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Day of Surgery

The Admitting Process: Arrival Time and Place

Plan on arriving at the admitting department to register one to two hours prior to the time of your operation, unless we have specifically directed you otherwise. You will enter the main entrance of the hospital and go to the admitting department, which is located on the first floor of the hospital Map. You can take a virtual tour of where you will need to go before your surgery.

You must bring your Kaiser Permanente Health Plan card, photo ID and your copay. If you have insurance other than Kaiser Permanente, you will need to bring your insurance card so we can make a copy of it. Also, if you have an Advance Directive that you have never turned in to Kaiser Permanente, we request that you bring a copy for your medical record.

We will check you in and verify any information that is needed and have you sign a Consent for Treatment form. After completing the admitting process we will give you the necessary documentation and show you where you need to go.

Please note that your operation may be canceled if you do not have someone to drive you home. Planning to take a taxi home is not recommended but may be an option provided you have a companion age 18 or over with you to help you. View information about ambulance and community transportation services and a list of local providers .  Make sure that you have arranged for someone age 18 or over to drive you home. You may receive medications during your operation that may make you drowsy and make it unsafe for you to drive.

The Surgery Waiting Room

After you have checked in at the admitting department, you will be directed to the Surgery Waiting room on the second floor of the hospital Map where you will wait until called in for your surgery.

While in Surgery

A staff member will check your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and breathing. Nurses in this unit are also available for any questions. You will be asked to put on a hospital gown and remove any personal items such as contact lenses, glasses, dentures, or other prosthetics.  An intravenous line, or IV, will be started in your hand or arm to give necessary fluids and medications. You may also be given medication to help you relax as well as medications to prevent nausea.

Before, during and after your operation, you will receive comprehensive anesthetic care to assure your utmost safety and comfort throughout the surgical process. The Department of Anesthesiology utilizes an Anesthesia Care Team approach, which includes anesthesiologists (physicians specialized in anesthesia) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (advanced practice nurses specialized in anesthesia) working closely together in a collaborative fashion under the medical direction of the anesthesiologist.

State-of-the-art medical technology will be used to minimize pain and anxiety, and maintain all of your vital functions in a smooth and stable fashion. The specific anesthetic technique selected is individualized to your needs and is based upon many factors, which include your medical history, your physical condition, the nature and extent of your surgery and, whenever possible, your personal preferences. The anesthesia medications that you will receive will depend on your individual responses to surgery and will be precisely adjusted to meet your needs based on continuous monitoring of your vital functions.

In the Surgery Unit

The first health care professional you will encounter in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU) will be one of our highly skilled Perioperative Nurses. Perioperative nurses provide care and support to patients before, during, and after surgery. Read more about our nurses.

Please Bring With You:

  • The Surgical Admissions Questionnaire, unless already submitted to admitting.
  • The list of medications you are currently taking (if you have not already given it to your pre-op nurse) – please leave your actual medications at home unless specifically instructed to do otherwise.
  • Your Kaiser Permanente Health Card and a photo ID.
  • Medicare, Medi-Cal cards, or any other insurance cards/numbers.
  • Enough cash, a check or a credit card to cover three prescriptions and your co-payment, if you have not previously paid for these during the pre-admissions process.
  • Playthings, a favorite blanket, or stuffed toy for pediatric patients.
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing so that it will be easier for you to dress after your operation.
  • The following additional items if you will be hospitalized:
    • Robe and slip-on shoes
    • Personal grooming items (toothbrush, hairbrush, etc.
    • Eyeglasses and case
    • Hearing aids and case
    • CPAP machine for sleep apnea patients
    • The name and phone number of the person picking you up on discharge day

Please Do Not Bring:

  • Bring your valuables or medications. The hospital cannot be responsible for any loss or damage to personal items.
  • Wear makeup, as it may interfere with our ability to check your skin color during and after surgery.
  • Wear jewelry, including body piercing. Jewelry used in piercings can create safety problems related to the use of electrical equipment during surgery. Piercings can also increase the chance of infection from microorganisms or become lost during surgery. Guidelines for piercings as follows: Piercings located in the surgical area are to be removed.
    • Piercings located in the surgical area are to be removed
    • Piercings not located in the surgical area can be removed and replaced by a monofilament line, plastic/ceramic material, or any other material that does not conduct electricity. If the piercing is in the mouth it should be removed or replaced with a monofilament line.
    • Piercings requiring special tools to be removed should be removed by your local piercing establishment. Some establishments offer this service free of charge.


Your Kaiser Permanente Health Plan coverage includes a deductible, copayment, and/or co-insurance for hospital services. Payment is due at time of admission. If you are unable to pay in one payment, you may pay half in advance of the surgery and the other half upon admission. For your convenience we accept cash, check, debit card, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

For specific information about your benefits, please see your Evidence of Coverage booklet or call Member Services.  Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage and Medicare Cost members may contact 1-800-443-0815 for assistance.

If you have any questions regarding your copay or the admitting process, please feel free to call us at 707-393-4666.

Different Types of Anesthetics

There are three major classes of anesthetics and each (or a combination) may be appropriate for different situations.

  • General Anesthesia
    Drugs are administered intravenously or by inhalation to render you unconscious and cause your entire body to be numb to pain during surgery. Common after-effects include grogginess, nausea, and slight soreness in the throat.
  • Regional Anesthesia
    This approach numbs a major portion of your body using local anesthetic agents. Examples include spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, which cause numbness in the lower portions of the body. Other examples include axillary block or intravenous regional techniques, which produce numbness of the arm and hand.
  • Local Anesthesia
    Injections of local anesthetic drugs directly into the surgical area may suffice for minor procedures. While the surgeon will usually inject the surgical area with local anesthetic, the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will provide any necessary sedation or other additional medications to assure that you are as comfortable and as stable as possible.

Please note that intravenous sedative drugs are commonly used in conjunction with regional anesthesia and local anesthesia in order to help you relax or to promote a light sleep during surgery. If you have local anesthesia you may or may not remember much about your surgery but will likely have the quickest recovery.