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About Your Surgery

What to expect

It’s difficult to say exactly how your surgery will proceed without knowing what type of procedure you need. However, there are some general rules for the surgical procedure that you can expect in almost all cases. Below is a general guide for what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Before Surgery

Before surgery, your surgeon will review your medical history and will have a discussion with you regarding your symptoms and/or diagnosis. You and your surgeon will determine if tests, such as labs or imaging studies, need to be performed and develop a treatment plan, including whether or not surgery is needed.

If surgery is recommended, the clinic staff will work with you to find a date and time that is convenient for you and discuss the steps needed to prepare for surgery, including which medicines to stop taking and when to stop eating prior to surgery.

Make sure you bring the following to the surgery clinic:

  • A list of questions you may have
  • Your identification card (driver's license)
  • All insurance and prescription cards
  • Copies of test results and medical records
  • A list of your medications and medical history

Day of Surgery

The surgery clinic and hospital/surgery center will let you know what time you should arrive on the day of your procedure, which may be up to 2 hours prior to your actual surgery time. You will need transportation, preferably a relative or friend, to take you to the hospital/surgery clinic, and if you are having day surgery, a ride to leave the facility as well. Remember to bring your identification card (driver's license), all insurance and prescription cards, and a list of your medications and medical history.

It is recommended to take a shower or bath prior to arriving (night before is OK), not to bring valuables such as jewelry or body piercings, not to wear contact lenses and to bring glasses, to wear comfortable clothes, and to bring special medical equipment that you use, such as a CPAP machine, hearing aide, or walker/cane.

After Surgery

When you are done with surgery, you will be brought to the recovery room from the operating room. If you are scheduled for an outpatient surgery, you will go home once you are fully awake and cleared by an anesthesiologist, but you still need a ride home. If you are scheduled for inpatient surgery and need to stay in the hospital for a few days, you will be brought to your hospital bed and your family members will be notified. Once you arrive at your hospital room, you will meet your care team including your nurse.

You may meet other health care providers during your hospital stay who will help determine with your surgeon when you are ready for discharge. When that day comes, you will need transportation to leave the hospital and you will be provided with after surgery care instructions by your surgeon, including follow-up appointments.