The Pre-Surgery Clinic nurse will instruct you on your arrival time. You should expect to arrive one and a half to two hours before the start of your surgery.
On the day of your surgery, you will enter through the Main Entrance on the southeast side of the hospital where you will check in at the Admitting desk. See below for a map of the campus. Click here to download the map as a PDF
You will then be escorted to the Surgery Family Waiting Room where your family will be given a pager so they can track your progress. Family will be updated by the coordinator in the Family Waiting Room, and also by the surgical tracking board.
- Family members and friends will be allowed to visit before you go to surgery (two at a time).
- You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. All other clothing must be removed.
- A nurse will check your vital signs and listen to your heart and lungs.
- The pre-operative nurse will start your IV and get you ready for surgery. All valuables including jewelry, wallets, glasses and cell phones will be given to a family member for safe keeping.
- You will be given instructions about how to take care of yourself after surgery.
- The anesthesiologist (physician who sedates you for your surgery) will explain your anesthesia and discuss pain control.
- For your safety, we will ask many of the same questions more than once. We will also check your ID band frequently throughout your stay. In some cases, your surgeon will mark your operative site before you are taken back to the operating room. If necessary, antibiotics will be given to prevent infection.
- The nurse anesthetist and operating room nurse will introduce themselves and transport you to the operating room.
- Your family members will be directed to the Surgery Family Waiting Room, where they will be kept informed of your progress.
- You will be helped onto the operating table.
- Equipment that monitors your vital signs will be applied.
- You may be asked to breathe oxygen through a mask with general anesthesia.
- You’ll receive sedation medication through your IV. You may feel a warm sensation in your arm.
- Surgery usually begins 15-30 minutes after you’re taken into the surgical suite.
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
- After your surgery, you will be transported to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). For your privacy and that of the other patients, visitors are not allowed in the PACU.
- You may feel oxygen blowing near your face or in your nose as you wake up.
- You will be monitored carefully during your stay in the PACU, which will typically last one to two hours.
- Please let your nurse know if you experience any pain or nausea.
- You will be transferred to a hospital room or to the Ambulatory Care Center (to prepare for going home) when the anesthesiologist determines you are ready.
Pain Medication Options
Your physician or anesthesiologist will discuss pain medication options prior to your surgery. These include:
- Pain medication given through your vein. Patient Controlled Analgesic” pumps allow patients to get a small dose of pain medication with the push of a button. The dose and frequency are determined by your doctor and programmed into the pump.
- Epidural medication (through a very small catheter in your back)
- Continuous Epidural Analgesic (CEA) offers the benefit of continuous pain medication.
- Nerve blocks. Certain nerves may be injected with local anesthesia to provide pain relief. This can be done before or after surgery.
- ON-Q administers local anesthetic to the surgical site. This is an option for specific surgeries only.
- Oral pain medication is given once you are able to eat and drink.
- It may be necessary to combine two or more of these options to provide the best relief for you.