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Heading: Having Surgery
Having Surgery:
Common Surgeries
Procedures & Disease: Fact Sheets

Photo: Performing Surgery

You and the surgeon have determined the best course of treatment for your condition, and your surgery has been scheduled, or will be soon. This general information will be helpful in preparing for your surgery. While your experience will be dependent on the hospital and the procedure you are having, North Valley Surgical Associates would like to inform you of the following:

Preoperative Testing
North Valley surgical Associates will inform you if your surgeon has ordered pre-surgical testing. Testing may include chest x-rays and laboratory studies and generally takes place at the hospital where your surgery is scheduled. You will be informed if testing should be done the day of surgery or a day or more prior to your procedure. Please take your insurance card and driver's license with you. If you do not have insurance, you should be prepared to pay for tests by cash or credit card.

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The Night Before Surgery
Our office staff, or the hospital pre-surgical staff, will probably instruct you to not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your surgery. This includes vitamins, gum, juice, water, etc. If you are taking any prescription medication, please check with your physician; you may need to adjust your medication schedule. (Please note: heart and blood pressure medications may be taken with a small amount of water.) Patients having only local anesthesia may be permitted a light breakfast prior to their procedure. Your physician will inform you if your are permitted to eat. Get to bed early and get a good night's sleep.

The Morning of Surgery
If you are having general anesthesia, do not eat or drink anything! When you brush your teeth, be certain not to swallow. Your stomach must be completely empty prior to surgery, or your procedure may need to be rescheduled.

Adults should dress in casual, loose fitting street clothes. Your shoes should have low heels for safe walking. Babies and children may wear pajamas. Do not apply any make-up or hair spray. Please remove nail polish and mascara. Valuables should be left at home. Please do not wear any jewelry. A responsible adult must accompany you on discharge. In most cases, you may not drive yourself home! A parent or legal guardian must accompany children under 17 years of age.

If you develop a cold, persistent cough, fever or flu, please notify your surgeon immediately. Your procedure may need to be postponed.

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When you come to the hospital, be sure to bring:

1. Your insurance card(s), (Medicare card, if applicable) including any supplemental insurance information you may have.
2. Identification, such as driver's license or employee ID card.
3. If you don't have insurance, you can make a deposit by cash, check, MasterCard or Visa.


For your own safety, please be certain that a responsible adult drives you home after surgery. If you are unable to provide your own transportation, please contact our office for a list of transportation providers. Since it is not unusual to feel slightly sleepy or dizzy after receiving anesthesia or sedation, we recommend you do not drive, make important decisions or use power tools for 24 hours after discharge. Plenty of rest is helpful for a speedy recovery. If the patient is a child, please try to arrange to have two adults accompany the child home.

The hospital will provide you with a discharge instruction sheet that will tell you now to care for yourself at home.

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Home Care
If you do not receive discharge instructions from the hospital, call North Valley Surgical Associates.
You will be informed if you need to have someone at home with you during the first 24 hours after surgery.
No alcoholic beverages, tranquilizers or sedatives should be taken without your physician's order
Follow your physician's instructions about rest, medication and diet.
If you have an incision, be certain to care for the wound site according to the instructions given to you at the hospital.
Call North Valley Surgical Associates if any of the following occur: fever, swelling, increasing pain, redness around the incision or bleeding.
Call North Valley Surgical Associates to schedule a follow-up appointment, generally within seven to ten days.
If you have any problems, contact North Valley Surgical Associates. A physician is on call 24 hours a day.

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The material on this website is presented for information only. If you have concerns about your health, consult your personal physician.
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