Preparing for Surgery
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Preparing for Surgery

Sep 20, 2023

Once your surgery/procedure date is known and your surgeon has ordered testing to be completed at the hospital, visit the pre-admission testing department in the Outpatient Care Center, located at the Starling Street entrance, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. One of the pre-admission nurses will complete the testing ordered by the surgeon, as well as the required health interview.

Anesthesia, or anesthetics, blocks all feeling and can help you get through medical procedures without pain—and, often, without awareness.

While "going under" may be common, how much do you know about anesthesia?

True or false: Ether was the first anesthetic successfully used to put people under for surgery.

True. In 1846, a dentist demonstrated how ether fumes could be used to knock people out during surgery.

True or false: General anesthetics allow you to become unconscious and can only be delivered by gas.

False. General anesthesia does knock you out so that you have no awareness or sensations during surgery. But these drugs can be injected into your bloodstream or inhaled as a gas.

True or false: Getting anesthesia always means becoming unconscious.

False. Some anesthetics can be given with or without sedation, so you can stay awake. A local anesthetic numbs only a small part of your body, such as a tooth or a finger. A regional anesthetic helps numb larger areas and is delivered through a cluster of nerves.

True or false. General anesthetics that are inhaled wear off faster than those that are injected into veins.

False. Inhaled anesthetics take longer to wear off than those given through the veins. Intravenous anesthetics disappear from the bloodstream quickly, allowing patients to go home sooner after surgery.

True or false: Anesthesiologists are medical doctors.

True. Anesthesiologists have a medical degree. They also have to complete a four-year residency in anesthesiology.

Are you scheduled for a medical procedure or surgery? Ask your doctor what kind of anesthesia you can expect to have.

What else to know about surgery

All about anesthesia

Please have your surgery date and your surgeon’s name available, along with your previous medical history and a list of all current medications you are taking, including the dosage and frequency taken. This list should include both prescription medications, such as blood pressure and diet pills, and over-the-counter medications, such as vitamins and herbal supplements.During the interview, the nurse will review your medical history; complete any labs, X-rays or EKGs ordered by your surgeon; and provide you with important information needed for you to properly prepare for your surgery/procedure.If you have had recent testing completed out of town, provide a copy your test results when you visit your surgeon or fax your results to the physician’s office.If your surgeon does not require any testing to be completed at the hospital, a nurse will call you before your surgery date and review your medical history, your current medications and provide you with important information needed to properly prepare you for your surgery/procedure.Please make sure your surgeon is aware of all medications that you are taking before you go for your lab tests.You may be asked to either visit pre-admission testing or go to your primary care physician so that additional tests may be performed. We can perform tests that your physician orders if your insurance carrier allows the hospital to do so.

The registration for your procedure will either be completed during your pre-operative testing visit or by phone. At the time that your registration is completed, your insurance coverage will be verified and the estimated cost for your procedure will be reviewed. If you would like to reach a member of our registration team you may call us at 912-466-1019.

If you develop a cold, fever, persistent cough, infection and/or become ill within 46 hours of your surgery or you need to cancel your procedure for any other reason, call your surgeon and/or the surgery area at 912-466-1777 between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Do not eat or drink any food or liquid after midnight the night before your surgery, unless given specific directions otherwise. A nurse will tell you which medications to take, if any, with a little water. Failure to follow eating and drinking restrictions could increase the risk of complications and lead to cancellation of your surgery.

To reduce bacteria on your skin:

You must arrange to have someone drive you home after your surgery. Public transportation (i.e., taxi) is not a satisfactory method of transportation after outpatient surgery. You are advised to have someone stay with you at home for 12 to 24 hours after your surgery.Your escort is welcome to wait in one of our waiting areas or may pick you up after you have had time to recover. We suggest you limit the number of adult escorts to one or two. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the hospital.You will need to provide us with phone numbers if the person providing your transportation needs to be called. If you are being admitted to the hospital, it is a good idea to bring a small overnight bag with toiletries, a robe and slippers. If you have been using splints, slings or crutches before the operation, bring them with you.If the surgery will interfere with your vision or ability to use your arms, hands, legs or feet, please make arrangements to have someone accompany you.

Children preparing for surgery require special attention. Parents should be aware of dietary restrictions and make sure children follow them exactly, especially the morning of surgery. You will be given eating and drinking instructions for your child.Patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on the day of surgery or for any required pre-testing during the surgical process. It is reassuring for children to have a favorite small toy or familiar item from home.Before surgery, it is necessary for the parent or legal guardian to sign all consent forms for children under age 18. One parent may be allowed in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), at the nurse's discretion, when your child is awake. When it is time to leave the hospital, we suggest two adults be available in case your child needs comforting or special care.

Reviewed 10/20/2022all medications