What to Expect & How to Prepare

How to Prepare for Surgery

GRMC is proud of its low complications and infection rates for surgery. Help us help you by following these important instructions to ensure your safety and comfort. This is a list of general guidelines. Please be sure to follow your physician’s individual instructions.

BEFORE SURGERY

Please pre-register at the hospital a few days before your surgery. Registration is open daily from 5:30am – 7:00pm. To pre-register, call 830.401.7489.

  1. To pre-register, be prepared with the following information:
    • Your Social Security number
    • Your current address
    • Names of emergency contacts
    • Name of your family physician
    • Insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid cards
    • Physician orders
    • Consent form given by your doctor
    • Date surgery is scheduled
  2. For your surgery date and time, call your physician’s office.
  3. It is very important that you not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. This includes food, beverages, smoking, chewing gum or tobacco, mints or hard candy.
  4. Infants may have formula or milk 6 hours before check-in or breast milk 4 hours before check-in.
  5. Smokers, to improve your breathing, do not smoke for 24-48 hours before surgery.
  6. You SHOULD take your morning heart or blood pressure medications with a sip of water.
  7. DO NOT take medicine for diabetes, blood thinners such as Plavix, Coumadin, etc., aspirin, Advil, Motrin, or Ibuprofen, unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
  8. Ask your doctor about taking any of your other daily medications on the day of surgery.
  9. Leave personal articles such as jewelry, money, valuables, purses, and wallets at home. However, bring your eyeglasses, contact lenses storage case and solution, dentures or bridgework case and hearing aids, if you use any of these.
  10. Help us prevent infections by using a special soap five days prior to your date of surgery and the morning of your surgery. The special soap should contain 4% chlorhexidine gluconate or CHG. Common brand names for this soap are Hex-A-Clens or Hibiclens. These over-the-counter antibacterial skin cleansers can help reduce surgical site infections and are available from your local pharmacy.
  11. If you might be pregnant, please notify your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
  12. Failure to follow the above may cancel or delay your surgery.
  13. Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you to the hospital, as well as drive you home after surgery. Children must have a parent or legal guardian at the hospital.
  14. While a child is having surgery, an adult must stay at the hospital. Children may bring a blanket or special toy the day of their surgery.
  15. If you have small children, for their safety and your peace of mind, please make other arrangements for their care during your surgery.
  16. On the day of your surgery:
    • If you have a change in your physical condition such as a cold, congestion, flu, diarrhea, rash, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, etc., immediately call Pre/Post-Operative staff at 830.401.7291 or 830.401.7293.
    • Park in the Central Entrance parking lot located in the center of the hospital’s campus, just east of the ER. Check in with the Information Desk when you arrive at the Hospital.
    • For visitors, GRMC has a designated surgical waiting area with ample space for family and friends.
    • Please be sure to bring:
      • All paperwork and test results from the physician’s offices
      • Insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid cards
      • A valid picture ID
      • Payment for your co-pay or deductibles
      • Hospital pre-registration paperwork
      • Consent form if given to you by your physician
DAY OF SURGERY

  1. Please report to the hospital 2 hours before your scheduled surgery time.
  2. Do NOT drink any water.
  3. Refrain from wearing makeup or colored fingernail polish.
  4. Wear loose comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to put on and take off.
    • Shoulder surgery – wear a very large front-buttoned shirt.
    • Hip, knee, or ankle surgery – wear or bring shorts or very large wide-legged pants/sweat pants.
    • Breast surgery – wear or bring a snug-fitting, supportive bra.Abdominal surgery – wear loose comfortable pants with a non-restrictive waistband.
  5. Bring a list of all medications you are currently taking, including the dose and directions for each.
  6. If you wear contacts, please bring a storage case and solution with you.
  7. If you wear glasses or hearing aids, please bring a case to store them in.
  8. If you wear dentures or have any removable bridgework or partial plates, they may be removed before surgery. Please bring a container for them with you.
  9. Admission to the hospital may be a possibility if your surgeon so decides.
  10. After your surgery, you will go to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) to be cared for by registered nurses. Family and friends may not visit with you in this area due to federal privacy protection laws.
  11. You will be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 0–10 to assist us in managing your pain.
  12. After PACU, you will return to the Pre/Post-Operative area where your family and friends may visit.
  13. If you have an outpatient procedure, you will be dismissed generally 1–2 hours after your surgery is completed.
  14. You will be given something to drink. When you are able to tolerate liquids and your pain is under control, you will be discharged with your care instructions given to your family or friend.
  15. Your anesthetic may cause short-term memory loss. Please inform your family member that this is temporary.
  16. Prescriptions may be filled at the pharmacy of your choice.
  17. You may be very sleepy. This is why an adult must drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours.
  18. Let your physician know if you have any reactions to medications or unexpected symptoms or pain.