Preparing for Surgery

Prior To Your Procedure

  • Closely follow your physician’s instructions. If you have any questions about the details of your procedure, call your admitting physician for this information.
  • If you experience any health changes between your recent visit to your physician and the day of your procedure, notify your physician. Please report even minor changes such as an elevated temperature, cough or cold.
  • Guidelines for Eating and Drinking will be given to you by the Pre-Admission Nurse prior to your procedure. Undigested food and liquids in the stomach can cause complications, and your procedure will be canceled or delayed if you forget to follow these instructions.
  • If you take daily medication, the pre-admission nurse or physician will discuss the medications you should or should not take prior to your procedure.
  • Smokers should not smoke for 24-28 hours prior to their procedure.
  • If you require pre-admit testing, it is recommended you come at least five days prior to your procedure to prevent any delays. No appointment necessary. It is important to bring an allergy list and current medication list including dosage.

There are pre-operative cubicles where the patients are prepared and wait prior to their procedure. Visitors are allowed to wait in this area with the patient.

Day of Your Procedure

  • A family member or friend (18 years or older) must accompany you to and from the hospital. Your physician will wish to talk to this person after your procedure. It is important for this person to remain in the facility during your entire process. The facility encourages that your bring no more than 2 adults to accompany you at the facility.
  • Children under the age of thirteen (13) are not allowed in the patient care areas.
  • Plan to be at the facility for approximately 4 to 6 hours.
  • Bathe or shower and brush your teeth the morning of your procedure (taking caution not to swallow any water).
  • Wear loose comfortable clothes that are easy to put back on after your procedure.
    • If you are having shoulder surgery, wear a very large front buttoned shirt.
    • If you are having knee surgery, bring shorts or very large, wide leg pants or sweat pants.
    • If you are having any type of abdominal surgery, wear very loose and comfortable clothing with a non-restrictive waist band.
  • Leave all valuables at home. We cannot be responsible for lost or damaged personal belongings.
  • Remove all makeup, hair pins, and body piercing. You are not required to remove your nail polish, but it is recommended that you do not use dark colors, sometimes dark colored nail polish will inhibit the use of some of the necessary monitoring equipment.
  • Report to the hospital at the time given to you by the pre-admission nurse. Generally, this is 1 to 1.5 hours before your procedure is scheduled. This provides adequate time for admission and preparing you for your procedure.
  • You may be required to remove contact lens, glasses, hearing aids, or dentures. Please bring a storage case to protect these in the event that these need to be removed. This is decided upon based on the type of procedure that you will be having.
  • Remember to follow the instructions regarding eating, drinking, and taking medications that your physician or the pre-admission nurse provided you.2

After Your Procedure


  • Your condition will be closely monitored by the facility staff for an average of 1 to 2 hours.
  • Certain criteria must be met for you to be discharged. Although it is very rare, some patients may not meet the criteria for discharge and require you to be admitted as an inpatient. Your physician or anesthesiologist will determine your readiness for discharge.
  • Your visitors may stay with you in this area. They will be summoned to visit you when the staff determines it to be appropriate.
  • Your “At Home” instructions will be discussed with you and your family member by the nurses upon discharge. You will receive a written copy of them.
  • Keep in mind that as a patient you will be administered medication that may cause side effects such as amnesia.  Please inform your family that this will be temporary. You may be very sleepy when you are discharged home. This is why a responsible adult is required to drive you home and remain with you for your safety. Some patients may require extended times or admission to the inpatient area.

After Discharge

  • Refrain from making major decisions, signing contracts, or any legal documents for 24 hours after your procedure. Make sure that you are not alone for the initial 24 hours following your discharge. Do not drive for a minimum of 24 hours after your discharge. Follow all instructions that will be given to you by the discharge nurse.
  • A nurse from the facility will call to check on you the next business day following your discharge (Friday patients will be called on Monday). Upon admission, we will acquire the number where you may be reached for this call.

Inpatient Stay

  • Your physician may decide you need to be monitored in an overnight setting until you meet discharge criteria. Discharge criteria may include:
    • Pain is managed
    • Improved mobility to maximize home safety
    • Patient is medically stable.
  • The inpatient unit has a low staff to patient ratio to provide safe quality care. Nurses work with your surgeon on managing pain, minimizing complications and promoting your recovery.
  • Your care team may include nurses, patient care techs, case manager, physical therapists and respiratory therapists. Your surgeon, physician assistant or nurse practitioner round daily to assist in managing your care  Additional specialty physicians are available if needed. A physician is always on site during your stay. Case management is available for any equipment or discharge needs or concerns.
  • An overnight visitor is allowed in your private room but is not required.
  • Education is provided by your team to you and your family to prepare you for optimal continued surgical recovery at home.

After Discharge

  • Discharge instructions will be discussed with you and your caregiver by your nurse. Information on all prescriptions will be included. A written copy of discharge education is also provided.
  • A nurse from the inpatient unit will call 48 hours after you are discharged to check on your recovery and to answer any questions you may have.