What surgery patients can typically expect on the day of surgery.

Reception and Admitting

Complete admissions paperwork prior to your procedure:

  • Prepare to sign the informed consent form by reviewing the Consent for Operation/Procedure & Patient Info sheet below. Read details about the consent form and the possible risks of the procedure. This form is for review only. You will be asked to sign the actual document after meeting with your physician on the day of your procedure.
    • Consent for Operation/Procedure & Patient Info
  • You will also be given information about anesthesia, physicians and the facility, which includes an acknowledgment of these various providers contributing to your care and the potential for separate billings.
  • The required forms will be completed at this time if you have not already provided the information online.
    • Privacy Practices 
  • Review your insurance information and provide any co-pays. Depending on your insurance, co-pays may be collected at this time or billed to you.
  • Read the following material:
    • Discharge Instructions (depending on your procedure and the surgeon's preference).
    • Review the pain management brochure. Nurses will ask you to rate your pain according to the numeric or picture scale, described in the section Rating Your Pain. This scale will help nursing staff effectively evaluate and manage your pain. If you have any questions, ask the pre-operative nurse prior to surgery.

Pre-Operative Area

  • You will be taken to a private area for changing from regular clothes to hospital clothes.
  • A registered nurse will perform an assessment, and you will be prepared for surgery. This may include: having vital signs and weight measured, starting an IV (intravenous) line, drawing lab tests, possible urine sample, skin prep and marking of operative site, if necessary.
  • You can be provided with a warm blanket, magazines, games and activities, TV or music tapes with headphones, if you choose. Music tapes may be taken with you into surgery.
  • You'll learn about your anesthesia, the medication that will help to keep you comfortable during your procedure. Anesthesia will be provided based on your surgery type, your health status, and the anesthesia members on duty at the time of your procedure. All anesthesiologists are medical doctors with special training in the field of anesthesiology.
  • There are four different types of anesthesia that can be used:
    • General: You are totally asleep and aware of nothing.
    • IV Regional: You are given medication to relax and numb the area so you do not feel pain. 
    • Monitored (MAC): You may or may not be asleep, but you will feel comfortable. You may be aware of what is going on during the procedure.
    • Local: You may receive medication as needed through an IV to keep you relaxed. A registered nurse, under direction of your surgeon, will administer medications.
  • Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you. Please feel free at this time to ask any questions regarding your procedure.
  • Children may be medicated prior to surgery. The medication makes children unsteady and likely to fall. If medicated, parents must watch their child closely at all times.
  • Waiting times before your procedure starts will vary. The actual time your surgery begins will depend on longer or shorter surgery times and emergencies. We will make every effort to keep you informed if a delay occurs.
  • You can walk or be transported in a wheelchair to the operative area by a member of the surgical team.
  • Your family will be shown where to wait during your surgery. No family may be permitted in the operating room during the surgery.

Operating Room / Surgical Area

  • Your physician will visit with you. Please feel free at this time to ask any questions regarding your procedure.
    • Questions Patients Frequently Ask
  • A registered nurse will ask once more for your name, allergies, food intake status and to identify the surgical site.
  • Monitors will be applied and a warm blanket provided.
  • Local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area before the procedure begins.
  • A sedative (conscious sedation) will be given during the procedure. It is important for you to remain awake so your can follow your doctor's verbal instructions, such as breathing deep or coughing.

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

  • Your recovery begins with individual nursing care - including pain management.
  • An average time of 30-45 minutes is spent in the PACU; as little as 10 minutes and up to two hours or more, depending on your needs, the type of anesthesia and the procedure performed.
  • Family will not be able to visit in the PACU.
  • Once you have met specific medical criteria, you will be discharged to the post-operative area.

Post-Operative Area

  • You will stay in bed for a period of time, which may include lying flat for several hours.
A registered nurse will
  • Take vital signs.
  • Treat any nausea/vomiting.
  • Manage pain, if needed.
  • Offer fluids.
  • Provide discharge education (both written and verbal) to you and to the person who is taking you home.
  • Your physician will provide any discharge prescriptions necessary.
  • Have family or appropriate visitors fill these before leaving the facility.
  • The hospital pharmacy accepts most insurance plans.
Going Home
  • You will be observed and made comfortable until you have met medical criteria.
  • This stage may be as brief as 30 minutes, or as long as 4 hours, depending on your needs, type of anesthesia and the procedure performed.
  • If needed, a staff member will accompany you out of the building when you are discharged. You may walk to your car, if feeling well enough, or be assisted in a wheelchair.