What You Can Expect
You are a unique person, with a unique medical history. And dependent on the surgical procedure planned, your pre-operative assessment will be tailored to your needs.
One or two weeks before your surgery or procedure, you may expect:
- A complete physical exam by your primary physician or your surgeon will be arranged by the office nurse.
- Blood testing will be scheduled with your physical exam or at your pre-admission visit.
- X-rays of the affected area and/or an EKG (electrocardiogram) may be part of your ‘work-up’ depending on your age and medical condition.
The day before your surgery or procedure:
- Avoid tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
- Confirm your time of arrival by calling 715-748-8846 between 8am and 3:30pm Monday-Friday.
- Your arrival time to Memorial Health Center should be 1 1/2 - 2 hours before your surgery or procedure.
- Alert your surgeon or physician if you become ill, or need to cancel your surgery for any other reason.
The evening before:
- Eat a regular meal, unless you are told otherwise.
- Prepare anything you will need to bring to the hospital.
- Bathe with an anti-bacterial soap. Scrub the surgical area well.
- You must not have any solid food after midnight the night before surgery. Unless you are told otherwise, you may only drink about a cup of clear liquids 6 hours before the surgery time, then absolutely nothing. Clear liquids are apple juice, cranberry juice, broth, Jello, decaffeinated tea, black coffee or water. Your surgery may be delayed or even cancelled if you do not follow these instructions. Do not chew tobacco, gum or suck on any candy once you start fasting.
The day of:
- Follow your eating instructions.
- Take the medications your doctor/nurse told you to take.
- Bathe again with an antibacterial soap.
- Brush your teeth, but do not swallow any water if you have started fasting.
- You will most likely be asked not to wear any make-up, nail polish or jewelry (this includes body piercing). Discuss wearing acrylic nails with your surgeon. Some procedures require them to be removed.
- Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing appropriate to your type of surgery or procedure.
- Leave your valuables at home. You may need money to pay for prescription medication to be taken after you leave the hospital.
- You may pack a small bag for your stay here, but please leave this in the car and have family bring it into the hospital after you are in your room. The clothes you are wearing will be put into a garment bag and delivered to your room.
- Do not wear contact lenses.
- Bring a container for storing glasses or hearing aids.
- Check in at the reception/registration desk on the first floor.
Immediately after surgery:
Immediately after surgery you will be sent to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), formerly known as the Recovery Room. You may be here 1-2 hours.
You may expect oxygen to be given to you. Heart monitors will be applied as well (if needed), as well as an automatic blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter – it looks like a clothes pin (it measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.)
The nurse will remind you that you are out of surgery. She or he will tell you the time and where you are. The nurse will ask you to rate your pain on the 0-10 pain scale (0 being no pain). Pain medication will be given to you through your intravenous tubing to lessen your pain.
If you have an incision, ice may be put on it as another comfort measure.
Support stockings may be used to prevent post-operative blood clots. Mechanical compression stockings are also used. They are placed over the support stockings. The machine alternates the pressure you feel. (It will feel like a massage.)
If your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable, and the pain is decreasing or non-existent, the PACU nurse will get you ready to go to your room (or home, if your surgery was an ‘outpatient’ procedure.)