Tips for a Successful Surgery Day:
Advice from the recovery team for surgical patients and their families/escorts for a pleasant and smooth surgery experience.
Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in delays or even a rescheduling of your surgery.
Tips for the PATIENT:
- NOTHING BY MOUTH:
Do not take anything by mouth after midnight the evening before your surgery unless specifically told differently by a member of the surgery or anesthesia team. This includes food, drink, water, gum, tobacco, or anything else by mouth. Even with water or chewing gum, there is a risk of aspiration of gastric juices during anesthesia, potentially leading to serious complications. The only real way to prevent this is to avoid having anything by mouth for several hours leading up to your procedure. Some medications may be allowed with a sip of enough water to swallow the medicine; you should be directed by an anesthesia team member as to which medicines you should take the morning of your procedure. If you have questions, please ask your doctor or anesthesia team.
- NO JEWELRY:
Remove all rings, watches, piercings, bracelets, hair pins, etc. prior to pre-op. It is best to leave these items at home or with your escort. Having metal on your skin or in your hair is a safety hazard for multiple reasons, and should be avoided at all cost.
- NO VALUABLES:
Leave electronics, cash, and other valuables at home or with your escort. If you need to check something with treasury, please attempt to do so on the first floor prior to checking in for your procedure. Cabinets are available to store your clothing and other non-valuable items in the pre-op area; however, we do not have the means to physically lock these and encourage only leaving non-valuables here.
- NO DRIVING:
If you are going home the same day as your procedure, you must have someone to drive you home and to stay with you overnight. You are not allowed to drive for 24 hours after being under anesthesia, even light sedation.
- LEAVE YOUR ID CARD WITH YOUR ESCORT:
You will need your ID to check in to pre-op. After you check in, give your ID to your escort - they will need it to pick up any prescriptions for you.
- MINIMIZE FAMILY / VISITORS:
Please minimize the number of visitors and family members present with you. This will help ensure privacy for other patients, waiting room space availability for all patients’ escorts, and infection control. Also, please understand that for HIPPA (Privacy Law) reasons, we will be unable to give much information over the phone to anyone regarding patient status – please inform your loved ones accordingly.
- FOLLOW-UP CALL:
A member of the recovery team will attempt to call you within 48 hours of your discharge for follow-up. Please ensure we have a valid, working phone number for you.
Tips for the ESCORT:
- POOR CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Cell phone reception within BAMC is very unreliable, especially throughout the surgery department. Please plan accordingly. We recommend bringing a phone charger as well.
- DON’T LEAVE: The surgeon will look for you in the waiting room, so please be available – if you are not in the waiting room there is a chance you may miss your opportunity to discuss the results of the procedure with the surgeons. If you must step out for a short time, please inform the staff or volunteer team and let them know how to reach you.
- NO VISITORS: You may stay with the patient during the pre-op phase. Once the patient is taken to the Operating Room, you will be shown to the waiting room. You will not be able to revisit the patient until after their discharge from the PACU (Recovery Room). If the patient is staying overnight, you will be escorted (usually alongside the patient) to the appropriate ward. If the patient is going home the same day, you will be able to join the patient for the second phase of recovery in Same Day Surgery Recovery.
- KEEP PATIENT’S ID CARD: You will need both the patient’s ID card and your own ID when you pick up his/her medications (if applicable) in the Emergency Department Pharmacy. We will let you know when the medications are ready for pick-up. When you arrive to the ED Pharmacy, please select “Inpatient Discharge” on the kiosk for faster service. Please refer to the map below for directions and instructions.
- BE PATIENT AND FLEXIBLE: The time between pre-op and discharge will be several hours longer than the estimated time of the procedure itself. You may be instructed to move between different waiting rooms as the day progresses. This is normal and expected. We appreciate your patience.