Carolinas HealthCare System

Day of Surgery

Before you Leave Home

  • Bathe or shower on the day of your surgery. You will be given special instructions at your pre-op visit, if needed.
  • Do not wear make-up.
  • Do not shave near your surgical site. Shaving can irritate the skin and could lead to infection.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and comfortable shoes.
  • Remove all jewelry, metal and body piercings, to prevent possible injury to you.
  • Remove all nail polish. You may leave your acrylic nails on.
  • Brush your teeth, but do not swallow any water or mouthwash.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including gum and hard candy.
  • Leave all valuables at home. This includes jewelry, cash, credit cards, cell phones, and computers. CMC is not responsible for lost valuables.
  • Leave personal medicines at home unless told to bring them to the hospital.

What to Bring

  • Any forms or records your surgeon may have given you about your post-operative care.
  • Advance Medical Directive, if you have one.
  • If instructed to bring medicine with you, please be sure they are in their original containers and give them to your pre-operative nurse. Your medicine will be returned to you or a family member.
  • If you wear BiPAP or CPAP, bring your machine. It may be needed for your care after surgery.
  • Clothing such as a robe and slippers if you are staying overnight. Please leave your overnight bag in the car. Your family can bring it to you once you are in your room.
  • Dentures, glasses, hearing aids, wigs and hairpieces must be removed before you go in to surgery. These items should be kept by a family member during surgery. If no one is with you, we will keep these items safe until they can be given to you or a family member.

Arrival at the Hospital

Arriving on time is very important. Please allow enough time for heavy traffic and parking.

  • Your family/friends may park in the visitor parking deck.
  • You will enter the hospital through the main entrance and check in at the information desk in the lobby.
  • If you are scheduled to arrive before 4:30 a.m., please park in the Medical Center Plaza Parking deck. Check in at the Emergency Room desk.
  • A hospital representative will take you to the surgery waiting room on the 5th floor. Please check in with the surgery waiting room representative. This will alert pre-operative staff that you have arrived for surgery.

Pre-Operative Care Center

  • You will be taken to the Pre-Operative Care Center for surgery preparation. Your family or friends will wait in the surgery waiting room while you are prepared for surgery. Children under 16 must wait with an adult in the first floor lobby.
  • Please tell your nurse if you have a fever, cold, skin rash, or infection when you arrive at the Pre-Operative Care Center.
  • You will be asked to remove all clothing articles, including undergarments, and given a hospital gown to wear.
  • For your safety, you are required to remove glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures, wigs, and hairpieces. You will be given a bag for your personal items to be given to your family/friends. If you are alone, we will keep your belongings safe and return them to you after surgery.
  • The following will be done in the Pre-Operative Care Center to ensure your safety:
    • A nurse will ask you to sign a consent form for surgery. You and your surgeon have talked about your surgery. You have been told about the risks and benefits of surgery. You agree with the surgeon to the advised plan of care. Surgical consent is a legal document that you sign that states you understand the surgery, risks, benefits, and agree to this plan of care. If you have questions, please tell your nurse before you sign the consent.
    • Your nurse will verify your identity and place a hospital identification bracelet on our arm. You need to wear the bracelet until you are discharged.
    • You and your surgeon will verify your surgical site. The correct site will be marked with a special pen.
    • You and your nurse will review your health history and current medicines.
    • Your anesthesiologist will review your chart and assess your condition.
  • If you will be going home after surgery, a responsible adult must drive you home. A responsible adult must stay with you at home for the next 12 hours after your surgery. You will be asked to provide the driver's name and contact information before your surgery.
  • You will have an IV line placed for giving fluids and needed medications.
  • It may be necessary to remove hair from the area of your body where the surgery will be performed. Hair will be removed with surgical clippers for your safety.
  • Two family members/significant others will be allowed to visit with you briefly before you are taken to the operating room. Please give your personal belongings to your family at this time. Visitors may not go with you when you are moved to the operating room.

Anesthesia Care

  • Anesthesia is a complex combination of medications used to prevent pain, awareness, and movement during surgery. The anesthesia care team for the operating room includes an anesthesiologist (a physician) who supervises and works with a nurse anesthetist (CRNA). The team will provide your anesthesia as well as your complete medical management during surgery.
  • Before surgery, the physician and CRNA will talk with you about what type of anesthesia will be best for you. Types of anesthesia include:
    • General - You are asleep during surgery.
    • Regional - A nerve block numbs only the body part where surgery is being performed. You may receive additional medications to help you relax.
    • Local anesthesia with sedation - Anesthetic is injected into the area of your body where surgery will be performed. You may stay awake or be in a light sleep.

Operating Room

  • The surgical team is led by your surgeon. Other team members include registered nurses and a surgical technician. They provide a safe setting for your surgery.
  • Please ask a surgical team member for a blanket if you feel cold.
  • A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure.
  • Small round pads will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart function.
  • A clip will be placed on your finger to measure the oxygen level in your blood while you are in surgery.

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