Ambulatory surgery is a safe and convenient alternative to conventional hospitalization when an overnight stay is not required. These instructions are specifically for patients scheduled for ambulatory surgery.
preparing at home for your surgery
Your surgeon will order preoperative testing, which is usually scheduled within seven days of your surgery. On the day of your testing, you should register at the first floor Admitting Office, where you will be asked to complete personal and insurance information. Our staff will give you specific pre-operative instructions about eating, drinking and taking medication and they will direct you to the laboratory, radiology or other areas for your pre-surgical tests.
If you develop a cold, virus, sore throat or if you are not feeling well the week before your surgery, please contact your physician, who may postpone your procedure, if necessary.
It is very important that you follow the preoperative instructions your physician or preadmission nurse gives you. In addition, please follow these basic rules:
- Get a good night's rest
- Do not eat or drink after midnight
- Come to the hospital dressed in casual, comfortable clothing and do not wear make up or hair accessories
- Have at least one finger of each hand free of nail polish
- Do not bring any jewelry or valuables with you. Wedding and engagement rings can be taped to your finger, if necessary
If you're taking daily medication, discuss whether you should continue with your physician. If you're taking medication such as blood pressure pills, cardiac or diabetic medication, take them with no more than 1/4 ounce of water. Please note that aspirin, one of the most commonly used medications available, can, in some individuals, produce an unwanted side effect, namely prevention of normal blood clotting, which can result in abnormal bleeding. If you are having surgery, please inform your doctor if you have taken aspirin, Bufferin*, Alka Selzer*, Excedrin*, Anacin*, Pepto Bismol*, Bayer*, Midol*, or any other prescription or over the counter medication. Please call your doctor's attention to the medication(s) in question before your surgical procedure. (* Trademark Registered).
It is very important that you arrive at the Admitting Office at your appointed time so that scheduling may move along quickly.
For your safety, have a family member or friend accompany you after surgery, as you will not be allowed to drive yourself home.
going to surgery
Before you are taken to the operating suite, the floor nurse will ask you questions about your medical history and may need to shave or prep your operative site. Sometimes you may have additional lab work, x-rays or tests performed at this time. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove your eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures or prostheses. If you have a severe hearing impairment, you may request to keep your hearing aid, which you can give to a nurse before you enter the operating room. Your doctor may order preoperative medication to help you relax.
Your family is welcome to stay with you until you are taken to the operating room. At that time, they should wait in the Ambulatory Waiting Room where your doctor will meet with them after surgery.
In the holding area of the operating room, you will meet your nurses and anesthesiologists and will be able to talk with your surgeon. The staff will make any additional preparations for surgery and will start an IV.
after your surgery
Following surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room, where nurses will check your pulse, blood pressure and other vital signs, encourage deep breathing and check your operative site. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication if you need it. Pain tolerance is individual and it is important to communicate your needs to your nurse.
Once your vital signs are stable and you're responsive, the anesthesiologist will discharge you from the recovery unit. If you received spinal or epidural anesthesia for your surgery, the anesthesiologist will make sure that you have sensation and movement in your lower extremities before discharging you. They will give you postoperative instructions about diet, activity, rest and medication, as well as a phone number to call if you experience any problems while at home.
autologous blood donor program and transfusion
Although most patients undergoing surgery do not require blood during their operations, blood will be available should the need arise. The safest blood transfusion a patient can receive is his or her own blood - an autologous donation. Check with your doctor to see if you may participate in this program. If you have made an autologous donation and you require blood during your hospital stay, your own blood will be transfused to you. Advanced notice and written permission from your doctor are required. Your physician can explain the likelihood of transfusion and the risks and benefits associated with it.