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Preparing for Surgery

Our team will help prepare you before surgery, care for you during the surgical and post-operative phases, and teach you about your care for your return home.
 
Prior to Surgery

Thank you for choosing Roper St. Francis for your surgery, we realize you may have concerns and we encourage you to ask questions or inform the staff of any special needs you may have.

Questions for Your Surgeon
Being well informed prior to your surgery will help you and your loved ones feel more comfortable the day of the procedure.

Some examples of a few good questions to ask your surgeon are:

  • How many of these procedures have you done?
  • Have there been any serious complications as a result of this procedure?
  • What are the risks? 
  • What are the benefits?

Pre-admission Testing
Pre-admission testing is necessary for all patients. Patients will need recent lab work (within 30 days) and some may be required to have other testing done before being cleared for their upcoming surgery. Your doctor or a nurse will give you instructions on what testing is necessary.

A parent or legal representative must accompany a minor (anyone under the age of 18) to his or her preadmission
testing appointment and on the day of surgery. Please let the pre-admission nurse know if the patient is not competent to give consent for treatment.

For pre-admission testing, please call:

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital 
(843) 402-1425

Roper Hospital and Roper Hospital-Berkeley 
(843) 965-8205

Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital
(843) 606-7353

Pre-Registration
Prior to your procedure you need to pre-register. You may pre-register online or call (843) 402-5100 to speak with a representative.

 
 
One Day Before Your Surgery
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes water, ice, coffee, candy, gum and chewing tobacco.
  • Make arrangements for someone to bring you to the hospital, take you home and stay with you at home.
  • If you have a cold, fever, infection or any other health-related problem, be sure to inform your doctor as soon as possible before your scheduled surgery.
  • NO alcoholic beverages 18 hours before your surgery.
  • NO smoking after midnight.
 
 
The Day of Your Surgery
  • Bring a list of all medications you are currently taking.
  • Bring your insurance card and co-pay.
  • Take medications as instructed by your nurse.
  • Do not wear jewelry or bring other valuables.
  • Do not wear makeup or perfume.

Arriving at the Hospital
A nurse or pre-registration representative will give instructions for when and where to report. If you are being admitted to the hospital after your surgery and you have an overnight bag with you, please leave the bag in the car until a room has been assigned.

About Advance Directives
If you have Advance Directives such as a Living Will or a Healthcare Power of Attorney and you would like to have this on file at the hospital, please provide a copy during the admission process. If you would like information about either of these documents, please call our Patient Representative at (843) 724-2965.

Insurance Coverage
Your surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist and pathologist will bill you or your insurance company separately. If you are a member of a managed care network, please make sure that your doctor and anesthesiologist are members of the managed care network.

If you have questions regarding your surgeon’s participation in a particular provider network, please call your surgeon. For other billing and insurance questions,  call (843) 402-5200.
 
 
During Surgery
Anesthesia
Prior to surgery an anesthesiologist will talk to you about the different types of anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will watch your condition and provide medication as needed. The following is information on common anesthesia.

General Anesthesia
In general anesthesia, you are unconscious and have no awareness or other sensations. There are a number of general anesthetic drugs. Some are gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and others are medications introduced through a vein. During anesthesia, you are carefully monitored, controlled and treated by your anesthesiologist, who uses sophisticated equipment to track all your major bodily functions. A breathing tube may be inserted through your mouth and frequently into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during this period. The length and level of anesthesia is calculated and constantly adjusted with great precision. At the conclusion of surgery, your anesthesiologist will reverse the process and you will regain awareness in the recovery room.

Regional Anesthesia
In regional anesthesia, your anesthesiologist makes an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body that requires surgery. You may remain awake, or you may be given a sedative. You do not see or feel the actual surgery take place. There are several kinds of regional anesthesia. Two of the most frequently used are spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia, which are produced by injections made with great exactness in the appropriate areas of the back. They are frequently preferred for childbirth, knee or hip surgery, and prostate surgery.

Local Anesthesia
In local anesthesia, the anesthetic drug is usually injected into the tissue to numb just the specific location of your body requiring minor surgery, for example, on the hand or foot. It usually lasts about one hour and may be injected into the skin or applied as a spray, drops or ointment to the skin, eyes or mouth.

Friends and Family 
During surgery, family and friends are welcome to wait in our surgical waiting areas. All visitors should sign in at the waiting room desk. Important updates are given to families while you wait. A family member should maintain communication with the waiting room volunteer. If you leave the surgery waiting area, please notify the volunteer. 
Families can enjoy meals in our cafeterias. Fresh coffee is offered in the surgery waiting areas.
 
 
Following Surgery
After surgery, you will be closely monitored in the recovery room as the anesthesia wears off. Your family will be allowed to visit in the recovery area or surgical unit patient room (should you be spending the night). Parents of children who are undergoing surgery will be invited to attend to them in the recovery room.

When you wake up from surgery you may have an IV in your arm or hand. Some patients have a small tube (catheter) in their bladder. This is usually temporary until you are able to go to the bathroom on your own. You will feel unsteady on your feet - your doctor or nurse will tell you when to try to walk. You will need help the first time out of bed.

As the anesthesia wears off the incision area may hurt or burn. Take pain medication before pain becomes severe. Some patients have PCAs or patient controlled analgesia. This allows them to control their own pain medication. Changing positions can also help alleviate pain. Keeping your pain controlled can help you recover faster. 

Some patients feel nauseous after surgery. Medications are available to reduce nausea, just ask. In addition, the nurse may help you change positions to ease this side effect. A mild sore throat or dry mouth may be caused by the airway tube placed in your mouth during surgery. A nurse may offer you a moist cloth to wet your lips or ice chips, if allowed.

Prior to your discharge, you and your caregiver will be given verbal and written instructions to assist you with your recovery at home. Please make sure all your questions are answered and that you understand the instructions prior to leaving.

At discharge, you will be informed when to make a follow up appointment with your doctor. This follow-up appointment is important to check your progress. YOU are the most important part of your recovery - listen to your body and allow yourself time to heal.
 
 
What to Expect at Home
It is not unusual to feel dizzy and sleepy following your surgery and even after you are discharged. Your designated caregiver will provide an important service by assisting you with any activities during the first 24 hours. You should not attempt to drive a car, operate any machinery, sign any important papers or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours following your surgery. Avoid drinking alcohol or taking any medications not prescribed by your doctor for 24 hours following your surgery.

If you experience any of the below complications call your doctor or go to one of our emergency facilities.
  • Signs of infection at incision, such as redness, swelling or a foul odor or discharge
  • Fever 101 degrees or greater
  • Bleeding or if incision opens
  • Numbness
  • Severe pain
  • Lasting nausea and vomiting
  • Any side effects from medication, i.e. redness, rash or itching
  • Any problems or changes that concern you
You can help speed up your recovery by getting plenty of rest, asking for help when you need it and by making sure you are eating and drinking well. 
 
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