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Preparing for Surgery

When you have surgery at Cape Cod Healthcare, your health and peace of mind are our highest priority. To help things go as smoothly as possible, it’s good to know what to expect and how to prepare.

Pre-Operative Interview & Testing

Prior to your scheduled surgery, we’ll schedule a pre-op appointment. Any testing ordered will be done at this time, so it’s important to follow any dietary restrictions from your doctor for this testing.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment and bring the following:

  • A list of all your current medications and dosages, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements
  • Any paperwork you’ve completed, such as a nursing assessment
  • Paperwork from your doctor’s office
  • Your insurance information
  • A parent or guardian if you are under 18 years of age

During the appointment, a nurse will interview you, gather needed information and answer your questions. You’ll also receive educational information about your procedure.

After the interview, if you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to follow up with the nurse. Let us know if you are not feeling well or have symptoms such as a cough, fever or chills. Because you need to be in your best health for surgery, it may be necessary to reschedule your procedure if you have any of these symptoms.

Before Surgery

The pre-admission testing nurse will contact you the day before your surgery to confirm your arrival time. You’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital. For safety reasons, you may not drive yourself home after surgery. Your driver will be contacted when you are ready to leave the hospital.

It’s essential that you NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes gum, lifesavers, water, coffee, tea or juice. If you eat or drink anything, your surgery will have to be postponed to another day. The nurse will clarify any questions you have about taking your daily medication.

Since your hospital stay will be brief, bring as little as possible. A bathrobe, slippers and hospital gown will be provided. Leave all your valuables at home.

Do not wear any jewelry, makeup or nail polish on the day of surgery. The color of your skin and fingernails give the anesthesiologist valuable information about your condition.

Day of Surgery

On the morning of your surgery, please arrive at the designated time and check in at the registration desk. Bring your insurance card and allow enough time for parking and registration.

Your scheduled time of surgery is approximate and may vary depending on circumstances in the operating room. 

After surgery, you will be transferred to a unit where you’ll be monitored by specially trained nursing staff under the direction of the anesthesiologist until you’re awake. If your surgery is being done on an outpatient basis, you’ll return to the ambulatory care unit. If your surgery requires that you stay in the hospital, you’ll be moved to your assigned room.

After Surgery

After discharge, be sure to follow the instructions regarding post-operative care for your specific procedure. Get plenty of rest and take any prescribed medication. For at least 24 hours after your discharge, refrain from driving, using power tools, making decisions, exercising vigorously, smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. A nurse will call you on the next business day after your discharge to see how you are doing and answer any questions.

If you have any questions or experience any problems following your surgery, do not hesitate to call your physician.

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