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Preoperative Day

The day you have the majority of your preoperative appointments and tests is called your ‘pre-op day’. For your convenience, we will try to make all of your appointments on the same day in logical order with minimal wait time. Unavoidable delays will occasionally occur, as scheduling conflicts arise. In order to minimize the disruption that may result from such events we suggest the following:

  • Plan to be on time for your first appointment
  • Plan to spend up to 4 hours in your appointments
  • Bring your entire preop packet with you if you have been given one
  • Bring personal reading material
  • Leave small children at home, if possible, unless the child is a patient
  • Bring a relative or a friend if their presence will be helpful or reassuring to you
  • Prepare your questions in advance. You may wish to write them down so you do not forget important questions
  • Remember to take time to ask your questions

If your pre-op day schedule includes wait time between appointments, we suggest you pass your time in any of the following locations: the health education center, the hospital cafeteria or the gift shop.

Preop Day Appointments

Your preop day appointments will include visits with some, but not necessarily all, of the people and departments listed below. Your visits may not occur exactly in this order.

Your Surgeon

As a final check before your operation, your pre-op day will typically begin with an appointment with your surgeon. When you leave your surgeon’s office, you may be given an order form for tests. Please carry this with you to each of your appointments, as the people you see may need to include additional tests if needed.

Preop Nurse Educator

In addition to POM appointment, you may have been scheduled an appointment with a Preoperative Nurse Educator.  The nurse will perform an assessment and an individualized nursing plan of care will be designed for you.  The nurse will also provide you with information to help you prepare for your surgery, such as information regarding pain management and pneumonia prevention.

Anesthesiologist Consultation

The preoperative consultation is a key part of the anesthetic and surgical process.

Depending on your age, medical status, and type of surgery, you will have either an office visit or a telephone appointment with a physician or a physician’s assistant from our department’s Perioperative Medicine (POM) Clinic.  These clinicians are our “eyes and ears” and will gather key information, consult us if any potential issues related to anesthesia are discovered, and help us to make sure that all your medical problems are as well-treated as possible.

On or before your day of surgery, we will review all of the information that has been gathered, examine you as necessary, and discuss anesthetics options, including associated benefits and risks.  We will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have about undergoing anesthesia. We will also prescribe appropriate preoperative medication, which the nurses will administer prior to anesthesia

Health Education

You can visit our Health Education department to view a video presentation designed to familiarize you and your family with common procedures related to surgery and hospitalization. A departmental staff member will be available to answer your questions and direct you to other resources that are designed to help you relax and to anticipate a successful surgery.

Diagnostic Tests

The surgeon or anesthesiologist may order specific laboratory tests, X-rays, an electrocardiogram, or other preoperative diagnostic tests. They will use our computerized electronic ordering system for most tests, or give you the appropriate forms for those tests which require them.