Please follow these steps to make your visit to St. Mary's as easy as possible.
Pre-Operative Testing/Out-Patient Teaching
Your physician will decide if any pre-operative tests need to be ordered before your surgery.
Pre-operative Testing - Prior to the date of your surgical procedure, your doctor may schedule you for a pre operative testing and outpatient teaching visit. You may also be scheduled to have blood work, a urine test, x-rays and/or an EKG (electrocardiogram) depending upon your physicians instructions. These tests are a necessary component in helping your physician assess your body's ability to have surgery; however, not every patient will be in need of this service.
The RN assessment takes approximately 40 minutes; a Registered Nurse will gather necessary health information. The patient will be asked questions about his/her current medications, allergy history, past hospitalizations and other pertinent health information. The area ensures that the RN assessment is conducted confidentially.
Not everyone needs testing. Some of the most common types include: blood, x-rays and EKG (electrocardiogram). These tests can be done before the day of your surgery. They help your physician assess your body's ability to have surgery.
During the Pre Op Testing/Out-Patient Teaching visit you will also be educated about your specific procedure.
Prior to your surgery, an anesthesiologist will discuss with you which type of anesthesia is best for you. There are three types of anesthesia. If you are having a "general" anesthesia, you will be completely asleep. A second type is called "local" anesthesia and means a small section of your body will be numb. The third type is "regional or block" anesthesia for numbing a specific body part. During regional or local anesthesia, sedation may be given to make you feel more comfortable.
- It is very important that you DO NOT EAT ANY FOOD OR DRINK ANY LIQUIDS (including water) from midnight the night before your surgery unless you have received different instructions from your doctor.
- Write down and bring the name and dosage of each medication you are taking.
- We urge you to stop smoking cigarettes at least three weeks prior to surgery.
- If you develop any acute infection (a cold, bronchitis, fever, the flu, or any other respiratory infection), be sure to notify your surgeon. He may want to postpone your surgery.
- The Out-Patient teaching nurse will give instructions in coordination with the doctor regarding which medications are to be taken the morning after surgery.
If you are having anesthesia, other than local, please make arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you home after your surgery. There are many important reasons for not driving yourself home, including any lingering effects of anesthesia or medication.
If you live alone, make arrangements for someone to stay with you overnight and longer if necessary, no matter how well you may feel. If you have small children, make arrangements for someone to assist you with child care.
Before your surgery, ask your physician if you should take your usual medication such as heart, high blood pressure medication, or over-the-counter non-prescription drugs. Some medications such as "blood thinners" that include aspirin or ibuprofen may need to be stopped several days before the surgery. If your physician tells you to stop any of your medications, be sure to ask when you can restart them after surgery.
If you have diabetes and take insulin or a diabetic "pill," ask your physician for specific direction about how much medication to take, if any. Some people take less insulin before surgery; others may be directed to take none.
On the day of your surgery, bring a list of the medication, including doses you take and the times you last took them.
Please limit your visitors on the day of your surgery to 2 ADULTS.
If a child is going through surgery, a parent or responsible adult should plan to remain with the child throughout the hospital stay. We encourage you to bring your child's favorite toy.
"Nothing By Mouth"
You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight unless your physician gives you different instructions. During surgery it is important to have an empty stomach. This includes chewing gum, candy, breath mints, as well as food and drink.
Do not smoke for 24 hours before surgery. Your blood cells carry more oxygen during surgery if you refrain from smoking. You should also notify your physician immediately if you develop any illness, cold, sore throat, cough or elevated temperature.