On the day of your surgery, please enter the hospital through the main lobby and stop by Admissions, located behind the Information Desk. There you will sign the required insurance or billing papers. Please have your driver’s license and insurance card(s) readily available.

After completing registration, or if you arrive early in the morning before Admissions is open for business, go to the hallway adjacent to the Gift Shop, and follow the blue line on the floor. They guide you to the surgical elevator. Take the elevator to the second floor, and upon exit, follow the blue floor line which guides you to the Surgical Desk.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Your nurse will greet you and help you get settled in Surgical Admissions, complete a nursing assessment, review last doses of your regular medications, and assist you in getting ready for your surgery. This may include starting your IV and giving you medications as ordered by your physician and/or anesthesiologist. This may also include any final tests needed.

Depending on the type of surgery, your care may include a shave prep. You may also take a cleansing shower/scrub, receive an enema, have elastic hose or Ace wraps applied to your legs, have your surgical site marked, or have nerve-monitoring electrodes applied at this time.

Family members may stay with you during this time.

Surgical Area

About 30 minutes before your scheduled surgery you will be transported by stretcher to the Surgical Area (also known as the Pre-Anesthesia Holding Area or Prep Area). Next, some or all of the following will happen:

  • An IV will be started by a registered nurse. If the patient is a small child, the IV will not be started until after total sedation.
  • You will meet the anesthesia personnel and nurse who will be with you throughout the surgical procedure.
  • Your surgeon may visit you.
  • You may receive sedatives and antibiotics.
  • You may receive a special IV epidural or special block procedure for pain control.
  • You are welcome to ask for a warm blanket if you are cold.

Operating Room

Your surgery will be performed by a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a scrub nurse to assist the surgeon, and a circulating nurse (also known as an OR nurse). Others may be present to assist.

Once back in the Operating Room, we will perform an active “time-out” to ensure your safety before beginning your procedure. In this final check, we verify with every member of the OR care team that we have the right patient and we’re ready to do the right procedure at the correct surgical site.

Safety straps may be placed across you, and a blood-pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. On your chest will be placed several adhesive “buttons,” which will be connected to an EKG machine that measures the rate and regularity of your heartbeats during surgery. A pulse oximeter clip will be placed on your finger.

You will be given the type of anesthesia that is best for your surgery (general, monitored, local, or spinal, or a combination). When the anesthetic has taken effect, your surgical team will perform the surgery.

When your surgery is done, you will be transferred by stretcher to the Recovery Room.

Recovery Room

You will remain in the Recovery Room (also known as the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, or PACU) for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, always with a nurse at your side.

  • You will be monitored with the same devices you wore in surgery (blood-pressure cuff, EKG, pulse oximeter).
  • To help you breathe, you may have an oxygen mask covering your mouth and nose. Please keep it on until your nurse removes it.
  • If you have an incision or bandage, your nurse will periodically check the area for any bleeding.
  • You may feel sleepy, dizzy, and/or forgetful from the medications, but these feelings will lessen as time passes.
  • You may have some discomfort or nausea after your surgery. Please be sure to mention these feelings to your nurse so that appropriate measures can be taken to increase your comfort.
  • When you are reasonably comfortable and your vital signs are stable, you will be taken to a patient room. If you’ve had day surgery, your room will be in the Day Surgery area (see map). If you will be staying overnight, you will be taken to an inpatient room.

Recovery Before Going Home

Your recovery time will depend on a variety of factors, and each person reacts differently to the surgical experience. We want to help you return home as soon as you are ready. If you have had inpatient surgery, your recovery time will include at least one night’s stay at the hospital.

During your stay, your doctor and nurse will instruct you how to promote your recovery, including walking the day after surgery, deep breathing and coughing, pain relief, and diet.

Before you are released from the hospital, certain things need to happen first:

  • You should be reasonably comfortable.
  • Your vital signs should be stable.
  • You should be able to move about without dizziness.
  • You must be able to drink fluids.