Baptist Health La Grange provides general instructions for all outpatient surgery patients. These instructions cover financial arrangements, what to do on the night before and the day of your surgery, arriving at the hospital, and going home.
About your surgery
Today, more than half of all operations in the United States are outpatient -- where patients arrive at the hospital the morning of surgery and leave the same day. Outpatient surgery offers many advantages over inpatient surgery, including:
- Reduced costs;
- Shorter time away from family and friends; and
- Recuperating in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Before you have surgery, you should contact your insurance company to determine coverage and to satisfy any eligibility requirements. If you do not have insurance, please contact Patient Accounts at (502) 222-5388 or (502) 222-3338 before surgery. A Patient Accounts representative will explain the hospital's deposit requirement for uninsured patients. Physicians practicing at the hospital, including your surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical assistant, radiologist and pathologist, are independent contractors, and not employees of the hospital. They will bill you separately for their services.
Preparing for your surgery
For your comfort and safety, please follow these instructions carefully.
On the night before your surgery:
- Take a complete bath or shower.
- Do not take any medications after midnight, unless specifically ordered by your doctor.
- Do not eat or drink ANYTHING (including water, chewing gum or mints) after midnight.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages 24 hours BEFORE surgery and avoid heavy foods.
On the day of your surgery:
- Make sure you bring the following items with you to the hospital:
- Any written orders your physician has given you
- Your glasses, including the case
- A pair of clean, warm socks to wear during surgery
- All medications you are currently taking
- The names and telephone numbers of two people to contact in case of an emergency (Contacts can include family members, friends or neighbors)
- Any insurance cards or forms
- If you are undergoing a sterilization procedure, speak with your physician about permits you may need to bring with you
- Children may want to bring a book, favorite toy or blanket
- Do not eat or drink ANYTHING (including water, chewing gum or mints) before surgery unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Eating and drinking can increase the possibility of problems and may cause your surgery to be delayed or canceled.
- If you are a diabetic, check with your physician about the use of insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.
- Do not smoke the morning of surgery.
- Do not wear makeup, jewelry or contact lenses.
- Leave all valuables at home.
- Notify your physician if there is any change in your physical condition, such as a cold, fever or infection, that may cause your surgery to be delayed.
- A responsible adult must be available to receive instructions about your care and to drive you home from the hospital after your surgery. If a responsible adult is not available, your surgery will be canceled. If your surgery is performed under a local anesthetic, a responsible adult is not required; however, we do suggest that you have someone available in case of emergency.
Arriving at the hospital
Plan to arrive at the hospital one and a half to two hours before your surgery is scheduled or as otherwise indicated. This is necessary to allow enough time for a thorough pre-surgery evaluation.
When you arrive at the hospital, park in the outpatient parking area located beside the hospital. Enter through the Outpatient Registration entrance at the rear of the hospital and go directly to the Registration area. After you are registered, you will be taken to a pre-operative holding room where you will change into a hospital gown. A nurse will take a brief medical history, perform any needed lab work (that has not already been completed) and ask you to sign a consent form for surgery. You will also meet with an anesthesiologist. Parents may remain with children during this time.
When the nurse is taking your history, please remember to mention:
- If you wear dentures, including permanent dentures such as bridgework, caps or crowns
- Medication you have taken or brought from home
- Any allergies
- Special orders from your physician
- Colds, fever or infection
- In the case of a child, any serious or chronic illness the child has had
- Any problems you have had with previous surgery or anesthesia
- Any family members who have had trouble with anesthesia
Once it is determined that you are in a safe condition to have surgery, your family or friend may wait with you in the pre-operative holding room until you are taken to surgery.
While you are undergoing surgery, your family or friend may remain in the waiting room so they will be able to meet with your physician after your surgery is over.
After your surgery
After your surgery, you will remain at the hospital until your physician and nurse have determined it is safe for you to go home. Depending on the type of anesthetic you received, you may be taken to Stage I Recovery where you will remain until you awaken, or you may go directly to Stage II Recovery where family and friends can rejoin you. The average time spent in Recovery is one to one and a half hours.
While you are recovering, you will be checked often by your nurse. You may feel dizzy, tired or nauseous. Before you can leave the hospital, your nurse will make sure that you are able to walk, urinate and take liquids.
When you return home, please:
- Do not attempt to drive or operate any hazardous machinery for 24 hours or per your doctor's instructions.
- Resume your food intake slowly, starting with chipped ice and sips of cola, ginger ale or lemon/lime drink.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after medication or anesthesia.
- Do not take any medications unless specifically prescribed or discussed with your physician.
- If severe dizziness or other alarming symptoms should occur, call your physician immediately.
If you need to be admitted
If you will be admitted to the hospital after your surgery, a room assignment will be made accordingly. A private room cannot be guaranteed due to availability; however, every effort will be made to accommodate your needs.