Step-By-Step Guide for Surgery Patients
Before your surgery day:
Step 1: Get lab tests, X-rays and other procedures
Your surgeon may order specific tests to be done within 30 days before your surgery. If your tests are done somewhere other than at the Providence hospital where you will have surgery or in your surgeon’s office, please have the results faxed to Pre-Surgery Clinic. If you don't know whether you need any tests, please contact the Providence Surgical Services office.
Step 2: Talk with a Surgical Services nurse
It is important that you talk to a Surgical Services nurse before the day of your surgery. Depending on your situation, this may be a phone conversation or a visit to our office. Please contact the Providence Surgical Services office to schedule this essential visit or phone call.
Step 3: Pre-register and complete hospital forms
Preregister for a hospital visit
Step 4: Know where you are going: Review the hospital map
Please refer to the hospital map to make sure you know exactly how to get to the hospital, where to park and where to check in for Surgical Services.
Step 5: Arrange for someone to drive you home
You won't be able to drive after surgery. Before the day of your surgery, you will need to identify someone who can drive you home from the hospital and who can help you for about the next 24 hours.
Step 6: Obtain any special instructions your doctor may have for you
Contact your surgeon before the day of your surgery if:
- You take aspirin, anti-inflammatory or blood-thinning medications. They may need to be discontinued before surgery.
- You have any unexpected medical problems before your scheduled surgery, such as a fever, cold, cough or flu. Your surgery may have to be rescheduled.
- You have diabetes. Your doctor should give you specific instructions on what to do the day of surgery.
- You regularly take any herbal supplement. They may need to be discontinued before surgery.
On the day of your surgery:
Step 7: Before you come to the hospital:
Unless your doctor tells you differently, please follow these instructions:
- Take your morning prescription medications for blood pressure, heart, lung, kidney or liver conditions, pain medication, or antibiotics with a small amount of water.Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding any diabetes medications, blood thinners, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or herbal supplements that you currently take.
- Bring with you a list of the names and doses of all medications you currently take.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight. EXCEPTION: If your surgery is scheduled for the afternoon, you may drink clear liquids (water, black coffee, tea, clear juice) or eat light foods (dry toast or crackers) up until six hours before arriving at the hospital.
- Please shower or bathe using an antiseptic cleanser, if recommended by your doctor.
- Wear loose, non-binding, comfortable clothing. Remember, you may receive a bandage or cast during surgery, and the clothing needs to fit comfortably over it.
- If you wear contact lenses, please bring your case and solution. You may be asked to remove your lenses before you go to surgery.
- Bring any reading glasses, hearing aids and mobility devices, such as canes and walkers, that you may need to stand or move short distances. Wheelchairs are available for your use while you are in the hospital.
- Bring any special medical devices you may need, such as inhalers or sleep apnea machines.
- Bring your insurance information with you.
- Bring some money or a credit card if you do not get your post-operative prescriptions filled before you come to the hospital.
- Please do NOT bring valuables, jewelry or watches.
Step 8: When you come to the hospital:
You will need to arrive at the hospital well before your scheduled surgery time. This allows the nursing staff, your anesthesiologist and your surgeon to better prepare you for your surgical experience.
When you arrive, please check in at the Admitting desk.
Once you are registered at the Admitting desk, the nursing staff will begin preparing you for surgery. You may be given additional paperwork to complete and/or tests at this time.
Your anesthesiologist will meet with you before surgery. He or she will answer your questions, review your options for anesthesia and, working together with you and your surgeon, plan your anesthesia care.
A family member or friend may stay with you until it is time for you to go to surgery.
Step 9: During surgery
Your family can wait for you in the surgery waiting area. They may be given a pager so that the waiting area staff can notify them when your surgery is finished.
If your family plans to leave the hospital while you are in surgery, please have them tell your nurse and leave a number where they can be reached.
Step 10: Recovering and going home
You may go to the recovery room (PACU – Post Anesthesia Care Unit) directly from the operating room. Your surgeon may contact your family at this time and talk with them about your surgery.
Our physicians and nurses will work closely with you to assure that your surgery pain is managed.
If you will be going home on the same day that you had your procedure, you will be taken back to the unit to which you were first admitted. Your family may meet you there. You will be discharged from this unit.
If you do not go home that day, your surgeon will arrange for you to be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay.
If a hospital admission is planned, you will be taken from the surgery area to your assigned hospital room. Your personal belongings will be transferred with you to this room.
Your surgeon will give you discharge instructions before you leave the hospital. If you have any questions or problems after you leave the hospital, please contact your physician immediately.
Step 11: Let us know how your are doing...
We randomly sample our outpatient surgery patients by sending out surveys and asking for their input. We look forward to your feedback, and we appreciate the time you take to share your thoughts and suggestions with us.