General Surgery Preparation

General Surgery

For many people, surgery is a daunting prospect. At MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, our surgical specialists share a common goal: creating a patient experience dedicated to superior quality, safety, satisfaction and the best possible outcomes.

Over the years, advancements in medicine, modernization of equipment and increasingly sophisticated surgical services have revolutionized care at MedStar Health's hospitals. We offer a variety of services designed to facilitate rapid recovery from surgery. We strive to offer advanced care in a comfortable environment.

We're with you through it all
Our board-certified surgeons and experienced surgical teams use both traditional and minimally invasive approaches to treat disease or injury. Our clinicians work with patients before surgery to prepare them for surgery physically, as well as to decrease anxiety by explaining what to expect. Our surgeons and staff take time to answer patients' questions about the procedure, the expected recovery process, and the long-term outcome.

After surgery, we have a range of services designed to speed healing and get patients back to their lives. From sub-acute care to inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, and from home health services to medical equipment, we take care of the details so that you can stay focused on making a quick recovery.

Ambulatory Surgery

Many surgical procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Our ambulatory surgery center offers patients the option of going home the same day that a surgery has been performed. Following your procedure, you will be transferred to a recovery area where specially trained nurses will do their best to make the remainder of your stay comfortable.

We hope to make your operative experience as pleasant as possible. Your care is our primary concern, so we’ve compiled the following guidelines to help prepare you for your surgery.

Registration

The registration process benefits everyone—patients, providers, and insurance companies. During your registration, we update your information in our records and assist you in filing accurate information for your insurance company. Current information on your medical records also allows your physician to contact you more easily, if necessary. Please come approximately 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled outpatient appointment. Specific departments will advise you for other arrival times.

Guidelines to help registration go smoothly:

  • Have your insurance card, referrals, authorizations, instructions, and physician's orders handy.
  • Tell the registration clerk the name of your primary care physician and the name of your surgeon.
  • Advise the registration clerk if you have a drug or latex allergy.
  • Advise the clerk of any specific tests or test days scheduled by your surgeon.

The Night Before Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight or the morning of your surgery. This includes water, candy, gum, or chewing tobacco.
  • If you are taking medications, check with your doctor or the preoperative nurse to see whether you need to take anything on the day of surgery.
  • Make arrangements to have a responsible adult drive you home following surgery, and, if possible, have someone stay with you for 24 hours.
  • Refrain from taking any alcoholic beverages or non-prescription medications for 24 hours prior to and after surgery.

The Day of Surgery

  • Report to the hospital/surgery center at the prearranged time.
  • Do not wear makeup or fingernail polish. Please leave all your valuables at home; including jewelry (your wedding band may be worn). The hospital cannot assume responsibility for lost valuables.
  • Wear casual, loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Remove contact lenses before surgery.
  • A friend or family member may stay with you in the surgical unit both before and after your operation. Please limit visitors to two per patient. However, visitors will not be allowed in the operating suite.
  • If your child is having surgery, you may bring along a favorite toy. Please remain in the hospital/surgery center during the procedure.

After Surgery

  • You will spend a little time in our post-anesthesia area.
  • You will be given specific postoperative instructions before you leave the hospital. You can also expect a phone call from your nurse 24 to 72 hours after surgery to see how you are recovering and to answer any questions you may have.
  • Do not plan to drive, operate any equipment, make important decisions, sign legal papers, or drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery. When you return home, it is not unusual to feel sleepy or slightly dizzy.
  • If you experience any difficulty at home, please do not hesitate to call your physician.