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The Day of Surgery

Important Things to Remember

Please remember the effects of the anesthesia medications may go away very slowly. You may feel drowsy for hours after your surgery. For these reasons, you MUST NOT drive a car. It’s important that you make arrangements for a responsible adult to be with you, drive you home, and stay with you for 24 hours.

Other important things to do on the day of your surgery are:

  • Leave all valuables at home, including your purse or wallet.
  • Bring your driver’s license and insurance card.
  • Do not wear makeup, nail polish, scented lotions, or perfumes.
  • Bathe or shower the morning of surgery.
  • Brush your teeth, but do not swallow any water.
  • Bring a case or container for your contact lenses or eye glasses.
  • Remove all rings, body piercings, necklaces, and watch.
  • For children who will be having surgery, please bring a stuffed animal, doll, blanket, or pacifier if needed.
  • Please be ready anytime on the day of your surgery, you may be called to come in early.

If you are having surgery at:

Center for Outpatient Services, St. Joseph, please stop at the information desk and a member of our staff will direct you to the surgery area.

Lakeland Hospital Niles, please park in the river parking lot and enter through the Riverside Entrance. Go directly to the information desk, even if you have preregistered. After check-in, you will be directed to the surgery department.

Lakeland Hospital Watervliet, please enter through the main entrance and stop at the registration desk. A member of our staff will direct you to the surgery area.

Lakeland Medical Center, please park in the parking garage or the Napier Avenue visitors’ parking lot and enter through the hospital entrance. Go directly to the Information Desk across from Java City, even if you have preregistered. After check-in, a member of our admitting staff will direct you to the surgery department.

Your surgery preparation may include various preoperative procedures, instructions, and questions regarding your medical history. For your safety, our staff may ask you the same questions many times, such as:

  • Your name and date of birth.
  • The type of surgery you will have, and on what part of your body.
  • Your surgeon’s name.
  • If you have any allergies.
  • The last time you had anything to eat or drink.

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), visitors may need to be excluded from your pre-operative evaluation for confidentiality reasons.

Preventing Infection

Please note that we may take the following precautions to protect your health:

  • You will be asked to take a pre-surgical shower with antiseptic soap, and to wash your hair.
  • In addition, you may be asked to use a special antiseptic soap or Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) wipes.
  • In some cases, it may also be necessary to remove body hair at the hospital. Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Your physician may give you antibiotics before your operation.
  • Everyone on your care team will wash their hands and wear clean gloves.
  • Again, hand washing is the most important way to prevent infections. Don’t be afraid to remind any member of your care team to wash their hands.

Preventing Wrong-Site Surgery

Your surgeon may mark the area of your body where the surgery will take place. Please confirm that you are marked in the correct place.

In addition, your surgery team will take a “time-out” just before your surgery begins. The time-out is an opportunity for team members to verify they will be doing the correct surgery on the correct body part of the correct patient.

Meeting the Anesthesiologist

Your anesthesiologist will meet with you in the pre-operative area before your surgery to discuss your medical condition and answer your questions. The anesthesiologist’s goal is to keep you safe and comfortable during your surgical experience. Your anesthesia provider will be with you in the operating room and will continue to evaluate you during your stay in the recovery room.

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is the use of drugs to prevent pain during surgery or other medical procedures. The anesthesia you are given is based on your health, history, the procedure, and your choices.

Local: Produces a loss of feeling to a small, specific area of the body. A shot is given to numb the area.

Regional Anesthesia: Produces a loss of feeling to a specific region of the body. A shot is given to numb the area that requires surgery. Frequently used for orthopedic surgeries.

General: Affects the entire body. You have no awareness or feeling. You may breathe gases or vapors through a mask or tube. Drugs may also be given through an intravenous (IV) tube in your vein.

What is Sedation?

Sedation is the use of drugs to relax you, and may be used with anesthesia.

Relaxed and Awake: You can answer questions and follow directions.

Relaxed and Drowsy: You may sleep through much of the procedure. You may hear sounds and voices around you. You can be easily awakened when spoken to or touched.

Drowsy to Lightly Sleeping: You may have little or no memory of the procedure. Your breathing slows. You may sleep until the drugs wear off.

Tell Your Doctor or Anesthesia Professional About:

  • General health issues and any recent changes
  • Allergies to medicines, foods, latex, rubber, or any other things
  • Medical problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, asthma, acid reflux, and sleep apnea
  • Recent hospital admissions, surgeries, or procedures
  • Experience with anesthesia, especially any problems
  • Any family history of anesthesia problems
  • Any hearing or language concerns
  • If you are or could be pregnant
  • All drugs you are taking, including prescription, supplements, herbs, over-the-counter drugs, and recreational drugs
  • Questions or concerns

You’re the Boss – Speak Up

Your health is very important to us. Be sure to speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still don’t understand, ask us again.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about safety.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you think something is not right.
  • Make sure your care team checks your armband and asks your name and date of birth before you receive medicine or treatment.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor or nurse if you think you are about to receive the wrong medicine, or if you think they may have you confused with another patient.
  • Expect our healthcare professionals to introduce themselves. Look for their identification badges, or ask
    to see their identification badge if it is not visible.
  • Notice whether members of your care team have washed their hands or used hand sanitizer. Proper hand hygiene is the best way to prevent infections.

Remember, you are the center of your care team. Please do not hesitate to talk with your doctor or nurse about these guidelines, or any other questions or concerns you may have about your surgery.