Ambulatory, or outpatient, surgery centers are changing how we think about surgery. Having surgery doesn’t automatically mean time in the hospital or staying overnight. Outpatient facilities like the new First Hill Surgery Center also offer patients lower out-of-pocket costs when compared to inpatient surgery in the hospital. Although the way we experience surgery may change, preparing for it should not. Proper preparation for surgery is an important and vital step.
Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions depending upon your type of surgery, but there are some general guidelines to prepare for most surgeries.
Tips to Prepare for Surgery
- Food, Liquids, and Tobacco. You will receive instructions on when to discontinue food and liquid before your procedure. Do not consume alcohol 24 hours prior to your procedure, and do not smoke or use tobacco products after midnight the night before your procedure.
- Medications. It is very important to confirm ALL medications with your physician, both prescription and over-the-counter. This includes any type of ibuprofen or aspirin, cough or allergy medicine, even vitamins and other supplements. The wrong drug interactions can reduce the effectiveness of your post-operative antibiotics, cause excessive bleeding or clotting during your surgery, or interact with the surgery anesthesia. Confirm with your physician if you need to stop taking any medications prior to surgery.
- Driving. You should not drive immediately following surgery. You must have an adult friend or family member accompany you to and from the facility. Anesthesia can slow reflexes and thought processes in the hours following surgery. Your physician may recommend no driving anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks after the procedure. Confirm exact recommendations with your doctor prior to surgery.
- Jewelry, Lotions and Makeup. On the day of your surgery you should bathe or shower and avoid wearing all makeup, lotions, perfumes, or nail polish. Your physician may instruct you to bathe with a special Chlorhexidine soap before surgery to reduce germs on your skin. The reduction of germs helps decrease your chance of infection during and after surgery. Remove all jewelry, including wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets and especially body piercings before your arrival.
The day before your surgery you will receive a call to confirm your procedure, check-in time, and to answer any last minute questions. If you develop a cold, fever, or cough, tell your surgeon or his/her staff. They may opt to reschedule your surgery. Nerves are to be expected leading up to a surgery. Try not to worry, the physician and his/her staff are there to make you feel comfortable and safe. Knowing what to expect may help ease your mind and prepare you for a successful surgery.