On The Day Of Your Surgery

1.     PLAN TO WEAR LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING (such as a jogging suit) and easy on/off shoes. A top with front zipper closure or buttons works well if you are having upper body surgery. Pants with an elastic waistband also work well, as you will be drowsy following surgery.

2.     DO NOT WEAR ANY MAKE-UP, JEWELRY, OR BRING VALUABLES on the day of surgery, except your ID and insurance card. You may wear socks in the operating room and wear underwear IF it does not interfere with your surgical site and your physician approves. Please remove all JEWELRY prior to your surgery, including, but not limited to rings, watches, earrings, nose piercings, tongue piercings, and naval piercings. If this is not possible, you must discuss with your surgeon.

3.     BRING YOUR PAIN MEDICATION WITH YOU on the day of surgery, so that the nurse can verify your medications and administer, if needed.

4.     Infomr the doctor about you denture and contact lances 

5.     YOU WILL BE ASKED TO CHANGE INTO A GOWN. Your surgeon will mark the surgical site and your anesthesiologist will have you sign a consent for anesthesia. You will have the opportunity to ask any last minute requests.

6.     AN IV WILL BE STARTED IN YOUR HAND OR FOREARM in the pre-op area and a nurse will accompany you in the operating room throughout your surgery.

7.     ONCE YOU'RE IN THE OPERATING ROOM you will be asked to lie on the table. The anesthesiologist will give you medication through your I.V. to relax you as soon as you are lying down. These medications also help you to forget being in the operating room. 

8.     MONITORS AND EQUIPMENT will be applied to your body. This may include a blood pressure cuff on your arm, a pulse oximeter on your finger, 3 EKG pads on your torso, SCD pressure stockings to your calves (to reduce blood clots), and a grounding pad to your thigh (for surgical electro-cautery machine).

9.     YOU WILL DRIFT OFF TO SLEEP VERY COMFORTABLY. A tube will be placed in your throat AFTER you are asleep and will be removed BEFORE you wake up. The only awareness you may have of the tube could be a sore, scratchy throat following surgery.  If your surgery is planned for more than 3 hours you may also have a FOLEY CATHETER in your bladder. This will also be inserted AFTER you are asleep and removed before you wake up. If you are staying overnight, the catheter will be removed in the morning. You should be able to urinate normally after its removal.

10.     YOU WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE RECOVERY ROOM ON A BED and can expect to stay for another 1-1.5 hours. Most patients are fully awake with 15-60 minutes after surgery, but may not remember much due to the anesthetic drugs. You will be released when your vital signs are stable and your nausea, bleeding, and pain are minimal. A nurse will be with you while you are recovering.

11.    YOU AND A RESPONSIBLE ADULT WILL BE GIVEN SPECIFIC DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS, necessary supplies, and a 1 week post-op appointment. Ask questions anytime.

12.    MOST IMPORTANTLY, REMEMBER TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY…Rest when you feel pain or fatigue. BE PATIENT with the healing process, and remember you may have good and bad days.