What is Pre-op Testing? Do I need to have anything done before my elective surgery at SurgCenter Greater Phoenix?

Generally speaking, your surgeon and/or internist will decide what labs and testing you will need prior to surgery. This will be based on the type of procedure you are having, your medical conditions, and the recommendations of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology. If there are any questions or concerns, an anesthesiologist at the center will review your history prior to the day of surgery.

What is NPO and why does everyone keep telling me I can’t eat or drink anything before my surgery?

NPO means nothing by mouth. Patients are instructed to not eat or drink anything before surgery because having food or liquids in your stomach increases the chances of vomiting during or after surgery. If this vomit is inhaled into the lungs, it can cause an aspiration pneumonia, prolonged breathing difficulties, and even death. NPO includes any food, gum, candy, mints, juices, water, coffee, formula, and even breast milk for infants. You will receive more specific instructions, based on the American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines, regarding what and when you can eat or drink prior to your procedure at Surgcenter Greater Phoenix. If you forget and eat or drink anything, please make sure to inform the staff because your case may need to be rescheduled.

What should I wear the morning of surgery?

We suggest that you wear light, loose-fitting, and comfortable clothing. In most cases, patients find it easier to have a  top that does not need to be pulled over their head. Please refrain from wearing makeup the day of surgery and remove all jewelry and body piercings as these may interfere with the surgery and/or the anesthetic. Your surgeon may have given you a brace, crutches, or other devices for your surgery. Please remember to bring these with you. Also remember to follow your surgeon’s preoperative instructions regarding such things as shaving and showering.

What type of anesthetic will I be receiving?

After being admitted to the center, you will meet with your anesthesiologist who will discuss the specifics of your care and the anesthetic plan. Types of anesthesia include: general, spinal, sedation, regional, and local. In some cases, more than one type of anesthetic will be utilized to give you the optimal result. You will be able to discuss all of these with your anesthesiologist prior to your surgery and be comfortable that you have made an informed consent regarding your anesthetic plan with all your questions answered and concerns addressed.

Can I take my medications the morning of surgery?

Generally speaking, patients should take any cardiac and pain medications the morning of surgery with a sip of water. Special care should be taken with blood thinners, autoimmune medications, diabetic medications, diet pills, herbal supplements, and NSAIDS. Please make sure you have discussed with your surgeon or primary care doctor: what to take, what not take, when to stop taking your medications, and when to start your medications again after surgery.

What should I bring to SurgCenter Greater Phoenix the morning of surgery?

In addition to what your surgeon may have given you, please bring your ID, insurance information, health information forms, and legal guardian-ship papers if appropriate. Please leave all unnecessary valuables at home. If your child is having surgery, feel free to bring their favorite blankets, small toys, or pacifiers. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring a case for these as they will need to be removed. If you use CPAP for sleep apnea bring your machine and equipment.

When should I stop smoking?

Smoking has been proven to be associated with higher risks of strokes, heart attacks, infections, poor wound healing, and other complications. Ideally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends stopping a full 30 days before your surgery, but even stopping 24 hours before surgery has benefits. If you smoke, consider using your surgery as a reason to stop for a lifetime.

Why do I need a family member or friend to take me home after my surgery?

Patients need a responsible adult with them after surgery because of the normal sedation that can accompany the initial 24 hour period after receiving anesthesia. All patients are absolutely prohibited from driving themselves home after surgery. Also, depending on the specific procedure, there will be post operative instructions and care that will often require the assistance of a care provider.

What if I need to spend the night at SurgCenter?

With the exquisitely coordinated care of SurgCenter Greater Phoenix, the surgical team, and the anesthesiologist, the vast majority of patients are able to be discharged to the comfort of their own home the day of surgery. That being said, the center is appropriately staffed and equipped should a situation arise requiring a patient to spend the night. Any patient spending the night is encouraged to bring their own toiletries, robes, slippers, and medications to make their stay as comfortable as possible.