Your Surgical Experience

From Care Plan through post-surgery follow-up, we're here for you.

Individualized care for each surgical patient is provided by an INTEGRIS Health team of experienced professionals, which includes the surgeon, anesthesiologist, registered nurse, and surgical technologist. 

Prior to your scheduled procedure, you may require lab work, EKG (a picture of your heart) or a chest X-ray. You will receive:

  • Instructions regarding your procedure.

  • An opportunity to ask questions about your procedure.

  • A questionnaire from the anesthesia department regarding your medical history and previous experiences with anesthesia.

Please bring:

  • A list of current medications you are taking.

  • A list of past surgical procedures you’ve had.

You will receive a courtesy call from our facility the day before your procedure. We will remind you of your scheduled arrival time and your procedure time, and provide you further instructions. You may also receive a call from our registration department to confirm your insurance and contact information.

On the day of your procedure, you will first check in with the registration department; they will notify the outpatient surgery department of your arrival and will direct you to the waiting area. You will be called from the waiting area by a member of the outpatient surgery team. If you find you’ve waited more than 20 minutes past your scheduled appointment time, please notify the registration department.

Once you are taken to an outpatient room, you will be provided privacy to change into a patient gown. You will then meet privately with both a nurse and a member of the anesthesia team. During this time, you will be prepared promptly for your procedure. This preparation will include confirmation of your medical history and your planned procedure, a physical assessment and initiation of an IV if indicated.

After you are taken to the procedure area, your family will return to the waiting area. Following the completion of your procedure, you will go directly to a recovery area. At this time, your physician may provide your family an update on your status. When your condition permits, you will return to an outpatient room to complete the recovery process. A nurse will provide you and your family members with detailed discharge instructions as well as any prescriptions your physician has written. We will answer questions you or your family may have regarding your recovery.

You will be admitted to the Surgical Admission Unit (SAU) and asked to change into a gown, removing all clothing including underwear. A nurse will ask questions and listen to your heart and lungs. He or she will also start and IV. The purpose of the IV is to give medications and fluid. The nurse will answer any questions and give any instructions you need. You may be asked to empty your bladder before your surgery. The anesthesiologist and a surgery nurse will visit with you before surgery. You may be asked the same questions by a number of people because your safety is very important to us. You may or may not see your surgeon before your surgery but he or she will visit with your family after the surgery. Sometimes an unavoidable delay occurs due to an emergency or a previous surgery taking longer than expected. The same careful attention will be paid to you during your surgery. Your understanding is appreciated.
When it is time for your surgery, you will be transported on a carrier to the OR. You will see several members of the operating team and a lot of equipment and bright lights. Once moved to the operating table, you will be provided with warm blankets. The anesthesiologist may give you medication through your IV line to relax you and make you sleepy. He or she will remain at the head of the table, stay with you the entire time in the operating room and transport you to the post anesthesia care unit (recovery room). Once the surgery is completed, the surgeon will talk with your family. The time you are in the operating room will vary from person to person; one family member should remain in the surgery waiting room at all times. Remember, any time frame you are given for any portion of your time with us is an approximate time.
You will wake up in the recovery room, also called the post anesthesia care unit (PACU). Your memory of the time there will probably be fuzzy. As you wake up, the nurse will ask you to take deep breaths and will ask if you are hurting. The amount of time you spend in this area will be determined by many factors. A nurse will monitor you constantly and will provide pain control. Once you meet certain standards, you will be taken to your hospital room or to the post recovery area.
Once in this area, your vital signs will be taken and you will be given something to drink and some crackers. Your family will be called back to be with you. Most patients go home approximately one to two hours after they reach this area. Criteria must be met according to your physician’s orders. You may be asked to empty your bladder before discharge. Your nurse will assist with managing your discomfort. Your home care instructions along with any prescriptions will also be given at this point. Your caregiver will be asked to sign the instructions acknowledging that they were given. While in this area, we expect you to relax with your family and take your time recovering. Once you feel prepared and discharge criteria have been met, you will be discharged to go home.
Before your discharge, you will be given verbal and written instructions for your care at home. You will be instructed on activity, diet and wound care. The discharge goal is to send you home within a reasonable time when you are fairly comfortable. You may experience more discomfort when moving around and possibly some nausea after the drive home. This is to be expected. You will go home to continue your recuperation and follow your doctor's orders.
While you are recovering from your surgery, you may experience pain. Your health care team will ask you about your pain throughout your stay. Helping keep your pain under control is an important key to a fast recovery. Everyone has a different perception of pain and many things can affect it and your reaction to it. To help you, the staff will ask you to rate your pain. The scale we use is a scale that rates pain from zero to 10. Zero means you are currently experiencing no pain, 1-3 is mild pain, 4-6 is moderate pain, and 7-10 is severe pain. Sometimes getting your pain level to zero can be difficult but with medications, we can hopefully make your pain level tolerable. As your body begins to heal, your pain level will decrease and your need for pain medication will also decrease.

Within two days after your procedure, you will receive a phone call from our staff to check your recovery. At this time, we will be happy to answer questions you may have regarding your recent procedure.