What to expect

Before day of surgery

  • Before surgery, complete all testing and consultations requested by your surgeon and your pre-admission testing (PAT) assessment visit.
  • Follow surgery instructions from your surgeon and PAT Nurse.


Q. What do I bring to the hospital?


  • Your insurance card and photo ID
  • Only enough cash to cover co-payments or a credit card
  • A protective case for glasses or hearing aid
  • Loose fitting clothes and flat shoes to wear home. During surgery you will wear a hospital patient gown.
    • If you are having breast surgery, please bring a sports bra.
    • If you are having surgery on your shoulders, arms, chest or head, wear a shirt that buttons down the front.
  • If you use a rescue inhaler or CPAP/BiPAP machine, please bring it with you
  • If you use an insulin pump, leave this on, running and bring your pump supplies.
  • If you have a copy of your Living Will/Power of Attorney please bring it if we do not already have a copy.

Please do NOT bring:

  • Any electronics or jewelry, including wedding bands and body piercings.
  • Your daily medications, other than those noted above. We provide your usual medications during your stay.
  • Contact lenses. Please wear your glasses.
  • Please keep any valuables and unnecessary personal items at home or leave them with a friend or family member. Any personal belongings kept by the patient are the patient’s responsibility and not the hospital’s.

Q. What happens if I get sick before my surgery?

A. If you are having signs or symptoms of becoming ill before your surgery call and inform your surgeon's office. Surgery will not be performed on patients exhibiting illness for your safety.


Day of surgery

  • Follow day-of-surgery instructions from your surgeon and PAT Nurse. If these instructions are not followed, this could result in a delay or cancellation of surgery.
  • Please leave any valuables with your family member or at home.
  • Arrive at the hospital at the time indicated by your surgeon (typically about 2 hours before your surgery time). If you do not know your surgery time, please call your surgeon.
  • Check in to the admitting department of the hospital or outpatient surgery center.
    • A name band will be placed on your wrist.
  • You may be asked wait in the surgery waiting room until you are called back into the Pre-Op Department
    • Your family or friends will be asked to temporarily wait in the waiting room while you are prepped for surgery. They will be able to see you before your surgery begins.
    • An IV line may be placed by the pre-op nurse to give you medications for your surgery.
    • Your surgery site will be prepped and cleaned.
    • You will sign surgery consent forms.
    • You will meet your surgeon, anesthesiologist and surgery team.
    • You can ask any questions you have. You will designate who the medical team should update about your condition.

During your surgery

You will be carefully monitored in the operating room during your surgery. A team of medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, will care for you at all times.

  • The anesthesiologist will give you medicines to keep you asleep, unaware of anything going on and comfortable. You may be given medications to prevent nausea after surgery.
  • We will keep you warm during surgery with blankets, warm IV fluids and air warmers.


Q. What is anesthesia? And what are the different types of anesthesia?

A. Anesthesia is the use of medicine that causes loss of feeling or consciousness. The medication is given by an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist who will stay with you during the procedure and take you to the recovery room when surgery is over.

There are four main types of anesthesia. They are general, regional, local, and procedural sedation. You, your surgeon and anesthesiologist will determine which is best for the surgery you are having and your medical history.

  1. With general anesthesia, you will be unconscious and have no awareness of the surgical procedure. You will not feel any pain.
  2. With regional anesthesia, your anesthesiologist will inject medication to numb only the area of your body that requires surgery.
  3. With local anesthetic, a medicine will be injected into the skin and tissues to numb a specific location.
  4. With procedural sedation, you will be conscious during your procedure, but you may not be aware of what is happening. You will not experience pain or anxiety.

Q. How is my pain managed for surgery?

A. Pain management is important for your surgery. Managing your pain after surgery will allow you to:

  • Enjoy greater comfort while you heal.
  • Get well faster. With less pain, you’ll get your strength back quickly, and you’ll be able to walk and do your breathing exercises with less discomfort.
  • Improve your results. If your pain is well controlled, you’ll do better after surgery. You may also avoid some problems that may affect others, such as pneumonia and blood clots.
  • The sooner you’re able to move after your surgery the sooner you’ll heal, and with fewer complications.


After your surgery

In the recovery room:

Your anesthesiologist and operating room nurse will bring you to the recovery room as soon as your surgery is completed. Your recovery room nurse will keep you as comfortable as possible in the recovery room as you begin to slowly wake up. Your surgeon will update the person you designated in pre-op of how your procedure went.

To respect other patients’ privacy in the recovery room, we generally do not allow family come into this unit. The recovery room nurse and/or the surgeon will let your family know when you are in recovery and how you are doing.

If you are going home:

Your surgical team will decide when it is safe enough to send you home. They will go over any instructions with you or a person you designate.

If you are staying with us:

Your surgical team will decide when it is safe to move you to a hospital room. Once your recovery room nurse knows what unit and room number you will be in, they will share this information with the person you designated.

The medications used during surgery increase your risk of falling. It is very important to use your call light for help after surgery.

Activities after surgery:

Standing, walking, coughing and deep breathing as soon as possible reduce your chances of developing an infection, pneumonia, blood clot or other complications. They also speed up your recovery.

Safely caring for your catheter at home:

After your surgery, your doctor may send you home with a urinary catheter – a flexible plastic tube that drains urine from your bladder into a bag. Our goal is for you to be as safe and comfortable as possible while caring for your catheter, and the following video will walk you through each step of doing so.

Please reach out to your provider with questions or concerns.

Safely caring for your catheter at home