Home the Same Day
Going home the same day of surgery sounds wonderful, and it can sound a little confusing. That’s why Community Memorial sets an appointment with each patient for preoperative testing and an interview up to a month in advance of surgery. At that time, staff members explain procedures, answer questions and eliminate fears, paying close attention to each patient’s particular needs.
Prior to Surgery
The patient visits the laboratory so required testing can be taken to detect potential problems. Preoperative instructions are given by the pre-anesthesia testing nurse.
Following the list of dos and don’ts, the nurse will go over just how the day of the procedure will unfold for the patient. The nurse will begin to lay the foundation for the patient’s discharge planning including discussion about the possible need for assistance at home and filling prescriptions.
- All patients need to bring medications in actual containers and all pre-op forms to pre-op interview for medication reconciliation. Also, please bring medications in actual containers the day of surgery.
- Please download and fill out the Pre Operative Questionnaire PDF and the Comprehensive Pain Assessment PDF.
Each patient leaves with a phone number to call with any questions.
One working day before the procedure
Call the hospital for the admission time.
About two hours before surgery
Check in with admitting.
Forty-five minutes prior to surgery
“Pre-op” begins. Ordered medication – usually antibiotics – is given, jewelry removed, an assessment is done and last-minute details tended to before the patient is wheeled to the operating room still wide awake. Nurses ask who the patient is, date of birth and what procedure is scheduled as an extra measure of safety.
The nurse checks the medical history once again and asks if there are any questions. The patient also meets the anesthesiologist, who discusses the medical history and explains the recommended anesthesia. The patient is then asked to sign an anesthesia consent form.
The ambulatory surgical procedures usually last between 30 minutes and two hours. The patient is moved to a table, monitors are placed and the anesthesia, which is regulated throughout the procedure, is begun.
After the Surgery
After the operation, the patient is usually awake enough to answer questions but probably won’t remember doing so. After assessing the patient, the surgeon lets the family know how everything went, and the patient is taken to the recovery room. Monitoring continues and there is a nurse at the bedside throughout the recovery period, which lasts 30 minutes to one hour on average.
The typical patient is aware enough within 10 minutes to have something to drink and be told where he or she is. In addition to the general anesthesia, a long acting local anesthesia is used to numb the surgical incision so the patient is comfortable and able to doze peacefully. The idea of people moaning in pain and vomiting is incorrect. The recovery room is a quiet place where each time the patients wake up, they are more themselves.
Once discharge criteria such as level of consciousness, blood pressure and the ability to control activity have been met, the patient is taken back to the ambulatory unit. There, vital signs are monitored and special orders from the doctor are carried out. The patient is allowed to get up and move around and usually within two hours is able to go home and be spoiled for a day or two.
Outpatient services are available to help with the patient’s recovery. An ambulatory nurse will call all ambulatory cases within 24-48 hours after surgery to see how they are doing.