What to Expect Day of Surgery.

1. What will happen when I first arrive at the facility?

When you arrive at the facility, you will be checked-in by a member of our staff. The admission process is usually very quick as we have obtained most of your information prior to your arrival. This final check allows us to verify all of your key information so we can better serve you.

2. What should I wear?

For your comfort, we encourage you to wear clothing that can be easily removed and stored. Please avoid wearing any jewelry, piercings, nail polish and cosmetics, and leave contact lenses at home or bring your lens case with you.

3. What should I do with my clothes and additional belongings?

A nurse will escort you into the pre-operative area where you will change your clothes. Your belongings will be safely stored until you are ready to go home. We recommend that you leave all valuables and additional accessories at home.

4. What happens after I check-in?

A nurse will conduct a pre-operative assessment that will include taking your vital signs and starting an IV if it is required for your procedure. The anesthesia provider will also speak with you in the pre-operative area to review all pre-operative information and discuss your anesthesia. Our staff will keep your family and friends informed of your progress. We understand the anxiety family and friends will have while you are having your procedure. We will make every effort to keep them informed of your progress and when they will be able to re-join you after the procedure.

5. Will I see my physician prior to surgery?

Yes. The nature of most procedures will require that you and your physician confirm both the specific type of procedure you are having as well as the surgical site of that procedure.

6. How long can my family stay with me prior to my procedure?

This will depend upon a number of factors. However, we believe that familiar faces can assist in reducing your anxiety about the procedure, so please do not hesitate to inform the nurse that you would like a friend or family member to sit with you.

7. When should I arrive?

You will receive instructions regarding arrival time during your pre-operative phone call. It is important that you arrive at the designated time.

8. Can I smoke?

No. We advise against smoking on the day of your procedure. Smoking may interfere with the anesthesia and frequently produces nausea during the recovery period.

9. Are there different kinds of sedation or anesthesia?

Yes. We use three different categories of sedation and anesthesia: General, Monitored Anesthesia Care and Local Anesthesia. Regardless of the type of sedation or anesthesia that you receive, special anesthetic agents and techniques are used to provide a safe and speedy recovery.

10. May I request the type of anesthesia I will receive?

Your anesthesia provider will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history.

11. Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?

Together, you, your surgeon and your anesthesia provider will develop an anesthetic care plan. This plan may include preoperative sedation and other medications if necessary.

12. What are the risks of anesthesia?

All surgical procedures and all anesthetics have risks. These risks are dependent upon many factors, including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Your anesthesiologist will assess you preoperatively and every precaution will be taken to minimize your risk. We routinely see minor symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, sore throat, dizziness, tiredness, headache, muscle aches and pain, most of which are easily treated. Please feel free to discuss any questions with your anesthesia provider.

13. Will I be billed separately by the anesthesiologist?

Yes. You will receive a separate bill from your anesthesia provider if anesthesia was administered.

14. Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?

It is important to refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents (complication related to vomiting) during your surgery. This complication may be very serious. Specific instructions based on national safety standards will be provided to you prior to your procedure. It is very important that you follow the provided instructions. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or cancelled.

Saint Thomas Hospital for Specialty Surgery
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