Pre-Surgery Exams

Based on your physician’s request, you may need to have a physical exam or lab tests completed prior to having surgery. During a physical exam, your healthcare provider will ask you several questions about medications you are taking, allergies you may have, or if you use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Your healthcare provider will also ask about your past experiences with anesthesia. Lab tests may involve a variety of diagnostic exams, including blood work, a urine test, x-rays or an electrocardiogram (EKG).

Registration and Insurance Information

If your surgery is covered by insurance, please have the following information available:

  • Name of insurance company
  • Group number and ID number
  • Insurance company’s telephone number to verify coverage
  • Insurance company’s address to mail claims
  • Any referral, precertification or authorization numbers

Any required authorization from your insurance company should be obtained before surgery. Please review your insurance benefits for necessary precertification, authorization, and/or second opinion requirements. Any non-covered charges and/or cost share, including copays or deductibles, will be billed to you if they remain outstanding after your insurance(s) pays its portion. You will also receive a separate bill from your anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathologist and surgeon, as applicable.

Advance Directives

Under Florida law, all hospital patients have a right to make their choices about treatment known to their doctor or family in advance or to name someone they trust to make medical decisions for them under certain situations.

For more information, please contact ____________ at (___) ___-____.

Your Preoperative Nurse

You will meet with a preoperative nurse who will ask several questions about your health history. The nurse may ask you about current medications, including prescription medications and dosages, birth control, vitamins or herbal supplements, or medication patches. It is important to be honest about the use of any drugs, as they may react dangerously with anesthesia medications. The nurse will also ask you about allergies, past surgeries or hospitalizations, and past medical illnesses or diseases. Additional lab tests may be required.

How to Prepare for Surgery

For your safety, please follow the guidelines below:

One Week Before Surgery

  • Stop taking all aspirin and aspirin-containing products for one week before your surgery unless approved by your surgeon. These medications include Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Toradol, Aleve, Anaprox, Naproxen, Naprosyn, herbal mdications and Vitamin E.
  • Do not shave your surgical area for 2 days prior to surgery.

24 Hours Before Surgery

  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours before surgery. It is important for your lungs to operate at their best capacity.
  • Do not drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours before surgery. Alcohol may have an adverse effect on any medications or anesthesia given to you.

Call your surgeon if you get a cold, flu or other illness within 24 hours before your surgery.

Night Before Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • If you receive Hibiclens, a specialized soap, at your pre-op visit, please bathe or shower with Hibiclens the night before surgery and the morning of surgery. Hibiclens is not intended for use on the face or vaginal area. Please use it only from the neck down, giving special attention to the surgical area.
  • If you do not receive Hibiclens at your pre-op visit, please bathe or shower with an antibacterial soap both the night before and the morning of surgery.

Bowel Prep

Follow your physician’s orders.

Day of Surgery

  • If you receive Hibiclens, a specialized soap, at your pre-op visit, then please bathe or shower with Hibiclens the night before surgery and the morning of surgery. It is not intended for use on the face or vaginal area. Use it only from the neck down with special attention given to the surgical area.
  • If you do not receive Hibiclens at your pre-op visit, please bathe or shower with an antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of surgery.
  • Do not put anything in your mouth, including water, juice, coffee, gum, breath mints, or chewing tobacco. You may brush your teeth and gargle the morning of surgery, but do not swallow any water.
  • Do not use lotion, powder, make-up, nail polish, perfume, deodorant, hairspray or hair products.
  • Long hair must be pulled back and secured with a band. Please remove all hair wigs, extensions, clasps and combs.
  • If you wear glasses, please remember to bring an eyeglass case. Remove contact lenses before surgery and store them in a case.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Bring any inhaler(s) or C-PAP machines with you to the hospital.
  • Please remove all jewelry, including body piercings, before arriving at the hospital.
  • Please leave all valuables at home.
  • Please bring one form of identification, such as a driver’s license, Social Security card or Medicare/Medicaid card.
  • Please bring a list of all medications you are currently taking, as well as the dosages. You may want to bring your medication bottles with you the day of surgery. For your convenience, there is a medication form located in this booklet.
  • Only take medications approved or ordered by your physician.

Planning for Transportation

If you are going home the same day of surgery, please make arrangements for someone to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive home or leave by cab or bus. For your safety, someone must stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.

Important Reminder

Surgery may be cancelled when…

  • You do not follow food and drink instructions.
  • There is no responsible adult available to drive you home on the day of your surgery.
  • There is no responsible adult available to stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery.
  • There are unexpected changes in your medical condition.
  • You arrive late to the hospital.
  • You do not follow instructions if a bowel prep is given.

What to Expect Upon Arrival

It is understandable that you might be a little anxious on the day of surgery. Upon arrival, you will meet with a nurse, who will answer any questions you may have. Please let your nurse know of any illness or unusual feelings you experience. It is also important to take time to remind your nurse of any special needs you may have. Your nurse will provide you with any additional instructions as well.

As a reminder, please do not eat or drink anything in your patient room prior to surgery. If the patient is a child, a parent or guardian of the child must remain in the hospital at all times until the child is discharged. If you are planning to stay overnight at the hospital, please leave all luggage in your vehicle until after surgery.

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown, possibly accompanied with a hospital cap and booties. Prior to leaving your room for surgery, your personal belongings will be given to a family member or secured in a locker.

At Providence Hospital, we value your time and plan to conduct your surgery as scheduled. Sometimes an unavoidable delay occurs when a surgery prior to yours takes longer than expected or an emergency case is placed ahead of yours. We appreciate your patience in these situations.

For your safety, your surgical site may be marked with a pen or a marker. You will receive your IV and any additional medications necessary prior to being taken to surgery.

Anesthesia Overview

An anesthesiologist will meet with you to identify potential risks and discuss the type of anesthetic you will receive prior to surgery. The anesthesia care team will accompany you into the operating room and will remain with you throughout your surgery to monitor your vital signs. There are several different types of anesthesia available, including:

  • General Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia puts you to sleep during medical procedures so that you do not feel any pain or have any knowledge that the surgery is being performed. General anesthesia may be given by IV or inhaled as a gas.
  • Regional Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia blocks feeling to a certain area of the body. Common examples include spinal anesthesia, where the anesthetic is injected into the lower back; or nerve blocks, where the anesthesia is injected into a cluster of nerves. You will also usually be given sedation medications.
  • Local Anesthesia: This type of anesthesia only numbs the part of your body that will be undergoing the operation.
  • MIVA (Monitored Intravenous Anesthesia): This type of anesthesia creates heavy sedation and pain management with little recall or memory. However, you can be awakened by your surgeon during surgery if necessary.

The Operating Room

When you are wheeled into the operating room, you will notice your surgical team making last minute preparations around the room. The surgical team will wear scrubs and facemasks to help keep the environment free from germs and bacteria. You will also notice bright lights and a variety of instruments and equipment. You will be connected to monitoring equipment that will track your vital signs during surgery.

Post Anesthesia Care Unit

You will be taken to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) to recover and wake up following surgery. During this time, your surgeon will speak to your family.

The length of your stay in the PACU is dependent upon the type of anesthesia you received. During this time, you may have an oxygen tube or mask on your face, and you will be attached to a heart monitor with a probe on your finger to measure your oxygen level. You may notice a dressing over your incision, in addition to tubes or drains. These items are in place to aid in your recovery.

You may experience a few side effects from anesthesia and surgery, such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, thirst or sore throat, coldness, soreness or general discomfort. Please let your recovery nurse know if you experience any side effects.

Managing Your Pain

In the PACU, you will be given pain medication as needed. While you should expect some discomfort after surgery, it should be tolerable. Everyone feels and reacts differently to pain. Your healthcare team will work with you to create a pain management plan that meets your needs. Pain is very real, and we are committed to addressing your pain relief needs in a timely manner.

To help us relieve your pain, please ask for relief when the pain first begins. The nurse will assess your pain using a scale that is used throughout the hospital. Using the pain scale will help everyone who assists you understand your level of pain. Once the pain treatment begins, your nurse will periodically reassess your pain to make sure that the plan is working. You are the only one who knows how much pain you feel, so please be honest with the doctors and nurses.

Next Steps

Depending on your surgery and observation in the recovery unit, you will either be discharged to go home or admitted to the hospital. All of your personal belongings will be returned to you as well.

Before leaving the hospital, you will be given verbal and written instructions regarding your diet, medications, bathing and activity restrictions. Be sure to follow any rehabilitation guidelines for a speedy recovery.

If you are discharged to your home, you will receive a phone call within 24-72 hours from the hospital to ask about your progress and to assist you with any questions you may have. You will also be given emergency contact numbers to notify the surgeon in case care is needed before the follow-up call is received.

Safety Tips

Did you know that everyone is responsible for safety, including the patient? Providence Hospital has multiple safety initiatives in place to provide you with the very best care, but we need your help, too. Please keep the following things in mind during your hospital stay:

  • Speak up when you are uncertain about something or need more explanation. You have the right to know about your plan of care.
  • To help prevent infections, make sure that your healthcare team members wash their hands before and after providing care.
  • Another tool to help prevent infections is the use of antibiotics before and after surgery. Please talk to your physician and nurse to see if antibiotics are right for you.
  • Take time to discuss the risk of developing a blood clot with your physician. Depending on the length of surgery, your physician may prescribe a medication to lessen the threat of developing a blood clot.
  • It is very important for you to talk to your physician and nurse about any medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter items like aspirin, vitamins or herbal remedies. Your healthcare team will tell you which medicines are safe to continue taking before surgery and which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
  • For your safety, your healthcare team will double check your identity multiple times throughout your stay to ensure that you receive the right medications or surgery preparations.

We appreciate your cooperation as we strive to provide high-quality, safe healthcare!

We Appreciate Your Feedback

Providence Hospital is committed to exceeding expectations and providing very good care for our patients. We strive to continually improve upon our processes and services to better meet the needs of our patients and families. Therefore, your input regarding your experience is very important to us, both during your stay and following your discharge. If there is anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable, please let our healthcare team know right away.

Patient Satisfaction Survey

After returning home, you may receive a Patient Satisfaction Survey in the mail. We would truly appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete and return this survey in the postage paid return envelope provided with the survey.