FAQs

What can I eat and drink before surgery?
Will someone need to take me home?
Which of my medications should I take?
How long before my operation should I arrive?
Will I be able to take a shower before surgery?
What should I do if I think I am getting a cold?
What clothing should I wear?
What happens when it's time for surgery?
What will happen in the Surgical Suite?
What happens when the operation is over?
What kinds of side-effects can I expect?
How long will I be in the Recovery Room?
What kinds of instruction will I receive?
What should I expect after I go home?

 

What can I eat and drink before surgery?
Most patients will receive a pre-op phone call the evening of the business day prior to surgery with specific instructions for when to stop eating and drinking based on the time your surgery is scheduled to start.  If we are unable to reach you please follow the general guidelines of no eating or drinking past midnight on the day of surgery, (this includes no gum or chewing tobacco).   In addition, you will receive instructions regarding the use of your regular medications.  If there are medications you would normally take in the morning they may be taken the morning of surgery with a sip of water, but should not exceed the amount of water necessary to comfortably swallow the medication.  However, if your surgeon has instructed you to discontinue any medication prior to surgery follow their instructions and do not take them the morning of surgery.  


Will someone need to take me home?
Yes, after any type of anesthesia or sedation, you will need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive  you home.  You will not be able to drive yourself, walk, or take public transportation home.  If you do not have a ride home we may have to cancel your surgery for your safety.   You need to arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you during the first 24 hours after surgery. 
Occasionally, patients may receive local anesthesia alone, with no sedation.  Under these circumstances, it may be possible for you to drive home.  Check with your physician first, or call us at 970-494-4800 to verify. (back to top >)


Which of my medications should I take?
 At the time of your pre-op phone call the Registered Nurse will ask you about medication use and give you a chance to ask about specific medications you are taking.  In general, if there are medications you would normally take in the morning, you may take them with a sip of water the morning of surgery unless instructed not to do so by your physician or a registered nurse.   Please limit the “sip of water” to the amount needed to comfortably swallow the medication. Please do not stop taking any medications unless told to do so by your physician or the Registered Nurse from the  Surgery Center of Fort Collins.  If you regularly use inhalers, please bring them with you the morning of surgery. (back to top >)


How long before my operation should I arrive?
You will receive instructions the day before surgery about the time of your surgery and when you should arrive.  We ask that you arrive 60 - 90 minutes before the time of your scheduled surgery. Occasionally, if additional lab testing or preparation is needed, you may be asked to come in earlier. (back to top >)

 

Will I be able to take a shower before surgery?
You can take a shower or bath on the morning of surgery.  You may also brush your teeth.  Remember not to swallow any additional water or mouth wash. Please do not use any make-up, hair spray, nail polish, or toiletries the day of surgery. (back to top >)


What should I do if I think I am getting a cold?
If you notice any change in your health, including a scratchy throat, cold or fever, please call your physician and the Center as soon as possible.

You can find additional preoperative instructions in the Day of Surgery Checklist and the Preparing for Surgery sections of the Patient Brochure area of this web site.  (back to top >)

 

What clothing should I wear?
Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes the day of surgery. When you arrive, you receive a patient gown to wear during your visit. After surgery you may have a bulky dressing  and your clothes should be large enough to fit comfortably over it.(back to top >)

 

What happens when it's time for surgery?
When your surgeon and the surgical team are ready, you are transported to the Surgical Suite. Your family waits in the lobby area. They are updated as needed. (back to top >)
 
What will happen in the Surgical Suite?
The surgical team will introduce themselves and you will be assisted from the gurney or wheel chair onto the operating room table.  Depending upon the type of anesthesia you are receiving and the procedure being performed, we may apply a blood pressure cuff, a finger probe to measure your oxygen levels, and 3 small sticky pads to monitor your heart.  Other specifics tasks we will perform to get you ready for surgery will be based on the type of anesthesia and the surgical procedure being performed.  Please feel free to ask your surgeon, your anesthesiologist, or the nursing staff if you have specific questions. (back to top >)

 

What happens when the operation is over?
After surgery you are carefully moved back to a gurney and taken to the Recovery Room where    you are closely monitored by specially trained registered nurses as you awaken from anesthesia.  You will receive supplemental oxygen and your vital signs are checked frequently to monitor your recovery. (back to top >)
 
What kinds of side-effects can I expect?
The 2 most common side affects you may experience after surgery are pain and nausea/vomiting.  When you report pain to your nurse they will ask you to rate it on a scale of 1 – 10.  This will allow them to administer the appropriate medications in the dosages that will minimize your pain.  Please be aware that after surgery it is normal to feel some pain and that the medications given may not eliminate your pain but may only decrease it to a tolerable level.

 

Nausea and vomiting can occur after surgery and anesthesia.  Your anesthesiologist and the nursing staff work closely together to prevent, decrease, and eliminate feelings of nausea.  Medications meant to prevent nausea to the extent possible may be given to you prior to entering the operating room.  During surgery additional medications may be given to hopefully prevent post-op nausea based on the type of anesthetic and the procedure being performed.   Once you are in the Recovery Room your nurse will monitor you for feelings of nausea and will administer medications appropriately in an effort to decrease or eliminate nausea. 

 

Additionally and depending upon the type of anesthesia you received, you may feel sleepy or groggy as you awaken from anesthesia.  You should plan to rest and take it easy after surgery and follow your surgeon’s instructions for resuming the activity level you were at prior to surgery. (back to top >)

 

How long will I be in the Recovery Room?
There are many factors that determine how long you will stay in the Recovery Room..  These factors include the type of anesthesia you received, the type of surgery performed, the length of time of your operation, and your response to the anesthesia.  The majority of patients are in the Recovery Room  for approximately one hour.  Your recovery period at the facility will be individualized to your needs.  The nursing staff will monitor your progress and once you have met specific medical discharge criteria you will be ready for discharge. (back to top >)

 

What kinds of instruction will I receive?
You will receive written instructions, which will include post-operative instructions from your surgeon as well as general post-operative instructions from the Surgery Center.  Unless instructed otherwise, you should follow these guidelines for the first 24 hours after your surgery:

 

  • Do not drive.
  • Do not make any important decisions.
  • Do not sign any legal documents.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Resume taking your usual medications per your doctor’s order.
  • Arrange to have an adult stay with you for 24 hours after surgery

 

Call your surgeon if you have any unusual symptoms or unexpected changes in your condition.

 

If you have any questions about your instructions, please feel free to contact the Surgery Center at 970-494-4800, or call your surgeons office.

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What should I expect after I go home?
Recovery from surgery and anesthesia takes time, so plan on getting plenty of rest.  We recommend an adult family member or companion stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.  We also suggest following these guidelines for the first 24 hours:

 

  • Do not drive.
  • Do not make any important decisions.
  • Do not sign any legal documents.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Resume taking your usual medications per your doctor’s order.

 

Call your surgeon if you have any unusual symptoms or unexpected changes in your condition. (back to top >)