Feel free to download and complete the RELEASE FORM and MEDICAL HISTORY FORM before you come in for your appointment. This will save you time before your scheduled appointment.
What to Expect With Your Surgery
In the days leading up to your surgery, you’ll want to:
- Avoid recreational drugs ONE WEEK PRIOR and alcohol for the 24 hours prior to your surgery. Arrange someone to care for children, pets, and other dependents while you’re in the hospital.
- Do NOT smoke at least 10 days prior to surgery. Remember that smoking increases complications and interferes with healing.
- Arrange for someone to be there during your surgery and pick you up when it’s time to leave. This may be modified depending upon current hospital policies, but at the very least, you will need a ride home. Uber/Lyft/cabs are not acceptable.
- Arrange for someone to observe you for at least a day after you go home. If you live alone, have a trusted friend or family member stay with you for a day.
- Check in with your insurance with any relevant questions. Any problems or concerns you may have with your insurance coverage are best addressed by you speaking directly to your insurance provider.
- Keep your doctor informed if you have new symptoms of illness or infection and follow all instructions you’re given in advance. If you have any questions about your post-operative care instructions, call the office for additional information.
- Communicate allergies and medications to your doctor and the hospital.
- Familiarize yourself with the other items on this list so you know what to expect and what to bring.
- The hospital where you will be having your surgery generally will contact you prior to your surgery day to ensure your visit goes smoothly. Follow their instructions as these may vary hospital to hospital.
On the day of your surgery, you’ll want to make sure you bring your:
- Medication history – If you’re not sure how to list a medicine, bring that medicine with you to the hospital in its original container. The hospital pharmacy will supply all the medicines you need while you are in the hospital, but we need an accurate list of your medications to ensure that the medicines we give you will be safe with those already in your body.
- Any current medical test reports – For example, blood work, X-rays, or EKG results.
- Health insurance card
- Government-issued photo ID – Such as your driver’s license.
- Check, cash, or credit card – In case you have to cover an insurance co-payment or deductible. Do not bring cash or valuables if you do not have to pay these fees.
- Living will or health care power of attorney – If you have them.
- Glasses, dentures, hearing aids – If you rely on them each day. It’s a good idea to put your name on the case so that they do not get misplaced when you are in surgery.
- Pacemaker or ICD manufacturer card – If you have a pacemaker or implantable device.
- Other belongings – A robe and slippers, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, etc., if you are going to stay overnight.
The hospital does supply gowns, robes, and slippers if you want to leave yours at home. We recommend that you bring a small kit with essentials, such as your toothbrush and paste, comb and/or brush, deodorant, and only the cosmetics you consider “absolutely essential.”
Don’t bring any valuables such as jewelry, money, checkbooks, cellphones, or laptops. You won’t be able to keep track of them adequately.
You shouldn’t eat or drink after midnight the day before your surgery, and you shouldn’t chew gum or drink water eight hours prior to your surgery.
Make sure you’re bathed the morning of your surgery but don’t use any sort of lotions, deodorants, perfumes, etc.
You’ll want to follow whatever instructions your doctor gave you regarding medications, etc., and show up at least two hours before your surgery time.
At the hospital, the admitting clerk will take your information and payments, if necessary, and attach your hospital ID bracelet with your name and birthdate.
You’ll be guided to Pre-Op by a nurse, where you’ll change and have explanations of anesthesia and the surgery from the anesthesiologist and either your surgeon or a nurse from the team. You’ll be able to ask any questions you might have. We’ll usually set up IVs and monitoring leads at this point unless doing surgery for someone very young. If you are having surgery on one side of your body such as a groin hernia, then you will also have the surgery verifying the correct side with you agreeing.
While you’re in surgery, anyone you have waiting for you will stay in the Surgery Waiting area. Keep in mind that in some cases, hospitals may restrict visitation and you may need to wait at home instead. We recommend that someone who knows and cares for you stays close by before, during, and after your surgery. For this reason, the hospital has a specific Surgery Waiting area for family and friends. We recommend that at least one person stays in the waiting area during your surgery so that the doctor or a nurse can talk with them in case an emergency or question arises.
Your surgeon will look for your family in the waiting area when your surgery is complete. If your surgeon does not see your family members in the waiting room, then they may request to speak with him or her over the phone when they arrive. If you do not hear from the surgeon, you may request a call by contacting the office or by asking the nurse caring for the patient.
Immediately after your surgery, operating room staff will move you to the post-anesthesia care unit, or PACU, while the surgeon reports your progress to your family or friends.
Specially trained nurses will check your incision frequently and carefully monitor your breathing, temperature, heart rate, and other vital signs until you begin to wake up.
Even though you may not remember later, they will encourage you to clear your lungs and throat by coughing and taking deep breaths.
They will monitor your blood pressure and comfort level. They will also ask you often to explain your pain. You may feel groggy, but answer their questions as honestly and completely as you can. Your description will help the staff make you more comfortable.
The length of time you stay in the PACU will depend on the type of anesthesia and surgery you have had.
Your PACU nurse will call your family and notify them when you are ready to go home or be transferred to your hospital room, depending upon the type of surgery you had.
Your family or a friend can pick you up to take you home once you are awake and safe for discharge.
YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE YOURSELF OR TAKE A TAXI/UBER.
Unfortunately, discomfort is a normal part of surgery. We cannot eliminate your pain altogether, but with your help, we can make you comfortable enough so that you can rest and heal. Everyone feels pain differently, even if they have had the same kind of surgery.
The hospital will not discharge you unless you have another adult to drive you home. For your own safety, we will not allow you to take a taxi or bus unless another adult is with you. Before you leave the hospital, your nurse will go through a list of “discharge instructions” from your doctor, which will include recommendations about:
- What to eat and drink
- How to take your medications. You will usually be sent home with a pain medication and a stool softener.
- How to care for your incision and/or bandages.
- What activities you can do and when. This is especially important if you’ve had a hernia repair.
One of the instructions will be to make a follow-up appointment for about two weeks after your surgery date. Call our office to make this appointment.
Want To Know More?
We want every patient to feel informed so they have the best possible experience and outcomes. If you would like to hear more about what to expect from your experience with our team, reach out to us at 480-892-2456, and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have.
You can find more contact information and our office hours on our contact page.
NOTE: The above instructions are general and apply for the majority of patients and surgeries, however, there may be specific additions or changes that may be unique to your surgery that may differ from what has been listed. Your surgeon will communicate these to you if needed.