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What to Expect

Depending on the procedure, you may:

  • Have the operation and go home the same day


  • Arrive at the hospital on the day of surgery and stay 1 or more nights

Arrangements and Responsibilities Prior to Procedure

Prior to the day of admission, you must arrange for a responsible adult to:

  • Remain at the facility during your surgery and recovery phase.
  • Provide transportation to home because anesthesia impairs your driving skills and ability to operate machinery and make decisions for up to 24 hours. Public transportation is allowed if accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Stay with you the day of your surgery into the next day to help with post-operative care and report complications if they should occur.

What are your responsibilities?

  • No food or drink the morning of surgery (This includes hard candy, gum, mints, and drinking water).
  • When brushing your teeth the morning of your procedure, do not drink the water.
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol at least 24 hours prior to your procedure.
  • Report any changes in your health- cold, flu, medications, exposure to communicable diseases, fever.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning prescription medications for conditions such as elevated blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, etc.
  • Washing hands with soap and lukewarm water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and drinking, handling soiled items, visibly soiled hands, before and after any type of wound care.
  • Check with your doctor if you should take or stop taking blood thinners such as aspirin, Coumadin, Ibuprofen, Plavix, etc.
  • Immediately notify Physicians Medical Center if you develop the following symptoms prior to surgery: Fever, Cough, and/or Shortness of Breath.

We will call you the afternoon before your procedure with the time to arrive. If you have not been contacted by 4:00 p.m., please call PMC at 985-853-1390.

The Day of the Procedure:

What to wear on the day of your procedure?

  • Loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Do not put on makeup, nail polish, hair pins, and barrettes.
  • Remove all body piercings.
  • You may tie back or braid long hair using a hair band.
  • Leave all valuables, including your wallet, purse, handbag, and jewelry, at home, as we have no provisions for their safekeeping and will not be responsible for them.
  • Be prepared to pay your co-payments and deductibles, however, do not bring large amounts of cash with you.
  • If you wear glasses, contacts, and/or dentures, bring the case(s).
  • If you have Sleep Apnea and use a CPAP machine, bring it with you.

At the facility:

  • Sign in with the receptionist.
  • In order to properly care for patients ahead of you, you may have an extended wait in the lobby.


  • Visitors in Pre-op and PACU:
    • Will be limited to one due to the limited space and patient confidentiality.
    • Required to remain at the patient’s bedside while visiting.
    • May stay with the patient until discharged.
  • Visitors in Post-Surgical Unit:
    • Visiting hours for PSU – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No visitors will be allowed after 8 p.m.
    • Visitors arriving before 5 p.m. should enter through the main entrance.
    • Visitors arriving after 5 p.m. should enter through the Imaging Lobby.
    • Children should always be accompanied by an adult other than the patient.
    • Visits by children younger than 12 years of age should be coordinated with the patient's nurse.
    • 1 patient representative may spend the night with the adult patient.
  • Pediatric Patients
    • Parents/guardians must remain with the pediatric patient throughout the entire stay.
    • Up to 3 visitors/guardians may accompany the pediatric patient during regular visiting hours.
    • Both parents/guardians may spend the night with the pediatric patient.
    • Each patient/representative, where appropriate, has the right, subject to his or her consent, to receive the visitors whom he or she designates, and it is his or her right to withdraw or deny such consent at any time.


  • You may have to sign consent forms if you haven’t signed them already.
  • Staff will place an I.D. bracelet on your arm.
  • You will be asked to empty your bladder and change into a gown and cap.
  • You will be asked to remove contacts, glasses, and dentures.
  • You will be asked to remove underclothing, i.e. underwear, bra.
  • Staff will place you on a stretcher, take your temperature, and attach a monitor to your body to check your heart rhythm, pulse, and oxygen saturation.
  • If ordered, you may have to take some medication.
  • An intravenous line (IV) will be initiated to provide needed fluids and medications during the operation.
  • After the necessary tasks are done, one family member may visit with you until your procedure.
  • The OR team will introduce themselves to you: Anesthesia personnel (person responsible for putting you to sleep or making you comfortable during your procedure) and OR nurse.
  • If you have concerns or questions, please ask.

In the Operating Room:

  • The lights may be bright, and the air may feel cool.
  • Your OR team will be dressed in gowns, masks, hair coverings, and gloves for your protection.
  • You’ll be moved from the stretcher to a narrow bed and a strap will be used to keep you safe during your procedure.
  • Monitors will be placed on your body to monitor your vital signs.
  • Anesthesia personnel will administer your anesthesia depending on your procedure.
  • You will be monitored throughout the procedure.

In the Recovery Area:

  • After your operation, you’ll be moved to a recovery area while the anesthesia wears off.
  • Recovery can be anywhere from a half hour to longer than one hour.
  • Monitors will be reattached to your body.
  • Staff will continue to monitor your vital signs.
  • You may have oxygen.
  • Report any discomfort to the nurse.
  • When you are ready for discharge, one family member may be present for instructions.
  • Parent(s) will be allowed to stay with their child.
  • If you were scheduled as an outpatient, the nurse will provide you with discharge instructions specific to your procedure.
About Self-Care for the first 24-hours:

Exact instructions may vary – but here are some general tips:

  • Eat lightly at first, then easy-to-digest solid foods such as toast, plain rice, gelatin, etc.
  • Don’t drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions – your coordination and judgment may not be at their best.
  • Don’t smoke or take any medications, supplements, or other remedies without asking your healthcare provider.
  • Don’t drink alcohol – it can interact with anesthetics still in your body.
  • Follow any special instructions given by your health-care provider for diet, exercise, breathing techniques, or medications.
  • Take charge of pain management by following your healthcare provider’s directions.
  • Give a copy of your medication list to your primary care provider. Update information when medications are discontinued, doses are changed, or new medications (including over-the-counter products) are added, and carry medication information at all times in the event of emergency situations.

Call Your Healthcare Provider if you have:

  • Unexpected bleeding, swelling, drainage from an incision.
  • Increased pain or if the pain will not go away.
  • Signs of infection.
  • Calf pain, tenderness to touch, swelling.

Keep All Follow-up Appointments:

You may have to call your doctor’s office for an appointment.

Your opinion matters: Our patient satisfaction survey will be mailed to the address you have provided. Please tell us how we are doing by responding with your comments. All satisfaction surveys are reviewed by the administration and kept completely confidential.

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