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Patient Surgery Guide

The Day of Surgery

Arriving at the Hospital
Checking In
Your Privacy and Communicating with your Family and Visitors
Speak Up -- Take an Active Role in Your Care
Getting Ready for Surgery
Seeing the Medical Team Before Surgery
Signing Consent Forms Before Surgery
Operating Room
Recovery Room

Arriving at the Hospital

Information in your My Surgery Folder will tell you the time you need to arrive for your surgery and where to check in. A map (in the folder) highlights the building where you need to go and gives walking directions from the parking garage. Valet parking is available at the entrance of each hospital.

Family and visitors can get discount parking passes at the Patient Reception desk where you check in.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the hospital at the time you were told to arrive.

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Checking In

When you arrive give your name to the person at the Patient Reception desk. They will check you in and let our team know you have arrived.

A patient service coordinator will call you and take you to Holding to get ready for surgery. One or two of your family members can wait with you once you are ready.

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Your Privacy and Communicating with your Family and Visitors

You will be given a private code when you check in. Give this code to people who have your permission to talk to the doctors and nurses about your care. The code allows your loved ones to check your status on the information screens as you move from one area to another.

The nurse in the operating room will call the patient reception area to give your family an update during the surgery. When your surgery is over your doctor will ask to meet your family in a private consult room in the patient reception area. A patient service coordinator will page your family when the doctor is ready.

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Speak Up -- Take an Active Role in Your Care

Ask everyone involved in your care to

  • Identify themselves
  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer

Everyone involved in your care should know your name and what surgery or procedure you are having.

Make sure your doctor or care team marks the place on your body to show where you are having surgery.

Ask your doctor or nurse to explain

  • Medications ordered for you
  • What you need to do when you go home

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Getting Ready for Surgery

In the Holding area a member of the healthcare team will ask you to put on a hospital gown. No street clothing or underwear is allowed in surgery.

The nurse will do some tests including taking your vital signs, and putting in an intravenous line.

  • Vital Signs: Your vital signs include your body temperature, blood pressure, pulse (heart rate), and breathing rate. Sticky pads are placed on your skin to keep track of your heart's electrical activity.
  • Pulse Oximeter: A red light sensor will be attached to your finger. This tells us how much oxygen is in your blood. This is one of the things we will watch before, during and after your surgery.
  • Intravenous Line (IV): A small tube may be put into a vein in your arm. It is used to bring fluids your body needs during surgery and to give you medicine.
  • Pregnancy Testing: All females who can become pregnant will be asked to give a urine sample the morning of surgery. This test is a hospital policy.
  • You will need to tell the nurse how you plan to get home after surgery and give the driver’s contact information to hospital staff in Holding.

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Seeing the Medical Team Before Surgery

As part of a large medical center there will be many people who are part of your care. Many will ask your name, the surgery you are having, your allergies and other questions. This is to confirm to ensure you get the proper care you need.

Your doctor and your anesthesia provider will talk to you before surgery.

If you are having a regional block for your surgery, you will usually have this done by the anesthesia provider in the Holding area before you go to the operating room.

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Signing Consent Forms Before Surgery

You or a close family member must sign a legal form giving permission for surgery. Your medical team will explain the information on the consent form. The consent form includes:

  • Name of the surgery you will have
  • Location of surgery, if applicable
  • Information on risks of having the surgery and risks of not having the surgery

Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign a consent form.

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Operating Room

  • You may be given medication right before surgery to make your feel relaxed or sleepy.
  • You will be taken to the room where surgery is done and moved to a bed or table.
  • Anesthesia may be given through an IV to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may breathe it in from a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
  • A catheter may be inserted into your bladder to drain your urine.

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Recovery Room

You will go to the Recovery Room after surgery where we can watch you until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed without asking permission.

When you are awake and ready for visitors, the nurse may call for one or two of your visitors to come into the Recovery Room. Visitors can take turns seeing you.

You will go home from the Recovery Room or be admitted to your hospital room.

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