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Presurgery Preparation

If you routinely take medication(s) in the morning, ask your primary care physician prior to admission for instructions about taking the medication the day of surgery. The day before you are to have surgery, you will be contacted by a Douglas County Hospital nurse to confirm the time and any special directions for you to follow in preparation for the surgery. Please call the Surgery Center at (320) 762-6030 or the Nursing Supervisor at (320) 762-1511 if you have not been reached by 2:00 p.m.

Self-Preparation

  • No aspirin or aspirin products ten days prior to surgery but you may use Tylenol.
  • DO NOT eat or drink anything, including water, and do not smoke after midnight the evening before your surgery.
  • DO NOT chew gum the day of your surgery. Undigested food and liquid in your stomach can cause complications.
  • For your safety, surgery is likely to be postponed if you fail to follow these instructions:
    • DO NOT smoke after midnight the evening before your surgery.
    • Take a shower or bath; wash and dry your hair.
    • Remove all nail polish, makeup, and jewelry.
    • Wear clean and comfortable clothing.
    • Notify your surgeon if you experience any health changes between your last visit and the day of your surgery, especially if you have an elevated temperature, cough, cold, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Please make necessary arrangements for your family, pets, and other responsibilities so you can devote your full attention to your recovery. We request that you bring the medications (pills, eye drops, or ointments) that you are presently taking. Give the medications to the nurse who admits you to the hospital.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises:
    Perform the following exercises to clear mucous, open lung passages, and aid in circulation:
    1. Inhale as deeply as you can.
    2. Hold your breath and count to five.
    3. Exhale slowly through your mouth.
    4. Repeat two times, then inhale deeply, and COUGH. (Try to produce a deep abdominal cough, NOT a shallow throat cough.)

The Day of Surgery for Same-Day Surgery Procedures

Use the surgery center entrance and arrive at the surgery center admitting area at the time designated by your physician. Bring your insurance, Medicare, or Medical Assistance information with you, including insurance cards and addresses and arrange for a responsible person to stay with you, in your home, for at least the first night following surgery. Arrange for a licensed driver to take you home. For your safety and protection, you will not be allowed to drive a motor vehicle if you are scheduled for a general anesthetic, regional block, or intravenous sedation. As a rule, public transportation is not appropriate after surgery. Wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Arrange for care of your children for at least the first 24 hours after surgery. Be aware that you may not feel as energetic as usual after surgery.

The Day of Surgery for Patients Who Will Stay in the Hospital

Use the surgery center entrance and arrive at the surgery center reception area at the time designated by your physician. Bring your insurance, Medicare, or Medical Assistance information with you, including insurance cards and addresses. At the admitting department, you will be assigned a room, depending on your physician's orders. A registered nurse will meet you, ask questions about your health, and then explain what to expect before and after surgery. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. You will be asked to sign a consent form before any medications can be given or procedures started. You may receive a preoperative medication, which will make you feel drowsy and relaxed. Your chart will be checked to make certain that necessary information is complete. You will be asked many times to state your name, the surgery you are having, when you last ate or drank, and if you have any medication allergies. Do not be upset by this; the questions are repeated for your safety. An anesthetist and your physician will talk to you before your surgery begins. When all these preparations have been completed, you will go to the operating room. Inform your family to wait in the surgical waiting area. The surgical host/hostess will advise your family when your surgery is completed and when you are in the recovery room. If family members leave the surgical waiting area, please advise the surgical host/hostess where he/she can contact them should the surgery be complete or should the physician wish to contact them prior to their return to the area. The physician will go to the surgical waiting area to talk with your family following surgery.

Postsurgery Information

Your physician will determine when you are ready to leave the hospital. The rehabilitation services staff will visit you after your surgery and instruct you in exercise and gait training, including the use of crutches or a walker if necessary. They will also give you a handout with these exercises on them. Remember to ask about diet, activity, medications, dressing, bathing and showering, pain (what to expect and what you can do), stitches and incision care, first follow-up visit, and your return to work.

Leg and Foot Exercises

Perform the following exercises to help blood return to your heart when you are inactive after surgery:

  1. Point the toes of both feet towards the foot of the bed and relax your feet.
  2. Pull your toes toward your chin and relax your feet.
  3. Circle both ankles, first to the right and then to the left. Repeat three times and then relax.
  4. Bend your knee and slide your heel up as close as possible to your hip, relax, and repeat with your other knee.
  5. Practice/repeat each exercise five times with each leg.