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Your Surgical Experience

At Capital Heath, we do everything we can to ensure that you have a safe surgical experience. Our aim is to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the right choices about your procedure and how to properly care for yourself afterward. We need your help before, during and after your surgery. Here are some things that you can do.

Prepare for your surgery: 

  • Ask your doctor if there are any medications you should not take before surgery. 
  • Ask your surgeon when you should stop eating and drinking before your surgery. 
  • Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the hospital, as you will not be permitted to drive if you are given and type of sedation, anesthesia, or pain medication. Let them know that you may need for them to pick up your prescriptions (if you receive any). 
  • On the morning of surgery, shower and wash your hair. 
  • Avoid makeup, and leave your jewelry, money, and other valuables at home.

On the day of your surgery: 

  • Check your consent form. Read it thoroughly. Make sure all of the information on it is correct. Ask questions if there is anything that you do not understand. 
  • In addition to the consent form, hospital staff will ask you at different times to tell them who you are, what surgery you are having, and what part of your body will be operated on. This is all part of our safety checks. 
  • Your surgeon will mark to spot on your body where the surgery will occur. Make sure that the mark is in the correct location. 
  • In the operating room, your surgeon will call for a “time-out”. This is when we check one last time to make sure that we are doing the correct surgery on the correct body part, and on the correct person. You may or may not be awake to hear this.

After the surgery: 

  • Talk to us about your pain. We will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10 so that we know the best way to help relieve it. 
  • Ask questions about your procedure. What was done? What do you need to know about the procedure? 
  • Ask questions about the medications you receive. If they are medications you have not taken before, are there side effects you should watch for? 
  • What will you need to do to take care of yourself at home? Are there any new medications? If you have a surgical wound, how can you tell if you are developing an infection? 
  • Find out when you will need to see the doctor for follow-up. 
  • Ask about when you can resume your normal activities such as bathing, driving, returning to work, or exercising.

For more information about having a safe surgical experience, visit our page devoted to The Joint Commission's SPEAK UPTM for Safety Program and "How to Avoid Mistakes in Your Surgery."