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Your Surgical Experience

Preparing for Surgery

Your doctor will discuss your operation with you. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you may be taking and ask whether or not you should take them on the day of surgery. The doctor's office will give you a health survey to complete before you leave the office. The health survey will be sent to the Surgical Center for review prior to your surgery.

You will receive a phone call from a member of the nursing staff at the Center one to two days before your surgery. If your surgery is scheduled for Monday, you will receive a call on Thursday or Friday. If you are not going to be home, you may contact the Center at (717) 338-4500 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for your instructions.

It is important for you to receive your preoperative instructions. Your surgery could be cancelled if we are unable to reach you for your instructions.

Should you be unavailable for your instructions, we will attempt to reach you in the evening.

If a change occurs in your physical condition prior to surgery, such as a cold, rash, sore throat, cough, fever, or upset stomach, notify your physician. The doctor may wish to reschedule your surgery.

If you are having anesthesia that requires sedation, you MUST make arrangements for someone to drive you home following your surgery. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND someone stay with you for the first 24 hours following your surgery. Patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A waiting room is available for the comfort of your escort, and there is a small snack shop in the lower level serving breakfast and lunch.

If you are unable to arrange for an escort, please inform us as soon as possible, as it may be necessary to reschedule your surgery. If your escort needs to leave the Center and will not be available at a telephone, the Surgery Center can provide your escort with a pocket pager.

Day of Surgery

You should bring the following with you:

  • Photo ID
  • Insurance cards or forms
  • Eye glass case (if you wear glasses)
  • Contact lens container (if you wear contact lenses)
  • A list of all medications you currently are taking.

You should wear loose, comfortable clothing and low-heeled shoes so it is easier to dress following your surgery.

Once you have registered, a nurse will escort you into the preoperative area, where your pulse, temperature, respiration, and blood pressure will be taken. You will be asked to change into a gown provided by the Center. Your clothes will be placed in a secured locker until you are ready to be discharged. For those patients receiving sedation, an I.V. will be started.

The anesthesiologist and your surgeon will see you prior to your surgery. Just before going into the operating room, you may be asked to remove your contact lenses and any other prosthesis. Dentures and partial plates MUST be removed prior to surgery should you be receiving a general anesthetic. These will be labeled, placed in your locker, and returned to you upon your discharge. You will be in the preoperative area for about one hour prior to surgery.

After your operation, you will be taken into the recovery area and/or the patient lounge, where your escort will be allowed to stay with you. Because space is limited, and for other patients' privacy, we allow only one escort at a time in the patient lounge.

Coffee, juice, soda, and crackers are provided for patients in the patient lounge. We ask that you please do not bring food from home.

You may need to be admitted to the hospital if:

  • More extensive surgery was/is necessary
  • Complications arose due to the anesthesia
  • You experience more pain than expected

Discharge Information

You will be given specific written instructions regarding your care upon discharge from the Center. It is important to have your caregiver available during the post-operative discharge instructions, as you may experience difficulty remembering those instructions due to the type of anesthesia you may receive.

For your comfort and safety, we recommend you following guidelines:

  • You have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.
  • Take it easy until your physician says you can return to your normal routine.
  • Do not drive, operate machinery or power tools, drink alcoholic beverages, or take any medications not prescribed by your physician for at least 24 hours following surgery.
  • It is natural to experience some discomfort in the area of the operation. You may also experience some drowsiness or dizziness for the first 24 hours depending on the type of anesthesia you receive.
  • Follow your physician's instructions regarding diet, rest, and medication.
  • If you feel you are having problems after discharge, contact your physician. If your doctor is not available, call the WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital Emergency Department at (717) 337-4357.
  • It is very important to remember you must have a responsible person to drive you home.
  • Taxi transportation is allowed only for patients having local anesthesia or if the patient is accompanied by an escort.
  • If you have any questions, you may contact the Center at (717) 338-4500 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire on the care you received during your stay. Your comments are very important to us and will help us improve our services and provide the finest care in outpatient surgery in Adams County.

A member of the Surgical Center staff will call you the day after your surgery to check on how you are doing. If your surgery is on Friday, you will be called on Monday. If you prefer not to be contacted, please let us know before you are discharged. If we are unable to contact you by telephone, we will send you a survey with questions about your postoperative experience. Please make sure you return this survey if you receive it since it is very important that we complete your medical records.