Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for your Surgery

By planning ahead and following these recommendations, you can help ensure a smooth surgery and a speedy recovery.

Understanding the Procedure

Talk to your doctor. Learn what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Ask about the process of being admitted to the hospital, the type of anesthesia you might need, the length of stay in the hospital, rehabilitation, and pain management. The more you know, the better you will be prepared for your surgical experience. Don't ever hesitate to ask questions, voice concerns, or speak up when you do not understand.

Assemble your personal & medical info

During the weeks before your surgery, many people will be asking about your insurance coverage, medical history, and legal arrangements. You may feel that you are answering the same questions over and over again, but this is necessary to meet quality assurance and medical insurance guidelines. If you have everything written down, you can speed up the process.

Be sure to provide the following:

  • A designated family member or friend who will be your primary contact to receive information from the doctor and then give it to other family members and friends.
  • A list of all the doctors you currently see and your reasons for seeing them- provide names, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • A list of medical conditions and all previous operations.
  • A list of all the medications you currently take on a regular basis. Copy the name of the medication, the dosage and the frequency (daily, twice a day, etc.) from the prescription bottle. Don't forget to include vitamin and mineral supplements or other over-the-counter medications you take regularly. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications or supplements a week or two before your surgery.
  • A list of any allergies or adverse reactions you've had to drugs or anesthesia in the past. Provide the name of the drug, why you were taking it, a description of your reaction and when this happened.
  • Any dietary restrictions or other health problems you have, such as diabetes, asthma, HIV or hepatitis.
  • A list of your insurance coverage, including the name of the insurance company, the plan or group number and contact information. Be sure to bring your insurance cards to the hospital with you.
  • Information about any legal arrangements you have made, such as a living will, durable power of attorney, or advance directives. Bring a copy of the documents with you to the hospital.
  • Please note: If you’re a minor, your parent or guardian needs to be present the entire time you’re here.
  • Language Services – please let us know if you will need interpreting services.

Please note: If you are an outpatient and receiving anesthesia, you MUST have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours or your surgery may be cancelled.

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