. At the hospital, you will change into a hospital gown. At this time, you should remove contact lenses, if you wear them. Notify your nurse if you have dentures or partial plates.
Please understand that the hospital cannot be responsible for your jewelry and other valuables. For their protection, you may want to leave them at home or give them to a family member to hold until after your procedure.
You may receive medication prior to your surgery to help you relax. Speak to your doctor about taking or stopping your regular medications during this time.
We will make final surgical preparations in the Surgery pre-op holding area before taking you to the operating room. Once there, your operating room nurse will introduce him or herself, check your identification band and ask a few questions. An anesthesia professional will speak with you and answer questions before administering your anesthetic.
After surgery, you will be taken to Recovery, where your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and respiration) will be monitored. This room is designed and staffed to care for several patients at a time. You may be aware of other patients and activities going on around you, but this should not disturb you. Please understand that for your safety and that of others, patients may not have visitors while in Recovery.
Be sure to speak to your nurses and doctors about pain control. While we may not be able to take away all of your pain, we want to make you as comfortable as possible. When pain is controlled, you may heal faster, get your strength back more quickly, feel better sooner and improve your outcome.
One or two of your family members may wait in the Surgery waiting area. Usually your physician will visit with them there after your surgery.
Once you are settled in a bed, family members will be able to visit you.