Before You Arrive
Preparing For Your Procedure
Pre-Admission Phone Call and Nurse Assessment
You will receive a phone call from a registered nurse approximately five to seven days before your scheduled procedure. The nurse will review your past medical and surgical history, medication, and allergies. The nurse will also instruct you regarding the time you should plan to arrive, the approximate time of your procedure, and what medications should be taken the day of surgery prior to your arrival. We gather as much information in advance to make the day of your procedure less stressful. The call also aids our employees in being fully prepared to care for you. If you would prefer to contact the nurse directly, please call 616-685-3983, Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 4 pm.
Your surgeon or anesthesiologist may want you to have lab work or tests performed before the day of surgery. Your surgeon may also request that you see your primary care physician or cardiologist for a surgical clearance appointment. Please complete all tests or appointments at least one week before your scheduled procedure. That way, we’ll have all the information we need before you arrive.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of your scheduled procedure, unless given direction by your physician or our phone nurse. This includes no water, food, gum, candy, lozenges or chewing tobacco. Failure to follow these instructions may result in temporary cancellation of the surgery. We encourage you to avoid smoking preoperatively to decrease risk of postoperative complications. If you are told that you may have clear liquids at any point in the surgical preparation, these include:
- Apple, cranberry, and grape juice
- Coffee or tea WITHOUT cream / milk
- Jell-O without toppings or added fruit
- Clear pop / soda (Sprite, 7-Up, Ginger Ale)
- Sports Drinks or Gatorade
Please consult your surgeon or the pre-op phone nurse concerning your instructions on the use of any prescription or over-the-counter medications and vitamins or supplements prior to your surgery as some of these may be required to be held prior to surgery or on the day of surgery. It is essential that we are aware of all your medications or supplements including those taken on an as needed basis. Having a full medication list available when you speak with the phone nurse is helpful. If you have an inhaler, please bring it with you on the day of surgery. Otherwise, do not bring your actual medications with you unless you are instructed to do so.
You may shower or bathe the evening before or the morning of your surgical procedure. Avoid wearing cosmetics – especially eye make-up. Hair clips and barrettes with metal should not be worn. Plastic hair clips and rubber bands for longer hair are fine. We ask that your nails be in their natural state – please do not wear nail polish, Shellac polish, or artificial nails. Please do not shave your surgical site prior to your arrival. If you are having surgery on a hand, wrist, arm or shoulder, you must remove all rings due to potential swelling.
Bring insurance cards, driver’s license or photo ID, anticipated patient balance on account (deductible, copayment, coinsurance) and completed billing forms if applicable.
A parent / legal guardian will need to accompany patients under 18 years of age. All patients must be accompanied by a responsible adult for transportation. You are limited to two (2) visitors in the patient care areas.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
Leave all jewelry (including body piercings), excess cash, electronics, or other items of value at home. Upon arrival to Southwest Surgical Center, your personal belongings may be put in a locker or held by your family during your stay. Southwest Surgical Center is not responsible for lost items.
Bring inhalers, case for eyeglasses or contacts, dentures, and CPAP machine if applicable.
Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home for the next 24 hours.
While You're Here
Your Procedure Day
- When you arrive, check – in at the reception desk.
When the nurse calls you back, they will ask you questions and answer your questions as they prepare you for surgery. You will be asked to put on a special gown, cap, and slippers. You will be asked to sign the consent forms for your surgery. You will meet with the anesthesia provider who will ask questions about your medical history and current health. You will meet with the surgeon who will check to see if you have any last minute questions.
- You will be given one of the following forms of anesthesia for surgery: Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)-IV medications causing drowsiness in addition to numbing injections or General where you will be completely asleep.
- If you are given medication to help you relax before surgery, have your family member(s) remain watchful to prevent any injuries caused by temporarily impaired balance or judgement. Please ask the nurse for assistance if you need to get up after the medication has been given.
- The use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (located in each room) is encouraged whenever entering and exiting your room.
- During your procedure, we will do our best to keep family and friends who accompanied you informed and comfortable. We have a relaxing lobby area where we offer coffee / tea/ and light snacks. Additionally, we encourage our guests to take a tour of our beautiful building and stop by the cafe’, located on the first floor. The cafe’ carries a variety of beverages, soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
- While we do not have televisions, in order to provide a quiet relaxed environment, we do provide wireless Internet service. We encourage your driver / family / friends to bring books, games, laptops, or other activities to pass the time.
- For your safety, we ask that a responsible adult remain present in the building for the duration of your stay.
- Due to HIPAA privacy rules and out of respect for our patients and colleagues, we ask that you refrain from using cameras, cell phone cameras, and videotaping devices in any area of our center during your visit.
- In order to ensure the privacy of our patients, we limit each patient to two (2) visitors.
Helping You Recover
You will receive a folder containing your written discharge instructions for your post-operative care. The nurse will review the instructions with you and often a family member and answer any questions you might have. The driver taking you home needs to be age 18 or older. In addition, you will need an adult to stay with you for the next 24 hours following surgery. After receiving anesthesia, you may not be discharged home alone by taking public transportation including a taxi or ride service. If you desire, your prescription(s) may be filled prior to discharge using the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Southwest Family Pharmacy.
Surgery patients often have mild anesthesia side effects, such as sore throat, sleepiness, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or occasional vomiting. These side effects should diminish quickly following surgery, but may take several days to completely disappear.
If you have questions after you are discharged, please contact your surgeon’s office or go to an urgent care center or an emergency room for urgent concerns. You will be contacted the next business day to see how you are doing and answer any remaining questions you may have. Please contact your surgeon’s office for a follow-up appointment if one is not already scheduled.
For your safety after receiving anesthesia, the following activities should be avoided for 24 hours (or longer if instructed by your surgeon):
- Strenuous play or activities
- Operating machinery
- Signing legal documents
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
Notify Southwest Surgical Center if you have any allergies to latex and / or rubber