Under Surgery Instructions
The surgery staff will call you the afternoon or evening prior to your procedure to give you instructions and to let you know what time to be at the hospital.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to your procedure. You may take approved medications the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water.
- Do not take any aspirin, anti-inflammatory, or blood thinner 7-14 days prior to your procedure or as directed. This includes all over the counter pain meds, but you may take Tylenol.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Do not wear any cologne, make-up, nail polish, and as little jewelry and money as possible.
- Bathe or shower the evening before or the morning of your procedure.
- The morning of your procedure, check in at Boone Hospital Center Admissions or the Institute for Outpatient Surgery.
- If your procedure is on an outpatient basis, you will need to bring a driver and someone home with you 24hrs after the procedure or your surgery will not be done.
- Bring a list of all medications you take regularly to the hospital with you.
Before Your Surgery
Before surgery, you will have a physical examination. At that time, your doctor or nurse practitioner will ask questions about your health history. Please make your answers as detailed as possible. Anesthesia requires certain blood tests and perhaps an EKG or chest x-ray as part of the pre-operative evaluation.
Tell your doctor or nurse practitioner what medications you take including inhalers, insulin, and over the counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Ask if you should stop taking these medications before and/or after surgery.
You may be asked to visit the hospital or surgery center ahead of time. At this time, a nurse or other health care worker explains what will happen the day of surgery. You will also be told what to do at home to prepare for surgery.
If you are unable to keep your surgery appointment, let your doctor and hospital or surgery center know right away. Also, if you develop a cold, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, or any other health problems please contact your surgeon. Your doctor will decide whether or not to postpone your surgery.
NPO means you may not eat or drink anything-not even water or chewing gum- after midnight the night before surgery. This will help keep you from vomiting and breathing stomach contents into your lungs during surgery. If you eat or drink after midnight, your surgery may be cancelled. Only approved medication may be taken that morning with a small sip of water.
You will check in with the registration desk at the hospital. You will be asked to verify personal information such as your address, phone number, insurance information, and your legal name. You will be asked to sign a consent form for the surgery. The admitting staff will give you an ID bracelet, which you will wear during your hospital stay
You may be asked to remove contact lens, hearing aids, or dentures. You may be given an intravenous (IV) line for fluids and medications. Your doctor has given orders to the hospital staff to prepare you for surgery.
An important part of your surgery is the anesthetics (medications to keep you comfortable during surgery). The anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will check your test results and medical history before surgery. They will then meet with you before your surgery takes place to discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive.
Going To Surgery
Before going to surgery, you may be given a sedative to relax you. You will be taken to the operating room on a gurney or in a wheelchair. Your family will be directed to the waiting area. Monitors will be placed on your upper body. These show your vital signs, such as blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. If it wasn’t initiated earlier, anesthesia is started now. The area to be operated on may be scrubbed with a sterile solution, and sterile drapes will be placed. If you are not asleep, you may notice much noise and activity.
After surgery, you will be brought to the recovery room where you will receive constant care from a trained postanesthesia care nurse. As the anesthetic wears off, noises may sound louder than usual. You may also have blurry vision, a dry mouth, and chills. Don’t be afraid to let your nurse know how you are feeling and ask for pain medicine if you need to. Your vital signs and bandages are checked regularly and you may still have an IV. At this time, your doctor will meet with your family to let them know how you are doing and to answer their questions.
Following the recovery room, you will be taken to your hospital room. Your family and friends will see you the same day as your surgery.
When you are ready to leave, you may still feel drowsy. Be sure to have an adult drive you home. Before you leave, a nurse will go over what to do when you get home. If you can, have the person who will help care for you hear these instructions too. Ask any questions you have. You will need to schedule a postoperative appointment with your doctor’s office. BE SURE TO FOLLOW ANY POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOUR SURGEON OR NURSE.
Take pain medication as directed before pain becomes too severe. Don’t take the medication more often or less often than directed. Taken as directed, medication won’t lead to addiction during recovery. Avoid drinking alcohol, driving, or operating machinery while taking pain medication. Pain medication may upset your stomach. Taking them with a little food can help. Constipation is a common side effect with some pain medications, so increase fluids and fiber. Avoid laxatives unless your surgeon has prescribed them for you. Tell your surgeon if you have stomach pain, nausea, or unusual reactions such as a rash or difficulty breathing. A different medication may be prescribed.
You may leave the hospital with a bandage or dressing. Your surgeon or nurse will tell you when to remove it. Keep dressing clean and dry. Ask your surgeon or nurse when you can shower or take a bath again. A small amount of bleeding and leakage from the incision is normal.
Eating and Drinking
Your stomach may be upset and you may be constipated for a few days. These are often caused by the anesthesia or by the pain medications. Follow your surgeon’s orders on what to eat. Start off with liquids and soup. Carbonated beverages help you burp and feel better. Avoid fatty, rich and spicy foods, and eat smaller amounts, more often. Unless you are told not to, drink at least 6 glasses of clear liquids (such as water, apple juice, or ginger ale) a day. Slowly progress to semisolid foods (mashed potatoes, applesauce, gelatin) as you feel better.
Resting, Activity, and Driving
After any kind of surgery, get plenty of rest to give your body time to repair itself. Ask your surgeon when it is safe to return to your normal activities. Avoid driving after major surgery for 4 weeks, since turning or braking suddenly can strain and possibly open your incision. After minor surgery, avoid driving for 2-3 days according to your surgeon’s directions. Riding as a passenger in a car for short periods of time is fine, unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon.
When to Call Your Surgeon
Call your doctor, nurse, or the hospital emergency room if you notice any of these signs:
- Chest pain
- Vomiting lasting longer than 4 hours
- Large amount of bleeding or swelling
- Smelly discharge from the incision
- Red, hard, hot, or painful area around the incision or on your legs
- Shortness of breath
- No bowel movements within 3 days
- Fever over 101 F