Preparing for Your Surgery – and What Happens After

Learn more about what you might need to do before your surgery, how we’ll take care of you and what you can expect after your procedure.

Pre-admission – what to expect before you arrive

Prior to your surgery date, an admissions counselor will collect some important information from you using pre-admission forms. In some cases, we will call you to get this information. In other cases, we will need to have you come in for a pre-operative appointment.

If you have a living will and/or durable power of attorney, please bring them with you to your pre-admission surgical consult.

While we ask you for information about yourself, we want to provide you with some important information as well, so you know exactly what to expect. We want you to be fully informed of the surgical process and believe you deserve to know:

  • What your surgery will entail
  • Why it’s being performed
  • Any risks involved with the procedure
  • The potential risks of not having the surgery
  • Other options that may be available to you
  • Pre-operative care details

Before your procedure – both at home and when you get here

As you prepare for surgery, it’s critically important for you to strictly follow any special pre-operative instructions provided by your doctor, as well as the general guidelines you receive from the surgical team.

These can include instructions on when to arrive for admission and what, if any, foods and liquids you may have before your procedure.

In addition, pre-operative testing might include:

  • A review of your complete medical history
  • Temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate checks
  • Blood tests
  • Urine samples
  • X-rays, CT scans or other imaging
  • EKG / ECG

Once pre-operative tests are completed, the surgical team will prep you for your procedure. This process might include:

  • Removing clothes, jewelry and personal items
  • Putting on a cap and surgical gown
  • Receiving medications to help you relax and reduce anxiety
  • Special cleansing and preparation of the surgical area, for example, the areas of your body where incisions will be made

Surgical anesthesia and pain management

Controlling your pain during and after surgery

Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain during your surgery. The type of anesthesia you receive will depend on your physical condition and your procedure.

There are several types of anesthesia, including:

  • Simple sedation to relieve mild discomfort and anxiety
  • Local anesthesia to block pain at a specific part of your body
  • Regional anesthesia to block pain in a broad area of the body, for example, below the waist
  • General anesthesia to put you “to sleep” during your surgery

Thanks to modern pharmaceuticals and technological advances, general anesthesia safer today than ever before.

Monitoring anesthesia during surgery

Ballad Health offers the latest technologies to monitor and help maintain safe, effective sedation levels during surgery.

In many cases, a special sensor placed on the forehead measures brain activity, so the anesthesiologist can ensure you remain safely sedated and pain free during surgery.

Post-operative care

After your surgery, you will be taken to one of our specialized recovery areas. Depending on the type of surgery performed, you will either wake up in a private room, recovery room, the intensive care unit or critical care unit.

As your anesthesia wears off, you might feel groggy and confused. You likely won’t remember this early recovery period. However, for your comfort, you can choose a family member to remain with you during this time. Your loved one should expect to see you hooked up to multiple lines and tubes, which are used to deliver medications, aid your breathing and help with your recovery.

Pain management after surgery

Your caregivers will constantly monitor you during recovery. They will also ask about any discomfort you might experience.

We want and need you to be honest and upfront with your care team about how you’re feeling. That is the most important way you can help us effectively manage any post-operative symptoms you experience. It will also help you heal faster and feel better sooner.

How do I get started?

Please contact us for more information about Ballad’s surgical services, or speak to your primary care provider.