Frequently Asked Questions

Follow your physician’s instructions regarding all aspects of preparing for your procedure, and call your physician’s office or our Center with any questions you may have. This section provides general information concerning frequently asked questions. We hope it will be helpful to you, but – again – your physician knows you, your health, and your specific situation, so if any information here differs from what your physician has told you, follow your physician’s direction.

1. What should I do to prepare for my procedure?

Your physician and our Center’s pre-op nurse will provide specific instructions based on the procedure involved and your overall health, and it is important to follow those instructions. Additionally:

  • Make arrangements now to have the time you need to prepare for the procedure, for the procedure itself, and for any recovery period that may be involved. This may mean scheduling time off from work, making child care arrangements, or taking other steps. We’re going to take great care of you, but you need to take care of yourself, as well.
  • Similarly, follow the overall principles of healthy living in the days leading up to your procedure, particularly in terms of stress management, healthy eating, drinking adequate amounts of water, and getting enough sleep each night.
  • Arrange for someone to take you to our Center on the day of the procedure and to drive you home after the procedure. This is essential! We also suggest that you have a responsible adult stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • If your physician already has provided you with a prescription for pain medication or any other medication you may need to take after the procedure, fill the prescription now, so that you have the medicine immediately available to you after the procedure.
  • Notify your physician and our Center’s pre-op nurse of any medications or other substances you are taking. Beyond prescription medications, this includes vitamins, supplements, herbal preparations, alcohol, and any other drugs or substances. It is critical that we have this information, which is held in strictest confidence, so that we have a complete picture of your health and can take the best possible care of you.
  • Tell your physician or our Center about any change in your health, such as a cough, cold, fever, rash, or any other new or recurring health issue.
  • Provide us with information about your health-care coverage so that we can verify your benefits with your insurer or managed care plan. You may also want to contact your coverage provider regarding your benefits, any authorizations needed, and your co-pay and deductible amounts.
  • If you have any questions, concerns, or areas of uncertainty, tell us about them! Never worry about asking a “dumb” question or voicing a “silly” concern. We want to provide the best possible experience for you, and the more you know, the better prepared and more comfortable you will be. Plus, we doubt there’s a question we haven’t heard or concern we haven’t addressed many times before! We’re here to help you, so please let us do so by sharing whatever is on your mind.

 

2. What should I do the day of my procedure?

In addition to the specific instructions your physician and our pre-op nurse will give you;

  • Do not drink or eat anything after midnight the night before your procedure, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Shower or bathe, and be sure that your skin is rid of all makeup, lotions, and creams.
  • If you take medicine every day, follow the instructions you were given in terms of taking or not taking your medicine that morning.
  • Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Remove and leave at home all jewelry and other valuables.
  • Either leave at home or bring a case for contact lenses, glasses, dentures, or bridgework.
  • Bring the following with you: your health insurance cards, a form of photo identification (e.g., your driver’s license or passport), and any medication you are taking.
  • Arrive at least one hour before your procedure is scheduled to complete any necessary paperwork.
  • If you have questions or concerns, or don’t understand something, tell us! We want you to be fully informed and comfortable every step of the way.

 

3. What should I expect after my procedure?

Once your procedure has been completed, you will rest in the recovery room under the care of our specially trained nurses. Your anesthesiologist will monitor your condition, and our staff will answer your questions.

You and the person accompanying you will be given postoperative instructions that your physician will develop specifically for you. You may be sleepy or drowsy for several hours after your procedure, even after you have left our Center and gone home. It is important to follow your physician’s instructions, and to take any medications that your physician has ordered for you.

Plan to rest for the balance of the day when you return home. Do not drive, operate machinery, drink alcoholic beverages, take any medications not prescribed for you or other substances, sign any important documents, or make any important decisions that day.

Have a responsible adult stay with you for 24 hours following your procedure, and ensure that this person has read the discharge instructions you received when you left our Center.

Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your condition.

If you have had surgery, give yourself adequate time to heal. As people begin to feel better, they often are tempted to do too much too soon, which actually can set back their recovery. “Taking it slow” is the fastest way to a complete recovery and to resuming your regular activities.

 

4. I’m concerned about the risks of undergoing a procedure. What can you tell me about the safety of surgery and anesthesia?

Having surgery and undergoing anesthesia have never been safer, thanks to advances in research, techniques, and technology in recent years, and to the extensive training and experience of the physicians, nurses, and other members of your care team. Nothing in life is without some degree of risk – including not having a diagnostic test or surgical procedure – but a major focus of medicine for the past two decades or more has been to draw on the evidence base to identify and then minimize the risks associated with different procedures and types of patients. This knowledge enables anesthesiologists to select the form of sedation or anesthesia that is safest for each patient based on that person’s overall health. It allows surgeons to perform the procedure that offers the best outcomes for each patient – both in terms of achieving the goal of the surgery and avoiding complications. And it has drastically reduced the rate of complications from surgery and anesthesia.

Share your questions and concerns with your physician and anesthesiologist, and do your part to assure a successful procedure by following your doctor’s instructions and doing everything you can beforehand to be in the best possible health on the day of your procedure.