UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown
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Surgery (General): Preparing For Surgery

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We thank you for choosing UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown Medical Park. By selecting our Surgery Unit, you will get the advantages of day surgery and still be treated with the same technologies that are held to the high standards of a hospital setting.

Prior to Surgery

To help make your procedure a success, the friendly staff at UnityPoint Health - Marshalltown Medical Park Surgery Unit will be here to attend to you and take the necessary steps to make the process go smoothly.

  • Instructions as to when to stop eating and drinking will be given to you by one of our nurses on the pre-op phone interview, including what medications to take the day of your surgery/procedure.
  • Brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth. Try not to swallow any water.
  • Shower or bathe the night before or the morning of your procedure. Wash your skin for 5-10 minutes with an anti-bacterial soap if you are having a skin incision.
  • Leave all valuables including your watch, rings, necklaces, earrings and body piercings at home. If you are unable to remove your jewelry, we may have to remove it for you depending on the type of surgery you are having.
  • Bring your insurance card.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring a case for safekeeping during your surgery. You may wear your hearing aid and dentures. If it becomes necessary to remove your dentures or hearing aid, we will provide a container.
  • Notify your physician immediately if you develop a cold or other illness within one week of your scheduled procedure.
  • Arrange to have a driver. This cannot be a bus or taxi.
  • A family member or friend who accompanies you may remain with you until you go to surgery. During your surgery, your companion is welcome to wait in our lobby. Please leave small children at home with child care.
  • When you arrive, we will ask you to register and sign consent forms.
  • Just before the procedure, a member of the anesthesia team will review the nature of your surgery, your overall health and your medical history. We will talk with you about the most appropriate anesthetic selection.

After Surgery

When you leave surgery, you will be taken to our recovery area to allow some of the effects of anesthesia to wear off.

  • If you had general anesthesia, you will remain under nurses' care in the recovery area until you are fully awake and feel comfortable. We take pain seriously, and we will treat it aggressively to keep you comfortable.
  • It is normal to feel drowsy or weak for several hours after having anesthesia or sedatives. It usually takes 24 hours for the effects of an anesthetic to wear off.
  • If you had a local anesthetic, you will rest and have refreshments in the secondary recovery area. You will receive discharge instructions from your nurse before leaving.
  • Arrange to have a driver to take you home after surgery and someone to stay with you when you get home. This cannot be a bus or taxi.
  • Follow your doctor's discharge instructions on diet, medications, bathing and activity. You will receive discharge instructions from your nurse before you leave. Call your doctor’s office if you have any concerns or questions.
  • Your final recovery will take place at home. No matter what surgery you had, you need to rest. Do not make plans for the evening after surgery except to relax and get plenty of sleep. Take your pain medication regularly, even if you do not currently feel pain. Refer to your pain brochure.
  • Drink plenty of water and resume eating as directed. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours after being under anesthesia or having sedatives. A nurse will call you the next business day to check on your progress and answer any questions you may have. If we are unable to reach you, we will send you a card by mail.

Open Communication

  • Choose a doctor with whom you are comfortable.
  • Make sure your doctor knows your complete health history.
  • Tell your doctor about all of your allergies and reactions to medication.
  • Provide a list of all prescriptions, herbs, vitamins, dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications you're taking.
  • Ask questions.
  • Ask your doctor for legible prescriptions.
  • Request written information about side effects.
  • Compare the prescription with the medication.
  • Understand your dosage directions.
  • Read the medication's warning label.
  • At times, you may receive a medication dosage of a half tablet due to tablet size, availability or cost effectiveness. We give half tablets only when evidence supports the effectiveness of this dosage.
  • Review your medication list before you leave, and bring it with you to your follow-up appointment.
  • Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurses if you have allergies or if you've ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse when and how you will get your test results.
  • Make sure you receive the results of all tests and procedures.
  • Don't assume the results are OK if you don't get them in writing when you expect them. Call us to be sure. We want to hear from you.
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