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Prepare for Surgery

While each patient and surgery is unique, preparation for surgery of any kind involves some basic steps. You can read a summary of the main points below. Selecting the hospital location will open the full "How to Prepare for Your Surgery" document. 
Days before surgery
  • Call your insurance provider as soon as your procedure is scheduled. Complete all necessary insurance pre-authorization.
  • Familiarize yourself with pre-op instructions.
  • Please verify with your doctor which medications you should or should not take the morning of surgery.
  • Plan for someone to drive you to and from the hospital and stay with you while at the hospital. For your safety, you WILL NOT be able to drive yourself home or take a cab or bus. There are no exceptions.
  • If having outpatient surgery, plan on someone staying with you for 24 hours after discharge.
Day of surgery
  • Report to the hospital a minimum of 2 ½ hours before your scheduled surgery time unless instructed otherwise. We need you here this early to ensure the staff has enough time to prepare you for surgery.
  • Bring your most current medication list.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that is easy to put on and take off.
  • Remove all jewelry—including body piercings—prior to coming to the hospital.
  • Do not bring valuables, jewelry, large amounts of cash, etc. to the hospital. Your family will be responsible for your belongings while you are in surgery. Deaconess is not responsible for loss or breakage of personal items.
  • Contact lenses must be removed prior to surgery—this includes extended-wear contacts. Please bring contact lens case and solution.
  • Dentures may be worn up until the time of surgery and then must be removed. The day of surgery, if you use paste to hold your dentures in, use only a little or none at all.
In the pre-operative room
You come to the pre-op room while your family waits in the lounge.
  1. First, you put on a hospital gown and place your clothes in a “patient belongings” bag.
  2. Next, we will check your vital signs and collect any bloodwork needed.
  3. We will review your medication list and health history to make sure nothing has changed. You will sign consent forms that allow us to do the surgery and provide you with any related medical care.
  4. The staff will start an IV for fluids to keep you hydrated. (Ages 12 and above)
  5. You will participate in identifying and marking the surgery site.
  6. Your family will be called back to see you as soon as you’re ready for surgery and before you leave the pre-op area. Once you leave for surgery, your family will be directed to the surgery lounge, where they should check in with the visitor assistant.
In the operating room
You will be taken to the operating room 20 – 45 minutes before your scheduled surgery time. Your anesthesiologist will administer anesthesia medicine once you are in the operating room. The type and amount of anesthesia used for surgery is different for each patient. These are the most common types used.

Types of Anesthesia
  • General anesthesia- Medications given through your IV that put you to sleep. You will have assistance with your breathing.
  • IV sedation- Similar to general anesthesia, but you breathe for yourself.
  • Spinal anesthesia- Single injection into your lower back that numbs you from the waist down.
  • Regional anesthesia (femoral nerve block) - Inject medication only into the leg you are having surgery on and numb just that one leg.
  • On-Q ball- Delivers numbing medication to surgical area for 2-5 days after surgery.
Anesthesia Side Effects
Because medication affects each patient in a unique way, you may or may not experience side effects from the anesthesia. The most commonly reported issues or side effects after surgery include nausea, itching, constipation, and urinary retention.

Nausea can be the result of the anesthesia medication or the body’s response to surgery. Either way, we have several options for treating nausea and vomiting.

You may experience intense itching after surgery. Itching does not mean you are allergic to a specific medicine. It’s your body’s response to medicine or the surgical process. We have several ways to address itching so you can rest comfortably.

The combination of pain medicine and anesthesia may cause constipation. In addition to keeping you hydrated, we can give you a stool softener or other medication to help with bowel movements.

Lastly, you may experience urinary retention. If you have difficulty emptying your bladder, the nursing staff will provide you with medication. Catheterization is only used if other methods are unsuccessful.
Recovery Room
Immediately after surgery, you are wheeled into the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) – often called the recovery room. In here, staff members keep a close eye on you as you wake up from the anesthesia. When it is safe to do so, staff will discharge you from the PACU. At that point, you will go to your inpatient room or discharge area depending on the type of surgery performed.
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