Following you will find some helpful information around the events that will take place before, on, and after your surgery.
Please visit the following sections to learn more:
Surgery: What You Need to Know
On the day of your surgery, you will enter as one of the following:
- Admitted the day of surgery or sometimes the day before
- Spend at least one night in the hospital
- Spend less than 24 hours in the hospital
- Enter and leave the hospital the same day of surgery
A pre-surgery interview visit or phone call is required to ask you questions about your medical history. Your doctor's office will schedule this presurgery interview with you. For your interview, please have all of your current medications:
Please inform the nurse if you have any of the following health problems:
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Any past surgery problems
Before surgery, refrain from:
- All foods and liquids after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise noted by your physician. This includes water
- All medications unless approved by your physician
Other important details
- Call your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms prior to surgery (fever, cold or rash).
- A driver, at least 18 years old, is required to drive you home from the hospital.
Day of Surgery
Before You Leave Home
- Shower or bathe - you will be given specific instructions, if needed.
- Do not wear oils, lotion, or make-up.
- Remember - do not eat or drink, chew gum, eat candy or use chapstick.
- You may brush your teeth but do not swallow toothpaste or water.
- Leave valuables such as jewelry at home. Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast cannot be responsible for these items.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Do not wear jewelry. This includes all body piercings.
What to Bring
- Insurance cards or forms
- Credit card or cash for payment
- A parent or legal guardian if patient is under age 18.
- Clothing, if overnight stay is necessary
- Contact lens container and solution if you wear contact lenses.
- Bring your advance medical directives if you have any (ex. Living Will, Healthcare Proxy, DNR). This set of instructions outlines the healthcare you want if you lose the ability to decide for yourself. If you wish to obtain an advance directive form, please tell the pre-surgery interview nurse who contacts you before your surgery.
- Arrive on time
- For outpatient and inpatient surgery, check in at the Surgery Registration desk.
Surgery Preparation Area
- After completing registration, you will be taken to the surgery Pre-op area. Two visitors may wait with you.
- You are scheduled to arrive in Pre-op approximately two hours prior to your procedure in order for staff to prepare patient before being taken to the Operating Room. This may include taking vital signs (Blood pressure, etc), starting an IV, giving preoperative medications, and reviewing paperwork with you.
- A nurse may ask you to sign consent for surgery. The surgical consent form is a legal document stating that your doctor has talked with you about your surgery, explained the risks and benefits and you agree. A parent or guardian will fill these out for a minor.
- You will be asked to remove all clothing and put on a hospital gown. For your safety, you will be given a hospital armband with your name and birth date on it. This armband will be checked and you may be asked by staff to verify your name many times throughout your visit.
- Please remove all jewelry, body piercings, glasses, contacts, hearing aids, dentures and all undergarments.
- The nurse may draw blood for lab tests and/or perform an EKG (an electrocardiogram for heart tracing).
- An IV will be inserted in a vein on your arm or hand. The IV will provide
medications and fluids to you during surgery.
- It may be necessary for one of our nursing staff to remove hair from the area of your body where the surgery will be performed.
- You may be given a sedative to help you relax and then you will be taken to the operating room.
- To monitor your blood pressure, a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm.
- Small circular pads called leads will be placed on your chest to monitor
your heart's function.
- To measure the oxygen levels in your blood, a monitor will be placed on your finger.
- Please ask a surgical team member for a blanket if you feel cold.
- The surgical team is led by your surgeon. Additional team members include nurses, an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and a surgical technician. As a team, they provide a sterile and safe surgical
- Anesthesia is medication(s) used to prevent pain during surgery. A highlytrained specialist, a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and/or an anesthesiologist will give you the anesthesia and monitor your condition during your surgery.
- Before surgery, the anesthesiologist or CRNA will discuss what type of
anesthesia will be best for you.
- Types of anesthesia you may receive:
General - You are asleep during surgery.
Regional - A nerve block numbs only the appropriate body part.
Local Anesthesia with Sedation - Anesthetic is injected into the area of your body where surgery will be performed. You will receive additional medication to relax you so you may remain awake or in a light sleep.
Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
- You will be taken to the recovery room, also known as the Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU). As the anesthesia wears off, you will be closely monitored.
- During this time you may receive pain or anti-nausea medication to keep you as comfortable as possible.
- You might have a mild sore throat if a tube was used during your surgery to help you breathe.
- After waking up, patients being admitted to the hospital will be taken to their assigned room.
- If scheduled for outpatient surgery, you will be taken to the outpatient recovery area (Stage 2), assisted into a chair, given something to drink and your IV will be removed. A family member will be permitted to assist you in getting dressed. Typical stay in this area is approximately 45 minutes. You will receive written instructions and any medications/prescriptions necessary.
For outpatient surgery, you must have an adult at least 18 years old to drive you home.
- You should also arrange for an adult of 18 years or older to remain with you at home for at least 10-12 hours after surgery if you received any type of sedation.
What to Expect at Home
- If you received anesthesia or sedation, you may feel tired. This is normal and should pass within 24 hours. Plan to stay at home and rest for the remainder of the day.
- Do not drive a car or operate machinery or dangerous appliances.
- If you have children, an adult should monitor them for 24 hours after surgery.
- Do not sit up or stand quickly because dizziness may occur during the next 24 hours.
- You may return to work and resume normal activity once your doctor approves.
- When you get home, do not try to eat right away. Start with sips of clear liquid and when you are ready, increase your fluids and add small amounts of solid food. Work your way up to a regular diet slowly and eat small amounts of food often.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours.
- Take only medications prescribed by your doctor for the first 24 hours after surgery, unless otherwise instructed.
Notify your doctor if you experience the following:
- Excessive bleeding
- Excessive swelling
- Excessive pain
- Difficulty urinating
- Temperature greater than 101 degrees 24 hours after surgery
- Outpatients may receive a phone call from a nurse within two business days after surgery to see how you are doing and answer any questions.
- Approximately two weeks after your discharge, you may receive a phone call from a survey company, Professional Research Consultants (PRC) regarding your experience in our surgery center. Our goal is to be rated EXCELLENT in overall quality of care and the likelihood to recommend Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast to friends and relatives. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions. We use this information to reward our staff and to make improvements where needed.