FAQ

Do I need to visit the hospital before my surgery date?
All patients will need an up-to-date medical history and physical form. Some may need blood tests, EKG, or x-rays. These services will be available pre-operatively at the hospital. Your surgeon will advise where you will have this done.

Some families may elect to bring their children for a pre-operative tour of Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital.

Some patients may choose to come to the Hospital before their surgery date to complete paperwork or make payments. We strongly recommend that you complete all pre-operative documentation before the day of surgery.

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May I pre-register for my surgery?
Yes. We strongly encourage you to have completed all the registration forms before your surgery date. We prefer that you simply walk in on the day of your surgery and be taken to the pre-op area, rather than fill out pages of paperwork. For your convenience, we have provided an online registration feature.

What if I cannot make my appointment?
Please notify the surgeon and the Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital at 512-346-1994 as early as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Early notification can help us better accommodate you and other patients.

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What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable clothing. Button-down shirts or blouses are best. Wear comfortable shoes. Leave all jewelry at home. If you wear contact lenses, you will probably have to remove them for the surgery, so consider bringing your glasses. If you have to wear your contacts, please bring contact solution and a contact case. Please do not wear any make-up, as this can hide certain clinical signs. Please remove all body piercings.

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Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?
This has nothing to do with nausea and vomiting after your surgery as some think. You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. This complication is very serious, and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations.

We have very clear policies as to specific times before surgery when you must refrain from eating and/or drinking. These are all based on safety standards. Please note that the standards have been revised recently. We believe that the fasting time should be as short as possible before your surgery. You will not improve your safety by not eating or drinking longer than necessary; in fact, at times you may complicate things a bit.

Children have different fasting schedules than adults, so please check in the “Children and Special Needs Adults” section.

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Should I take my usual daily medication?
We generally request that you take your medication before leaving home. Diabetic medications will be individualized. We will usually hold diabetic medicines and manage your sugar at the hospital. You should be contacted before your surgery, leaving no doubts as to which medications you should take. Please bring all your medications with you.

People using inhalers must bring them to the Hospital on the day of surgery.

Some medications will be stopped for the surgery, particularly diabetes medication and blood thinners. You should bring these medications with you the day of surgery. Please call us with any questions you may have.

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May I continue my herbal medications?
Herbal medications may cause harmful effects on the surgery. Many of these remedies may effect your clotting mechanism and interfere with the anesthetic agents. (The list of drugs and their side effects are too great for this site.) We generally request that you stop these medications two weeks before surgery. Please remember to mention these remedies when being asked about medication.

Who may accompany me?
You are welcome to bring one person with you to the hospital. That person will be asked to wait in the registration area while you are in pre-op and during your procedure.  Your companion will be called to the recovery area when your condition allows.  If you are staying overnight, your companion will be allowed to be in your room with you if you so choose.

When a patient is a child, often two parents and/or guardians will accompany him or her to the hospital. We will do our best to accommodate everyone; however, one parent and/or guardian will be permitted into the pre-op and recovery room at a time.

Please refrain from bringing young children to the hospital as guests.

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Will I receive sedation before going into the operating room?
We personalize each patient’s care. You will receive the sedation appropriate to your procedure.  Sedation may be administered in either the pre-op area or in the operating room as ordered by your physician.

 

Will I be contacted before my surgery?
Yes. We call each patient before the surgery to gather information and to answer any of your questions. Pre-operative instructions will be given by the nurse who calls you. You can also call the hospital directly with any questions at 512-346-1994.

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Should I bathe and wash my hair before leaving home?
Yes. You can comfortably take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. Please do not use make up, hair spray, nail polish, or toiletries. These may interfere with the anesthesia monitoring and possibly hide clinical signs from the anesthesiologist.

What should I do if I am not feeling well?
If you are not feeling well, please contact your surgeon immediately. You can also call the hospital for advice. There are some surgeries which are safer if delayed when you are sick. We need to know specific details to make the decision. Please do not delay in contacting your surgeon or the hospital.

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What should I do if I started my menstrual cycle?
This will not affect most surgical procedures. Call us if you have any questions at 512-346-1994.

What should I do if I believe that I am pregnant?
It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. Only essential surgery is done on pregnant patients. If there is any question, please contact us immediately.

May I drive home?
Any patient receiving anesthesia should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home. The few patients who have procedures performed under local anesthesia alone could possibly drive home.

We would strongly recommend that all patients have a ride home and will be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk, or take public transportation after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.

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May I speak to my anesthesiologist before the surgery?
All patients will be seen by the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery prior to entering the operating room. Sufficient time should be spent to answer any questions you may have. If you need to speak to the anesthesiologist before the day of surgery, you are welcome to call the hospital, and we will arrange for you speak with an anesthesiologist. We can also arrange a pre-operative interview if you desire. You could also email us your questions.

What if I have special needs?
We will make every effort to accommodate any special need you may have. We strongly encourage you to call the hospital in advance so that we can properly prepare to make you comfortable. Do not hesitate to suggest anything that may make your day easier.

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Should I bring my special needs equipment?
You may bring walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, etc.

What must I bring with me on the day of surgery?

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How will my pain be managed?
The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our post-operative call at home. We need to inform and prepare you for each step of the process. This education will begin with our first contact. You will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain from a numerical scale called the Verbal Assessment Pain Scale, or FLACC for children. Using the results of our communication, we will alter the therapy as needed to ensure your comfort.

The management of your pain will be taken very seriously. We will often use a combination of different methods to help make you comfortable, choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc. Prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please feel free to bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and a smoother, more comfortable recovery.

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