Preparation for Surgery
Welcome and thank you for choosing Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center for your surgery. Our physicians and nurses are dedicated to providing highly skilled and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that you may be apprehensive about surgery. We hope the following information will be helpful to you as you prepare for your surgery, the day of your surgery and during your recovery.
The Ambulatory Surgery Unit is on the 6th floor of Memorial’s Clinical Pavilion. Take the glass elevator in the Atrium to the 6th floor.
Click here to view a list of all Ambulatory / Same Day Surgery locations within the Conemaugh Health System
We want to make your surgery experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to call your physician or the Ambulatory Surgery Unit at (814) 534-3404 or toll free 866-669-5949 between 1 and 4 PM.
A Week Before Your Surgery
If you are not already scheduled by your surgeon’s office, hospital personnel will contact you to schedule a pre-testing appointment.
Your physician may order tests, which may include x-rays, laboratory tests or an EKG.
You can have those tests completed on the day of your pretest appointment. These tests should be done 3 to 7 days prior to your surgery.
At your pre-testing appointment, you will be interviewed buy a registered nurse who will do a nursing assessment, document your historical information and verify all medications (both prescribed by a physician and over the counter) that you are taking. Please have a list of your current medications, the dose that you take and the frequency that you take the medication. The medication that you take may necessitate additional tests or your physician may discontinue the medication prior to surgery.
Do not take any medication on the morning of surgery unless instructed to take it by the nurse.
You will also meet someone from the anesthesia department who will also do an assessment and discuss anesthesia options with you. Please let them know if you have ever had anesthesia before and any problems you may have encountered or any problems that a family member has encountered. Have a list of your allergies with you.
Please bring all insurance forms / cards with you. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or pre-certification, call your insurance company. If you are not covered by insurance, please make arrangements for payment by calling 814-534-9000 and ask for the Business Office. No financial arrangements are made on the day of surgery.
Your surgeon, PCP or other designated physician will do a history and physical examination prior to your procedure.
Your surgeon will ask you to sign a consent form, which legally permits your surgeon to perform your surgery.
At the time of pre-surgical registration or pre-surgical testing, staff members will answer questions you may have. They will offer suggestions that help increase your comfort during and after your surgery.
Pre-surgical Testing is located on the first floor of Conemaugh Memorial. As you arrive through the main entrance on Franklin Street, Pre-Testing is on the right just before you enter the Atrium.
If you develop a cough, cold, abnormal temperature, sore throat or flu-like symptoms, or if you come in contact with anyone suffering from measles, chickenpox or any other communicable disease within 2 weeks prior to surgery, please call your surgeon. It may be necessary to reschedule your surgery for a time when you are feeling better.
The Day Before Surgery
The day prior to your surgery, we will call you or you can call us at 534-3403 or toll free at 866-669-5949 between 1 and 4 PM and we will let you now what time to arrive at the hospital to prepare for your surgery.
Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The evening before your surgery you should eat a light dinner consisting of foods that are easily digested. Avoid fried foods, bread, rolls with nuts or seeds, highly seasoned foods, raw fruits or vegetables. You may eat and drink until midnight on the day before your surgery.
You may be instructed to take certain medications the morning of surgery; you may take them with a sip of water.
After midnight no solid food, gum, tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lozenges.
Do not smoke for 12 hours prior to your surgery.
Eating, drinking or smoking prior to surgery can cause a delay or cancellation of your surgery.
Specifications for Newborns to 36 months old:
- Clear liquids (water, tea, Jell-O-water, 7-up) should be stopped 3 hours prior to coming to the hospital
- Breast milk should be stopped 4 hours prior to coming to the hospital
- Solid food and milk other than breast milk (includes formula) should be stopped 6 hours prior to coming to the hospital.
On the Morning of Surgery
Wear loose fitting, clean, comfortable clothing and flat shoes.
- Remove nail polish
- Wear your glasses instead of contact lenses
- Do not wear make up, nail polish or jewelry
- Do not bring money, jewelry or valuables with you
Shower or bathe the morning of surgery using the DYNA-HEX4 or TAECHNI-CARE (special soap) given to you at Pre-surgical testing. If you were not given a special soap to use, shower or bathe using a deodorant soap. Do not use any lotion, cream, powder or deodorant on your body.
Sometimes it is necessary to remove body hair in the area involved in your surgery. If hair removal is necessary, staff at the hospital will do this prior to your surgery. Do not shave the area. Shaving can cause skin irritation and nicks, which can causes problems for skin healing postoperatively. Surgery may be cancelled.
You may be accompanied by one adult family member or friend. Children should not accompany adults having surgery. Because you are not permitted to drive after surgery, an adult must accompany you to take you home. A responsible adult should stay with you the night following surgery. Children scheduled for surgery should be accompanied by two adults, one to assist the child and one to drive home.
When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your procedure, check in at the Ambulatory Surgery desk in Memorial’s main lobby on the first floor.
When you arrive at the hospital, you will be given a hospital gown to wear. You will be asked to remove dentures, hairpieces or hair pins, artificial limbs and contact lenses. You will be asked to remove nail polish and makeup if you didn’t already do it at home. Any jewelry that you wear to the hospital such as a wedding band must be given to your family member or friend. Please remember to remove all body piercings even if they are not near the surgical site.
When you arrive at the hospital, please be prepared to tell your nurse when you last took each of your medications.
You will have an IV started.
You will be taken to the Preoperative Holding Area for final preparation prior to your surgery.
Healthcare professionals will be available in this area to make you comfortable and to answer your questions. Your safety is our number one priority.
The staff may ask you the same questions several times; they will ask your name, what surgery or procedure you are having done, what part of the body is to be operated on, your medications and your allergies. By repeating our questions, we are verifying and re-verifying very important information to ensure that your time with us is as safe as possible.
In the Preoperative Holding Area you will meet the nurse, the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and the Anesthesiologist who will be with you during your surgery.
When you are wheeled into the operating room, you will be helped onto the operating room table. You will be placed on a cardiac monitor and your blood pressure will be taken. You may have an oxygen mask or oxygen prongs in your nose. The people around you in the room will be preparing for your surgery. The nurse anesthetist will stay by your side and will explain everything that is happening.
After Your Surgery
After your surgery you will be taken to the Recovery Room. During this time you will awaken from anesthesia. The nurse will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, your breathing and the surgical site until you are recovered from anesthesia. If you have received a local anesthesia only, you may return directly to your room.
After you are recovered from anesthesia, your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature) are stable and you are comfortable, you will be transported to your room: back to Ambulatory Surgery if you are going home or to an inpatient unit.
Your time in the Recovery Room will vary depending on the procedure you had done, how well you are doing, how comfortable you are and bed availability.
If you are going home after your surgery, you will be discharged when your doctor determines that you are ready to leave. You will be discharged to the care of a friend or family member – you will need an adult available to take you home. You will be given written instructions regarding your postoperative care including a list of symptoms that would require you to notify your surgeon.
Rest for the remainder of the day after surgery. Drink liquids as tolerated and eat a light meal. Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours following surgery.