The purpose of your first visit to your surgeon is to decide if surgery is the best treatment for you. Your surgeon is the best person to help you decide. During your initial visit several things will occur:
The scheduling of the surgery will be done by the scheduling staff in our office usually at the time of your visit. Your surgery date will be determined based on medical necessity and when possible your convenience. You will be given instructions regarding time and location of arrival and any special instructions regarding your diet or other preparation. You will be asked NOT to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. Most patients are asked to go Pre-Admission Testing (P. A. T.) for lab work and registration prior to the day of surgery in order to make the process easier and less time consuming the day of your surgery. At this point you will be asked to sign your operation permit. You will be given many opportunities to ask questions if something is unclear. Do not hesitate to ask if you are unsure of anything. Remember you must have someone with you to drive you home on the day of surgery if you are having same day surgery.
Once the day of surgery arrives you will be considered either an outpatient or an inpatient. You will arrive at the “Outpatient” or “Same Day Surgery Area”. Outpatient surgery means that the plan for you is to go home the same day your surgery is performed or the day after. Inpatient means you will stay in the hospital for 2 or more days depending on the type of surgery from which you are recovering. These plans of course can change depending on your progress.
Almost all patients begin in the “One Day Surgery” area even if they will be staying in the hospital after their surgery. This is where you will get your IV started, get your identification bracelet and your hospital gown. From here you will be taken to the surgery holding area on a stretcher. You will meet the operating room staff and the anesthesia staff. You will have a preoperative anesthesia examination and interview. Use this opportunity to ask any questions you may still have.
You will be taken to the operating room holding area and once again you will be asked what type of surgery you are having and given an opportunity to ask any additional questions.
Your family will be asked to wait in a certain area where they can be found during your operation so they can be easily contacted. You should designate a contact person if you have multiple people waiting for you. This person should be available and able to relay information to your family and friends. While you are in the operating room the circulating nurse will keep your family informed of your progress. Your surgeon will call your family to report on the outcome of the surgery once the procedure is over. Remember that your surgery, safety, and care are the Surgeon and OR Team’s primary concern. Relaying information to family members is secondary.
If you receive a general anesthetic for your surgery, you will remain in the Recovery Room for a period of time (usually about 1 hour) until you are awake enough to return to your room. Once you have returned to your room your recovery begins. Depending on the type of surgery you have had, you will be assisted to get out of bed and walk as soon as you are able. The nursing staff will be very interested in helping you become independent as soon as possible. This is for your benefit. There is medical evidence that shows that patients recover more quickly and more effectively the sooner they get moving after surgery.
If you are an outpatient, once you have reached the goals set for you such as being able to walk, urinate and tolerate liquids and if your pain is under reasonable control you will be allowed to leave, be assisted to your car and be discharged home.
If you are an inpatient you will be taken to your hospital room and your family will be informed of your location so they can see you there. If you are being admitted to the intensive care unit there may be special visiting regulations.
Once you have recovered from your surgery and are able to go home, you will be given a list of specific instructions relating to your type of surgery. On this list of instructions is the number to our office (870.935.1242) which is available to answer your call 24 hours a day. Someone from our office will call to check on you once you are at home and you will be given a follow up appointment to be seen in our office. However, you should call at anytime with questions or concerns. Our goal is to make your recovery as smooth as possible. Our nurses and surgeons are on call to help you with any problems you may have.
At discharge, you will be given a follow-up appointment. It is important for you to come to this appointment so your progress can be assessed. We have 6 surgeons and someone is on call 24/7. If you need help call immediately. It is also a good idea to call to verify your follow-up appointment during normal daytime hours.