While undergoing surgery involves certain risks, McLeod Dillon staff members will take steps to reduce or prevent these risks. By following these pre-surgical guidelines, patients can also help to prevent surgical risks.
The McLeod Dillon surgery pre-admission program provides an opportunity for patients to learn about their surgery (or medical procedure) and ask a registered nurse questions about the hospital stay before you are admitted to the hospital.
For patients having surgery, download the McLeod General Surgery Patient Handbook.
Pre-Surgery Patient Guide
Get A Coach. McLeod staff and physicians recommend that you identify a coach (or caregiver). They will help you reach your goals. Your coach should come with you to the pre-surgical testing appointment visit. They will help you at home after surgery.
It is important to have the following information available at your pre-surgical testing appointment to assist with pre-registration:
- Name, address, phone number
- Date of birth
- Your surgeon's name
- Date of your surgery
- Insurance company name and policy number
- Paperwork from doctor's office
- Completed patient home medicine list or your bottles of medicines (Click here for a Home Medication List Form.)
- List of all the doctors you see on a regular basis
- List of your allergies and your reactions to them
- List of past surgeries and medical problems
- Insurance card
This visit may take up to 2 hours. Common medical tests will be done to give your doctor important information. These tests include a blood test, a urine sample, a nose swab, an EKG, and possibly a chest x-ray. The nurse will review your past surgeries and medical problems.
Things to discuss with your doctor:
Review all medicines with your doctor including herbal supplements, vitamins, and minerals.
Check with your doctor regarding blood thinners and when you should stop taking them.
If you have diabetes or take any medicine for your heart or blood pressure, ask if you should take your medicine the morning before surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
The Night Before Surgery
DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight, including water, chewing gum or candy.
Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth as often as you wish, but DO NOT swallow.
DO NOT shave your legs the day before or day of surgery
The Day of Surgery
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK
Sips of water may be allowed with your medicines.
DO NOT wear or bring jewelry to the hospital. If you prefer not to remove your wedding
band, it will be taped to your finger during surgery.
DO NOT wear any make-up or nail polish.
When to arrive:
Arrive at the hospital at the appointed time given to you during your pre-admit teaching. Go directly to the Day Hospital nurse's desk. This is the same area where you received your pre-admit teaching.
What to Bring:
- Copies of Advance Directive documents (i.e., Living Will) if you have any
- Dentures, glasses, hearing aids (if you have them).
- A current list of your medicines. Include the name of each prescription or over-the-counter medicines and any vitamins or herbs, the dosage (or strength), and how often you take it. The hospital will provide all medicines you will need. Herbals and vitamins may not be ordered while you are in the hospital.
- Loose comfortable clothes, enough for 3 days
- Strong, flat shoes that are non-slip
- Personal care items (toothbrush, comb/brush, razor, deodorant, etc.)
- If you use a C-Pap or Bipap, bring all of your equipment
When you arrive for your surgery, report to the Nurse's Desk in Day Hospital. Your family/friends will be directed to the Surgical Waiting Area.
Preventing Complications while in the Hospital
As with all major surgical procedures, complications can occur. The following information is not a complete list of the possible complications. These highlight some of the most common ones. Precautions are taken to reduce the chances of any surgical complication from occurring.
After surgery, it is important to exercise your lungs by taking deep breaths. The Respiratory Therapy staff will provide you with an incentive spirometer. They will show you how to use it after surgery. By taking deep breaths, your lungs will expand and help clear the air passages. This helps prevent post surgery fever and pneumonia. Use your incentive spirometer 10 times every hour while awake.
Constipation / Bowel Movements
Anesthesia and/or pain medicine can effect your bowels. Your first meal will be clear liquids (juice, broth, gelatin). You will also be given a daily stool softener to prevent constipation, which is a common side effect of pain medicine. A laxative is also ordered if you should require it before discharge. Please ask your nurse for a laxative if you have not had a bowel movement. Ways to prevent constipation include eating more fiber, drinking plenty of water, plenty of exercise and laxatives (only if your doctor approves).