We are pleased that you have chosen Women & Infants Hospital for your surgery. Your care will be provided by some of the nation's finest specialists in women's healthcare. The following information is designed to help you prepare for your surgery. If you have any questions after reading it, please feel free to contact our Ambulatory Surgery Unit at 401- 274-1122, extension 1300.
Preparation for Surgery
Following are guidelines to help you prepare for your surgery. Please follow them carefully, as they have been developed to help you make your stay as safe and comfortable as possible.
Days Before Surgery
- For most patients, we need to conduct some tests prior to your surgery. Depending on your procedure, age and medical history, you may have these tests done on the day of your surgery. In some cases, we will need to conduct tests prior to your admission to ensure the most appropriate care for you. Pre-admission takes place in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit, located on the second floor of the main hospital.
- When you arrive, you will be asked to fill out a series of forms. Please complete them as best as you can. We recommend that you bring a list of your current medications, a list of any known allergies, and your medical history. If there is anything that you do not understand, the nurse will review it with you during your pre- admission visit.
- Tell the secretary if you have had an EKG in the last three months. Please have your doctor's phone number available for us to call to obtain a copy of the test results.
- You will then meet with one of our nurses, who will ask you questions about your health history. Please bring with you the names and phone numbers of your primary care physician and any specialists who follow your care.
- Next, a lab technician will draw your blood, and if necessary, an EKG will be taken.
- Lastly, you will meet with a representative of our anesthesia department to further discuss your medical history and review anesthesia options for your surgery. If any other special procedures are required, you will be informed and then referred to the appropriate departments.
- The pre-admission process is very important and can take some time. Please plan to spend at least two hours in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit to complete the process. If you would like, you may bring someone with you, although it is not necessary.
- Let your doctor know if you have a cough, cold, fever, stomach flu, or asthma attack any time in the week before surgery. Call your doctor as soon as symptoms occur, as this may interfere with your scheduled procedure.
- Do not smoke for at least two days before surgery. If you smoke, it may take you longer to recover from anesthesia.
- You should discuss ALL medications with your doctor or nurse before surgery, including vitamins, herbs and other over-the- counter medications. In some cases, you should not take aspirin or aspirin-like products. You will be told by your physician which of your usual medications to take before surgery.
- For your own safety, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home following surgery. Please make arrangements for your transportation home and for someone to stay with you for 24 hours.
The Night Before Surgery
- Do not eat or drink anything after 12 midnight unless you are instructed otherwise, so that your stomach will be empty during your surgery. This includes mints, gum, candy and vitamins.
- Remember not to smoke.
- Your doctor may have given you special instructions to prepare for surgery. Please follow the instructions carefully, and call your doctor if you have any questions.
The Day of Surgery
- It is important that your stomach remains empty. You may brush your teeth or use mouthwash; however, be sure not to swallow the water.
- If your doctor or anesthesiologist told you to take your daily medications on the morning of surgery, take them only with a small sip of water.
- Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and wear shoes without heels.
- Remove any nail polish or makeup.
- Do not wear or bring any jewelry. Because we have no place to store valuables, we ask that you leave cash, credit cards, and other valuables at home.
- If you wear contact lenses, please leave them at home and wear or bring your eyeglasses and case with you. We suggest that you write your name on the case.
- If you wear dentures, please remember to bring a storage container with you.
- Bring your health insurance cards and a copy of any advance directives (e.g., Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney) you may have.
- Bring a list of your current medications and dosages, and information about your medical history. This information will be placed in your medical record.
- If you are to be admitted after surgery, pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush and any other items you may want while you are hospitalized. Arrange to have someone bring your suitcase to you after surgery - please do not bring it with you.
- Plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled operation. We use this time to finish preparing you for surgery. You may want to bring something to read while you wait. Please also be aware that our surgery schedule sometimes changes because of unexpected needs of other patients.
When You Arrive
If your surgery is scheduled early and you need to arrive before 7:30 am, the Main Entrance will be closed. Please use the Triage Admitting Entrance on Gay Street, and follow the signs to the Main Lobby and elevators. If you arrive after 7:30 am, please use the Main Entrance to the hospital.
From the Main Lobby, take the elevators to the second floor to the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. Please check in at the Ambulatory Surgery Unit patient reception desk.
Once You Have Checked In
Once you have checked in, you will be asked to sit in the waiting areas until a nurse comes to get you. You will be taken to a private area to get ready for your surgery. Your nurse will give you a hospital gown and a clinician from anesthesia will start an intravenous (IV) line to give you fluid and medications.
To help keep you comfortable, one family member or friend may stay with you until you are brought into the operating room. The nurse will call that person from the reception area once you are ready for surgery.
If you are to be admitted following surgery, your family may wait in the more private fourth floor waiting area, near the elevators. They will be notified of your status by your doctor or the nursing staff.
For outpatient surgery, family members and friends may wait in the Main Lobby on the first floor. They will be notified of your status by the staff at the Information Desk.
After your surgery, you will be brought to the recovery room. A recovery room nurse will care for you and monitor you.
You may experience some nausea or vomiting right after surgery. This is not unusual and our recovery nurses will try to keep you as comfortable as possible. Other symptoms related to surgery and anesthesia include shivering, headache, muscle soreness, sore throat, nervousness, or sleepiness. These symptoms are usually gone within 24 hours.
If you have pain, be sure to tell your nurse. Medication can be given to ease your pain.
Recovery times vary from person to person. Our staff want to be sure that you are ready to go home before you are discharged or, if you are being admitted, transferred to your room.
If You are Going Home the Day of Surgery
When you are awake, able to drink fluids, and walk safely, you will be discharged. All patients are discharged by wheelchair through the Main Lobby. The person who drives you home can pick you up at the Main Entrance. Advise that person to check with the staff at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby if you are not in the lobby.
Before you leave, your nurse will review outpatient post- operative instructions with you and your family. Please call your doctor's office if you have any questions after you get home.
If You are Being Admitted to the Hospital
If you are admitted to the hospital, you will stay in the recovery room until you are ready to go to your room. Staff will make sure that your belongings are transported to your room. The fourth floor of the hospital is the inpatient unit for patients having surgery, as well as medical and oncology services. During your surgery, we encourage your family or friends to wait in the fourth floor waiting area located near the elevators. Please inform your doctor or the admitting nurse that the people who are with you on the day of surgery will be waiting on the fourth floor. This information will be helpful so that updated information can be relayed.
Your family and friends are welcome to visit you in your room. They can check with the Information Desk in the Main Lobby for your room number.
Please be sure to let your nurse know if we can assist you with your religious or spiritual needs. A meditation room, available to all patients and families, is located off the Main Lobby, near the Information Desk.
After You are Home
If you have any questions about your recovery, please call your doctor or the nursing staff on the fourth floor, at 401-274-1122, extension 1512 or 1812 .
- All medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, and other over- the-counter medications
- List of known allergies
- Names and telephone numbers of your primary care doctors and any specialists who you see for health problems
- Medical history, including medical condition, recent EKGs, and past surgeries
- Health insurance cards
- Copies of any advance directives (e.g. Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney), if you have them
Things to Remember
- Do not smoke for at least 48 hours prior to surgery
- Do not eat or drink after midnight of the day before your surgery, unless instructed differently
- Take daily medications with a small sip of water, as directed by your doctor
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitted clothing and flat shoes
- Do not wear any makeup or fingernail polish
- Do not wear contact lenses. If you wear eyeglasses, bring your case
- Do not wear or bring any jewelry
- Do not bring any valuables with you (cash, credit cards, etc.)
- If you are admitted after surgery, pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, comfortable footwear, and any other personal items you may need. Arrange to have someone bring your bag to you after surgery, do not bring it with you