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.
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.
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.
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 or 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.
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.
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.