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
- Do NOT drink alcohol or take recreational drugs for at least 24 hours before surgery. Do not use tobacco products at least a week prior to surgery.
- Arrange to have someone take care of your children, dependent relatives, and pets while you are in the hospital.
- Arrange for someone to stay at the hospital during your surgery and for someone to pick you up from the hospital when it’s time to go home.
- Arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours once you return home.
- Check with your insurance provider if you have questions about your co-payment or deductible.
- Call your doctor if you have any symptoms of a cold, the flu, a rash or any other illness or infection.
- Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for the 8-to-48 hours before your surgery.
BE SURE THAT THE DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL ARE AWARE IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO ANYTHING
BE SURE THAT YOUR DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL KNOW IF YOU ARE TAKING:
STEROIDS, BLOOD THINNER, ASPIRIN
- Talk to your doctor about how to take your medications before surgery.
- Go over the following checklist to decide what you should bring with you to the hospital and what you should leave at home.
- 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 that you may have — for example, blood work, X-rays or EKG results
- Your health insurance card
- A photo ID such as your driver’s license
- A check, cash or credit card if 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.]
- Your living will or health care power of attorney (if you have them)
- Your 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.]
- Your pacemaker or ICD manufacturer card if you have a pacemaker or implantable device
- 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 like your toothbrush and paste, comb and/or brush, deodorant, and only the cosmetics you consider “absolutely essential.”
- Your jewelry, including your wedding ring, watches, and any piercings including earrings.
- Money, your checkbook and unnecessary credit cards [If your insurance demands a co-payment, you will have to bring a means of payment with you. In this case, have the friend or family member who brings you to the hospital keep your checkbook or credit card for you while you are in surgery.]
- Any other valuables, including things like cell phones, Ipods, laptops or other electronics.
Unless your doctor or nurse tells you differently, do not eat or drink anything . . .
- Not even gum, candy, mints, water, ice or coffee for at least 8 hours before your scheduled surgery. Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery.
- You may brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, but spit out all of the liquid
- Take a bath or shower the morning of your surgery, but do NOT use any powder, lotion, deodorant, perfume, aftershave or makeup.
- If your doctor has given you specific orders about taking your medications on surgery day, follow his or her orders carefully. Generally you will take your usual blood pressure medications.
- Unless told otherwise please arrive at the hospital at least two (2) hours before your surgery will begin. We’ll need this time to check you in and get you ready for your surgery.
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONSIDER LEAVING SMALL CHILDREN IN THE CARE OF RELATIVES AT HOME IF POSSIBLE.
- The admitting clerk will greet you and complete your insurance information.
- If your insurance provider requires a co-payment or deductible, you’ll pay it at this time.
- The clerk will fasten a hospital ID bracelet around your wrist. Please take a moment to check that your name and birth date are correct.
- One or two adults can stay with you in PreOp until just before operating room staff moves you to the operating room.
- The doctor who will give you anesthesia (the anesthesiologist) will visit you in PreOp to explain the anesthesia process and answer your questions.
- Your surgeon or a nurse from the surgical team will visit with you to explain the surgery and what to expect afterward. This is a good time for you to ask last-minute questions or bring up your concerns.
- All surgeries require IV’s and monitoring leads. For adults, we usually place these in PreOp, but if our patient is very young, we usually wait until the operating room to place them.
- 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 stay 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.
- Immediately after your surgery, operating room staff will move you to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) while the surgeon reports your progress to your family or friends in the Surgery Waiting area.
- 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 the Surgery Waiting area to let your family and friends know when you are ready to be moved to your hospital room so they can go with you.
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.
Like every other part of your surgery experience, knowing what to expect can help you understand and manage your pain.
Here are a few facts about pain medication:
- Because everyone feels pain differently, there is no “set dose” of pain medication that we give all patients.
- Pain medication is most effective when you take it at regular intervals, before your pain becomes severe.
- Addiction to pain medications is rare. As you heal you will gradually need less of it. Upon your discharge, we prescribe a number of tablets which is sufficient for most patients with your procedure. If your pain is not controlled, contact your surgeon.
- Some pain medications can cause temporary constipation and sweating. Tell your nurse if this happens to you.
- Other ways to relieve pain can be as simple as putting heat or cold on the wound, changing your position and using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
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.
One of the instructions will be to make a follow-up appointment.
As always, call 480-892-2456 if you have any questions or concerns.