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Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Surgery

Instructions for you to follow:
For your own safety and comfort, please follow these instructions:

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke after midnight. This includes gum, candy, or water. You may brush your teeth; but do not swallow water.
  • If you take daily medication, we will tell you how to take it on the day of your procedure.
  • If there are any changes in your physical condition, such as a cold, fever, or infection, let your surgeon know as soon as possible.
  • If it’s possible that you’re pregnant, please tell your surgeon.
  • Arrange to have a responsible adult drive you to and from the hospital on the day of your surgery. If you go home in a taxi, someone must accompany you.
  • We strongly suggest you arrange for a family member or friend to stay at home with you during the first 24 hours of your recovery.
  • All of these instructions will be reviewed with you over the phone the day before your surgery by a surgical center nurse.

The day before
You, your doctor and our staff all play a part in planning your surgery. Here’s how you can help. Be sure to give your surgeon a reliable telephone number where we can reach you. Some time after noon on the day before your surgery, a nurse will call you and tell you the time of your procedure and what time you should arrive. Please call us at (203) 789-3393 if you haven’t received your call by 2 p.m. If your surgery is scheduled for a Monday, you’ll receive your call the Friday before. If your surgery is slated for the day after a holiday, we’ll call you on the last working day before the holiday. We will ask you to arrive an hour or two hours before surgery. During this time, a nurse and an anesthesiologist will interview you and take your medical history.

What to wear and bring:

  • wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • please do not wear makeup or jewelry
  • leave money and valuables at home.
  • if you use inhalers, please bring them with you.

The day of your surgery:
Once you arrive, you’ll spend a few minutes registering. A nurse will review your medical history and explain what your day will be like. Once you’ve registered, you’ll change into a hospital gown. An anesthesiologist will then interview you. Until your surgery, you will wait in the patient waiting room, where you can watch TV or read. After surgery, you’ll recover in a special area where a trained nurse will care for you, watch you closely and monitor your progress. When you’re ready, your nurse will call in your visitors. You will be offered something to drink and allowed to rest.

When children are patients
Children under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. While the child is in surgery, one parent or guardian must remain on the unit. Special pediatric tours of the surgical center are available. These tours include a play session, a walk-through of the unit and a question-and-answer period. To register or receive more information, call (203) 789-3393.

Parking
For each outpatient surgery patient, free parking for one vehicle will be validated. Bring your parking ticket with you for validation. Please park in the George Street garage. The Center is located on Level 3.

Visitors
Visitors can wait in our waiting room, where they can read, watch TV, enjoy a beverage, or visit our hospital cafeteria. We will tell them when they can expect you to be ready for visitors.

Going home
Your nurse will let you know when you’re able to leave, and will explain your post-surgery instructions and prescriptions. You’ll receive a copy of these instructions to take home. Whoever takes you home will bring the car to the discharge area; we’ll bring you to that area in a wheelchair or escort you right to your car.

The next day
Your well-being and recovery are important to us. While you will be responsible for your own at-home care after surgery, a nurse from the surgical center will call you the next day to see how you’re feeling and answer your questions. If we are not able to reach you, a note will be sent to your home as a reminder of some important things you should be doing.

Surgical Clinic

Phone (203) 789-3151

Surgical clinics are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m, and Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon on the second floor of the Orchard Medical Center, 330 Orchard St., New Haven.

Same-Day Surgery

There is one major difference between same-day surgery and ambulatory surgery. Most patients who are scheduled for same-day surgery are admitted to the hospital on the same day as their surgery, and can reasonably expect to stay overnight. Ambulatory surgery patients are expected to have their surgery and be discharged all in the same day.

Page last updated on Nov. 24, 2008