Preparing for Surgery

Types of Surgeries

If you’re planning to have surgery, you’ll want to spend some time preparing. This includes taking care of your health, learning as much as you can about the procedure. Surgeries can be divided into two groups: Outpatient and Inpatient Surgeries

Outpatient surgery also called ambulatory or same–day surgery does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. You can go home the same day if your condition is stable. Please make provision for someone to drive you home.

Inpatient surgery is one that requires an overnight stay. This is usually a major surgery that requires more time for recovery after anesthesia, closer monitoring, and further nursing care.

In the following sections, you will find general tips and information on things you can do to prepare for your surgery. 

Preparations for surgery

  • If you smoke, try to stop smoking before your surgery. This is because general anesthesia has an impact on the normal functioning of your lungs.
  • If you are taking medication, ask your surgeon if you should keep taking it before or after the surgery. Some medications like blood thinners might need to be suspended shortly before the surgery.
  • Make sure the surgeon knows all of the medications you are taking, including those that have been prescribed for you and those that are bought over-the-counter, such as vitamins, herbs, or other supplements
  • Follow a special diet before surgery if your health care provider suggests it. If you have diabetes, controlling your glucose levels before surgery may improve healing and help avoid complications

Presurgical evaluations

Apart from being evaluated by the surgeon, before your surgery you will also need to have an evaluation by the anesthesiologist. In this visit, you will be explained the proposed type of anesthesia and will have a physical exam to make sure you are in optimal conditions for the anesthetic procedure.

If you are above 40 years of age or have cardiovascular risk factors your doctor will indicate that you have a pre-surgical evaluation with an Internist, to make sure you are in optimal conditions to have the surgery performed.

For these pre-surgical evaluations, you will need to have clinical laboratory tests, which may include tests of your blood and urine, a chest X-Ray, and an electrocardiogram to evaluate the functioning of your heart.

On Surgery day..

Do not wear makeup, remove nail polish or acrylic nails as well as all jewelry.

After checking in with the Billing and Admissions Office, the nurses will help you get ready for your surgery. They will go over your health history, as well as any drug or non drug allergies. You will change from your clothes into a hospital gown, cap, and covering for your feet. Then you will be taken to an area to wait. At this time an intravenous line may be placed to administer fluids, medication, or blood during and after the surgery.

After you have been taken into the operating room, monitors will be attached to various parts of your body to measure your pulse, oxygen level, and blood pressure. The anesthesiologist will then proceed to administer the anesthesia. After you are asleep the surgical team will then perform the surgical procedure 

After Surgery

Once the surgery is over, you will be moved into the recovery area or to your room if you are staying overnight.

Many patients feel groggy, confused, and chilly when they wake up after an operation. You may have muscle aches or a sore throat shortly after surgery. These problems should not last long and you can ask for medicine to relieve them.

When you are ready to go home, a nurse or the doctor will go over any instructions on diet, medicine, and care of your incision. You will be told what things or activities you should avoid and for how long.

You should know whom to call if you have a problem and what things you should call your health care provider about, such as a fever or increased vaginal bleeding.