Your Guide to Surgery at Palos Hospital– Important Information
Prior to your scheduled surgery, a nurse from the Pre-Anesthesia Screening department will call you for your pre-surgical interview. Please have a list of all your medications readily available, including names and dosages.
Pre-Anesthesia Screening: 708-923-4506 7 am to 7 pm
Palos Hospital Main Line: 708-923-4000
Central Scheduling: 708-827-2030
Center for Short Stay Care: 708-923-5740
Preparing for your surgery
Prior to your surgery, please discuss any concerns about your surgery with your physician who can help you understand the risks and benefits involved with your procedure.
A pre-anesthesia screening nurse will complete your pre-surgical health history during a phone interview. Your primary care physician, your surgeon and/or your anesthesiologist may have ordered different pre-operative tests that need to be completed prior to your surgery. During this interview, the nurse will verify any testing you completed or may need and provide you with other helpful information such as arrival time, where to check-in, dietary instructions, and what medications to take the morning of surgery. These tests may be completed at Palos Health or another site as determined by your insurance company.
A great deal of information will be required when preparing for your procedure. During your phone conversation with the pre-anesthesia screening nurse, it’s important to provide the most accurate and complete information possible, as it will assist your caregivers in providing the best possible care. The following information will be requested:
- General health information
- Your medical history, including all other surgeries
- Allergies to medications
- Recent illness, including fever, colds, or rash
- Names and current dosages of prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Any chronic medical problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea
- Durable Power of Attorney (if applicable)
Confirming your arrival and surgery time
Your arrival time may be up to two hours prior to the time your surgery is scheduled to begin.
You will be asked to call our Center for Short Stay Care the afternoon prior to surgery, between the hours of 1 pm and 6 pm, to verify your arrival time and surgery time. For procedures scheduled on Mondays, you will be asked to call the Friday before.
It is important for you to arrive promptly to allow adequate time for pre-surgical preparation.
This includes registration needed on the day of the procedure, review of your medical information, blood work, testing or administration of any medications that may be needed prior to surgery.
Surgery times may change in order to accommodate all patients scheduled, including emergencies. If your surgery time changes, the hospital will contact you and work with you to minimize any inconvenience. If there are delays on the day of surgery, you will be called if time allows.
Your procedure day
On the day of your surgery, certain documentation will be needed for registration and preoperative care. Gather the following documents and information ahead of time and bring them with you to the hospital:
- Current Photo ID
- Insurance cards or form
- Completed advance medical directive, if available
Be sure to arrive at Palos Hospital at the time you were given the day before your procedure. Palos Hospital is located at 12251 South 80th Avenue, Palos Heights, IL 60463.
Before arriving, there are certain things you should do to prepare.
- Do not eat or drink as instructed by the pre-anesthesia screening nurse or your surgeon. It is important to follow their instructions very closely. This includes gum, candy, and mints.
- Leave all valuables at home
- Bring a list of your current prescription and non-prescription medications, including dosage strength and times taken
- Absolutely no jewelry can be worn
- Remove all makeup
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing
- Make sure your ride home is available
For children under age 18, a parent or guardian must be present to complete paperwork and accompany them on the day of surgery. Please do not leave the building during your child’s procedure unless another parent/guardian is available. Enter through the Main Hospital Entrance (North). Check-in at the Surgical Reception Desk. You will be asked to verify insurance information and sign authorization for treatment. Once registration is complete, you will be directed to the Center for Short Stay Care waiting room. A perioperative nurse will greet you shortly to escort you to the pre-op holding area.
When you arrive for surgery, the care team will conduct a pre-operative evaluation and prepare you for surgery. You may find you are asked the same questions repeatedly regarding your name, birthdate, medical history, symptoms, and the procedure you are having. Each health professional needs this information for different purposes, such as planning your care, double-checking for allergies and ensuring your safety.
Your surgical team will include highly-skilled, specially trained individuals. Your surgeon leads team members including registered nurses, certified technologists, anesthesiologists, and possibly a surgical assistant during your procedure.
On the day of surgery, you will meet with your anesthesiologist to discuss which type of anesthesia is best suited for your individual needs.
Post-operative care and recovery
After your surgery, you may be taken to the recovery room, also called PACU or Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. During recovery, you will be closely monitored as the anesthesia wears off. During this time your surgeon will discuss surgery with family members and/or friends who are with you. You will then be assigned to a room or discharged from the Center of Short Stay Care.
Pain control is a top priority for the care team at Palos Health. It is important for you to communicate the pain level you are feeling and the area in which you are experiencing the pain. At Palos, a pain scale of “0” to “10” is used. A “0” level of pain means you feel no pain. A level “10” pain means you feel the worst possible pain. By communicating your pain level in this way, your nurse will be better able to understand and help you with pain control. Images such as sad and happy faces are used for children to communicate their pain levels.
The care team will monitor you through recovery. Your surgeon will let you know when and how quickly you should become more active following your procedure. If you are being discharged to home following your surgery, an after-visit summary will be provided to you that includes a list of care instructions. It is often helpful if a friend or family member listens to the care instructions with you. This will enable them to be better able to assist you during your recovery. For your convenience, you will be asked your preferred pharmacy where prescriptions can be electronically sent. Please make sure you have a responsible driver to take you home after your procedure and to take you to follow-up appointments, as you will be unable to drive for the first 24-hours after surgery or longer based on medication or your physician’s instructions.
Follow-up care, which is usually arranged with your surgeon’s office, is important to monitor your recovery. Questions to ask about follow-up care include:
- When and where is my first follow-up visit?
- Who should I call to make the appointment?
- When will my stitches, staples, and/or cast be removed?