Prior to arriving at The Surgery Center, you will have had a visit with your physician. He or she will have given you specific instructions on what you need to do to prepare your body for your day at The Surgery Center. Follow those instructions to the letter.
Our main reception area and waiting room is spacious and bright for the families of patients for general surgical procedures. This is also where you check in prior to your surgery. Our Extended Care Center and Breast Center have their own waiting room so that your family and friends can be near you at all times.
When you arrive, one of the first questions we will ask you is, “Have you drank or eaten anything since last night?” If you have, or if you have failed to follow any of your doctor’s orders, we will not be able to do your procedure and you will have to go home. Common pre-surgical orders include the following:
Once you are prepared and we are ready to begin your procedure, you will be moved into one of our state-of-the-art operating rooms or procedure suites. These rooms are designed for ease of use by the medical team and are very brightly lit. You may find them to be cool. Each suite is temperature controlled to establish ideal conditions for medical procedures. Most likely, you will be asleep within minutes of entering the room. Throughout your procedure, we will respect your dignity as we work to ensure that your condition is treated promptly, accurately and safely. Immediately following your procedure, your surgeon will most likely go to the waiting room to update your family. The family is responsible for being in the area when the surgeon comes out to talk. Your surgeon is probably scheduled to attend another patient, so if he or she does not find your family or agent in the area, they will have to wait for your nurse to get an update. It is your family’s responsibility to be available for this conference. The attending nurse in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit will be by your side until you are stable, which means if your family misses the physician, they may have to wait for an extended time to hear news of your status.
Your nurse will talk to you after your procedure but, because of the medications you were given, you likely will not remember what was said. Therefore, it is important for your family or agent to receive this information, too.
Once your procedure is complete, you will be moved in to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, where nurses will monitor your condition. You will be awakened slowly and given time to stabilize. Once you are awake, the nurses will ask you to describe your pain on a scale of one to 10, with one being no pain and 10 being most severe pain. Your anesthesiologist and physician will order medication to control your pain during your stay at The Surgery Center. Your nurse will treat your pain based upon your response to the pain scale. Once you are comfortable and stable, you will be moved to the Recovery Lounge, where your family may join you. You and your family, or other escort, will receive discharge instructions and then you will be escorted to your vehicle.
If it is determined by your physician that you need additional recovery time, you may be moved into our Extended Care Center, which is similar to a hospital room. (You will be in a comfortable bed and have access to a television and menu.) If you get hungry, you can order from our “heart friendly” menu or order delivery from several local restaurants that provide service to our patients. You may have your family bring in food, but remember that you have just had a medical procedure and should consult with your nurse.
Whether you go home in a few hours or stay the maximum time of 23-hours, you will no doubt be looking forward to going home. It is very important for you to follow the discharge orders written by your physician and explained to you by your nurse. If you have any questions after you have left The Surgery Center, you must call your physician for answers. If you have any serious complications, call 911 or go to the emergency room at the hospital of your choice immediately. Do not call or return to The Surgery Center because we do not have staff physicians, nor are we equipped to provide additional treatment or medical care. Remember, it is very likely that you will have additional questions once you get home and results from any tests may take several days to process. Therefore, it is a very good idea to schedule a follow up appointment with your physician a few days after your procedure.