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​​​​​​​​​​Your Guide to Surgery

Thank you for choosing Baylor Scott & White Health for your surgery. Our goal is to provide you with quality health care and make your surgical experience as comfortable as possible. To help you and your family be informed about your surgery, our guide offers information about what you can expect before, during and after surgery at your local Baylor Scott & W​hite hospital.

Before Sur​​gery

Get more information on pre-registration, pre-admission testing, preparing for surgery and the cost of your procedure.​

Pre-Registration

During pre-registration, we will confirm your personal and insurance information. Pre-registration will expedite your check in process on the day you come for surgery. You will need the following items to pre-register:

  1. Insurance card and driver’s license
  2. Your surgeon's name
  3. The date of your surgery
  4. Emergency contact information – name, address and phone number of someone who can be contacted in the event of an emergency.
  5. On the day of your surgery, you will finalize your registration at the hospital by signing your consent forms. Please be sure to bring your driver's license and insurance card(s) each time you come in for services at Baylor Scott & White.

    Pre-register or learn more about pre-registration.

Estimate Your Cost of Care

The estimate of your cost for surgery will depend on your individual insurance plan and your surgery. Find out your price estimate today.

Pre-Admission Testing (PAT)

During your PAT appointment, you and a nurse will review your medical history, lab work and the medications that you take. Your care team will decide if you should come to the hospital for your PAT appointment, or if this visit will be done over the phone. The nurse will also carry out your doctor's requests, such as lab work and EKG, as well as instructions on medication and diet. In addition, you will learn how to prepare at home for your surgery. The goal of your PAT appointment is to ensure that you are well prepared for surgery, so this is also a good time for you to ask questions about the hospital or your experience when you come for surgery.

Please bring the following to your PAT appointment:

  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance cards
  • Medications that you take (or a list with each medication’s name, dose, how often you take it)
  • Test results from blood tests, X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or other imaging
  • Paperwork from your surgeon
  • Paperwork from other doctor’s that you have seen to prepare for surgery (e.g. your cardiologist)

How can I reduce my risk of infection?

  • Do not shave the surgical area unless your surgeon has given you instructions to do so
  • Shower the night before surgery and the morning of surgery. Use a clean wash cloth and antibacterial soap. Dry with a clean towel
  • Do not apply lotions, creams or powders to your body after showering
  • Do not apply lotions, creams or powders to your body after showering
  • Wash your hands frequently

Day of Surgery

Read more about what you and your family can expect on the day of your procedure.

What to Bring on Day of Surgery

Download a Day of Surgery Packing Checklist

  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance card
  • Method of payment (e.g. credit card, check)
  • A list of your medications with each medication’s name, dose, how often you take it
  • Lab work or X-rays if done at another facility
  • Any paperwork given by your surgeon's office
  • Any device that your surgeon wants you to use after surgery (e.g. brace, immobilizer)
  • Wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to put on after surgery
  • Change of clothes if staying overnight
  • Wear non-slip closed back shoes that are easy to put on
  • CPAP machine
  • Glasses case
  • Denture cup
  • Hearing aid case
  • Cell phone (will be left with family member during surgery)
  • Power of Attorney or living will paperwork

What to Leave at Home on Day of Surgery*

  • Jewelry
  • Wallet or purse
  • Money
  • Any other valuables
  • Do not wear makeup or nail polish
  • Contact lenses

*BSWH is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen belongings.

Your Experience on Day of Surgery

Access Services for Check-in

  • Your first stop on your day of surgery will be at the hospital's registration desk where you will complete your final check-in for the procedure. You will also sign general treatment consents and review advance directive and emergency contact information. If you have not already paid your deposit for surgery, you will do so at this time. Once your paperwork is complete, an Access Services team member will show you to the pre-operative area, where a nurse will take care of you. By this time, you will be issued a hospital identification band that you will wear throughout your hospital stay.

Nurses

  • One of our nurses will spend time with you to answer any questions you might have, help with preparation for surgery (including obtaining necessary lab work and/or starting an IV), and complete all necessary documentation about your health history within our computer record. Your nurse will escort you to a private area where you will be asked to put on a special gown and cap. Your clothing and other belongings will be placed in a personal bag and given to your family, friend or significant other. If you have not previously signed a consent form for surgery in your doctor's office, you will be asked to do so at this time. You will be informed about any delays that may occur while waiting for surgery.

Anesthesia providers

  • Your anesthesia provider will evaluate you before surgery and answer any questions you may have. You may be contacted the night prior to your operation by your anesthesiologist to review your medical history. Be sure to talk to your anesthesia provider about any medications you are currently taking, including all over-the counter drugs, vitamins and herbal medicines. The appropriate type of anesthesia will be determined in consultation with your surgeon.

Surgeon

  • You will meet with your surgeon on the day of surgery to verify the procedure you are undergoing. If necessary, your surgeon will put a mark on your surgical site with a skin marker.

Recovery Room (Post-anesthesia Care Unit, PACU)

  • Immediately following surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room or the day surgery unit where your blood pressure and pulse will be closely monitored by nurses.
  • How long will I stay in PACU?
    • The amount of time you spend in the recovery room depends on the type of surgery and anesthesia you had. Some patients spend as little as a half hour in recovery, where others spend 3 hours or more. Your surgeon and anesthesia provider will answer any questions regarding length of stay in the recovery area. If you are spending the night in the hospital, you will rest in PACU until your room and new care team are ready to receive you.
  • Will I have pain?
    • While having some pain after surgery is normal, your nurse and doctor will minimize and control your pain. You will be asked for a description of your pain including intensity, location, duration, and what makes the pain better or worse. Dizziness and nausea are normal after receiving anesthesia; therefore, you should wait 24 hours before driving or making critical decisions.

Your Family’s Experience During Surgery

How will my family and support team be updated during the procedure?

  • Your primary support person will be notified hourly by the operating room nurse via a mutually agreed upon cell number or via a phone in the waiting area. The primary support person will be given a case number that is unique to you and your family may monitor your progress on a surgical case monitor.

Where can my family and friends eat?

  • We will show your family and friends where they can get a drink and a snack. Most hospitals have a cafeteria or coffee shop that guests may use during your time here. Some facilities also have a gift shop.

When your procedure is complete, your surgeon will speak with your primary support person about how things went during your surgery.

After Surgery

Find out more about your hospital stay and going home after your procedure.

How Long Will I Have to Stay at the Hospital?

Recovery times vary from one patient to the next. Your surgeon will discuss the anticipated recovery time with you before the surgery. You will not be released from the hospital until you have met certain goals and your health care team feels that it is safe for you to go home.

Getting Home

You will need to make arrangements for transportation after surgery. If you need to use public transportation, you need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to accompany you from the hospital to your home. You will not be able to drive home from the hospital.

Recovery at Home

Your surgeon and nurse will discuss your individual recovery expectations with you as they are unique to each patient. You will learn how to manage your pain as well as appropriate diet and activity, including when you can drive again. We will also tell you how to contact us if you have questions once you are home.

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