Preparing For Surgery

Service:

You and your doctor have agreed that you need surgery. To help you understand what to expect during your surgery and recovery period please review the information below.

You will be asked to report to your hospital for a preadmission appointment. Your preadmission appointment may involve lab tests and other tests, and an interview with a nurse and member of the staff prior to your surgery.

On the day of your surgery, the admitting office staff will check you in and give you an ID bracelet. After admission, you will be taken to a surgery preparation area.

Estimating Your Costs Prior to Surgery

We want you to have the best possible experience with MemorialCare. Part of that is understanding your health benefits and the estimated out-of-pocket expenses you are responsible for prior to receiving services. Because health care benefits vary, we encourage you to contact your health plan to estimate your cost. Or if you are a cash paying patient, we can help you estimate your payment.

Pre-Operative Surgery

When you arrive in the surgery preparation room, a nurse will take your temperature, blood pressure, and ask about your medical history.

If you have not signed your surgical consent form, you will be asked to do so. Your doctor will be available to answer any questions that you may have.

An anesthesiologist (a doctor specializing in the administration of anesthesia) may call you the night before your surgery and will talk to you on the day of surgery to review your test results and history. This is the time to discuss the type of anesthesia to be used and any other questions or concerns you may have.

An intravenous (IV) line will be started in the surgery preparation room. This will be used to administer medications for anesthesia and to replace body fluids lost during surgery.

Things to Remember Before Your Surgery

  • Do not eat, drink (not even water), or chew gum after midnight the day before the surgery. If you have been instructed to take important medications, take no more than two tablespoons of water and no later than two hours before surgery. If you eat or drink after midnight, your surgery may be delayed or will be cancelled.
  • Do not wear makeup, hairpins, contact lenses, watches, or removable jewelry or body piercings. If you wear a wig or hair pieces please remove.
  • You may be asked to remove dentures and other non-permanent items at the hospital.
  • Please leave all valuables, including money, watches, jewelry, and credit cards at home. The hospital and staff will not be held responsible for any lost valuables.
  • Please check your health plan coverage and pay any out of pocket expenses, including deductibles and co-pays, before your surgery. This will help us to avoid requesting payment at the time of admission and the need for you to bring money or credit cards from home.
  • If you are admitted to the hospital after your surgery, you may want to bring the following items:
    • Pajamas or nightgown
    • Robe
    • Slippers
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and other personal toiletries

Before Surgery

Unexpected changes in the surgical schedule may occur so your surgery time may be changed on the day of surgery.

During your surgery, your family members will be asked to wait in the hospital lobby or surgical waiting room.

After you have been taken to the operating room by your nurse, several monitors will be applied to monitor your heart rate and rhythm. Three small sticky patches will be placed on your chest and an automatic blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm.

Recovery

After surgery, regardless of the type of anesthesia that you receive, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will receive continuous care by a trained recovery room nurse. Your vital signs will be monitored along with any dressing that was applied after surgery.

You may experience blurred vision, dry mouth, chills, and a sore throat. If you experience some discomfort in the area of your surgery, do not hesitate to ask for pain medication. Be sure to report your pain by scale (0 = no pain, 10 = worst pain).

Your family members should be in the waiting room before the end of your surgery time so that the surgeon can speak to them. If they need to leave, it is best to do so at the beginning of your surgery to avoid missing the surgeon at the completion of your surgery. Your surgeon will let your family know how you are doing and answer questions, letting them know whether you require hospitalization or whether you will be discharged home.

Hospital or Home Recovery

Patients requiring admission will be assigned to a hospital room where hospital personnel will monitor your recovery.

After having surgery, you may require intravenous fluids for a certain period of time. The type of diet that you receive depends on the type of surgery and anesthesia you have.

Deep breathing and coughing, as well as leg exercises, are an important part of your recovery. The nurse will help you do these activities the first time.

Outpatients will be discharged to go home on the day of surgery. Be sure to arrange for transportation to and from the hospital by someone 18 years of age or older. For your safety it is recommended to have someone stay overnight with you at your home after your surgery.

Your family members will be informed by a nurse the approximate time of your discharge to go home, or when you will be transferred to your room.

Walking is extremely important to your recovery. Please ask for assistance your first time out of bed.

Your Discharge

You will be discharged from the hospital when your doctor determines that you no longer require hospitalization. At that time you will be given discharge instructions and answers to any questions you may have. Important topics to discuss about your home care are: post-op medications, showering, pain management, stitches and incision care, signs of infection, follow-up visit, and returning to work.

Upon discharge, the person picking you up should park at the main entrance of the hospital. Hospital personnel will escort you to the car in a wheelchair.

Key Items to Remember

  • Please pay all out of pocket expenses, including deductibles and copays, before your surgery.
  • Bring your insurance card.
  • Bring any test results pertaining to your surgery that were performed prior to your hospital preadmission visit.
  • Do not bring medications with you, but you must bring a complete list of the medications you are taking.
  • If you are a smoker, check with your physician to see if you should stop smoking before your surgery.
  • Do not bring plug-in appliances such as radio, tape player, electric shaver, or blow-dryer. Battery-operated appliances are acceptable.
  • For infant/children bring a favorite toy, bottle, and car seat.

We are committed to providing quality patient care. Our professional staff was selected to meet your physical and emotional needs. Optimal recovery requires your participation and understanding of care.

Visiting Policies

Visitors are allowed in pre-surgical holding area. Only parents and/or guardians of children are allowed in the recovery area. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed in the recovery area.