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the Preadmission

surgery scheduling
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Monday – Friday except holidays

8:00am – 5:00pm by appointment only

Before you have your surgery, patients are asked to give some gen­er­al health infor­ma­tion, which includes: any aller­gies, med­ica­tions, and med­ical his­to­ry. Some patients have their inter­view over the phone, while some are asked to come to the hos­pi­tal. Whether you get a phone call or go in for your inter­view, this is a good time for you to ask ques­tions about get­ting ready for surgery or dis­cuss any spe­cial needs you may have. Some test­ing may be required by your surgeon/​anesthesiologist and done pri­or to admis­sion. Some test­ing needs to be done imme­di­ate­ly pri­or to the pro­ce­dure and will be done on admission. 

Why is it impor­tant that I am inter­viewed?
A nurse or an anes­the­sia provider will be the per­son who will inter­view you. The goal of this inter­view is to talk about any pos­si­ble risks to you before you receive the anes­the­sia by ask­ing spe­cif­ic health relat­ed ques­tions. The per­son con­duct­ing the inter­view will give you direc­tions, where/​when to arrive, eating/​drinking instruc­tions, what to bring with you, etc. It is very impor­tant that you give all-impor­tant infor­ma­tion about your health his­to­ry and fam­i­ly his­to­ry, includ­ing any prob­lems with anes­the­sia and allergies.

  • Have a list of med­ica­tions you are tak­ing; be sure you know the dose and time you take them. Include pre­scrip­tions, over the counter med­ica­tions, vit­a­mins, herbals, recre­ation­al drugs, tobac­co and alco­hol. The Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Anes­the­si­ol­o­gists (ASA) rec­om­mends that every­one stop herbal med­i­cines at least two (2) to three (3) weeks before surgery to avoid the pos­si­bil­i­ty of unwant­ed inter­ac­tions and side effects. This infor­ma­tion will help your anes­the­sia provider to select the best med­ica­tion for you to avoid any unwant­ed drug interactions.
  • It is impor­tant that you have a list of any food or drug aller­gies you have.
  • You will be asked to give infor­ma­tion on your health his­to­ry as well as your fam­i­ly’s health. This will include any prob­lems with anes­the­sia or allergies.
  • This infor­ma­tion is very impor­tant for you safe­ty. IF you do not fol­low the instruc­tions about not eat­ing or drink­ing before your surgery, your surgery may be delayed or even canceled.

What kind of test­ing can I expect?
Depend­ing on your age, phys­i­cal con­di­tion and/​or pro­ce­dure, your surgeon/​anesthesiologist may order one or more of the fol­low­ing tests: 

  • blood test­ing
  • chest x‑ray
  • elec­tro car­dio­gram (heart)
  • res­pi­ra­to­ry test­ing (lungs/​breathing)
  • woman: preg­nan­cy test

There are some patients who may be asked to see anoth­er spe­cial­ist in order to be safer with the stress of surgery and anes­the­sia. These spe­cial­ists may include a car­di­ol­o­gist or internist.

Can I con­tin­ue tak­ing all of med­i­cines before surgery?
Not nec­es­sar­i­ly. You will be asked to let the doc­tors and nurs­es know all the dif­fer­ent types of med­i­cines, vit­a­mins and herbals you are tak­ing, why you are tak­ing them, the amount you take and at what time you take them. You will also need to let the staff know if you take any recre­ation­al drugs, use tobac­co, and if you drink alco­hol. Any med­ica­tion or food aller­gies are impor­tant for the nurse and doc­tor to know. They will let you know dur­ing your inter­view what med­ica­tions you need to keep tak­ing and any you must stop pri­or to surgery.

Will smok­ing cause prob­lems with my surgery?
Cig­a­rette smok­ing can cause pos­si­ble post­op­er­a­tive prob­lems. Smok­ing may slow down the heal­ing of sur­gi­cal wounds and bones. While it can take a long time to achieve the most ben­e­fits from not smok­ing, brief peri­ods of not smok­ing at all before surgery can help you.

What impor­tant papers should I bring, if I need to bring any?
Please con­sid­er bring­ing the fol­low­ing with you to the hospital:

  • Advance Direc­tives (“Liv­ing Will” or a Pow­er of Attor­ney for Health Care”) are not required, but if you have them, you should bring them. 
  • Pow­er of Attor­ney for Health Care — advance direc­tive: you direct anoth­er indi­vid­ual to speak on your behalf, should you be unable to express your wishes.
  • Liv­ing Will — advance direc­tive: you give direc­tion to your health care providers about your future treat­ment choic­es, should you be unable to express your wishes.

What should I do the morn­ing of my surgery?
You will be instruct­ed what med­i­cines to take the day of surgery, any spe­cial supplies/​equip­ment to bring with you. You will also be told what time you need to stop eat­ing and drink­ing. There are cer­tain surg­eries that require spe­cial prepa­ra­tions the day before, and you may even need to only drink clear fluids. 

It is very impor­tant for you to talk hon­est­ly with your nurs­es, doc­tors and oth­er staff mem­bers. It is also impor­tant for you to take part in your treat­ment choic­es, pro­mote your own safe­ty by know­ing what is going on dur­ing your stay, and remain active­ly involved in your care. 

You should feel com­fort­able about how to pre­pare for the day of surgery, know what to do when you arrive at the build­ing for your pro­ce­dure, and have an under­stand­ing of what to before return­ing home at the end of your interview/​appointment.