Our hospital departments are located on 1st and 2nd floors of both towers in the building. Registration is located on 1st floor, Tower I – Suite #100.
Patient's Guide to Surgery
North Central Surgical Center wants you to have the best possible patient experience. The answers to some of our most frequently asked questions will help you better prepare for your procedure. Please feel welcome to contact us prior to your surgery with any questions.
We love hearing from our patients! You may receive a survey from our patient satisfaction partners at Press Ganey by mail, text or email about your time with us. Please take a few moments to complete it. Your feedback is valuable. By completing the survey, you are giving us the unique opportunity to hear from you on what we are doing well and what we can improve upon. This allows us to continue to grow as an organization and make the next patient’s experience even better! We truly believe that your feedback is valuable to guide us to exceed and provide the best healthcare experience at North Central.
Use the links below to find the information you need.
Before Your Surgery
What to expect
Will I be contacted prior to my surgery by the facility? Yes. You may receive up to three calls. You will be contacted a few days prior to surgery by a member of your health care team. This call will include a routine health assessment, instructions for the day of surgery, and answers to any questions you may have. You will also be contacted by someone in the facility’s business office to address financial matters such as your responsibility for co-payments and deductibles. Finally, you may also be contacted by your anesthesiologist.
What tests are required prior to my surgery?
Any preoperative tests will be determined by your physician or anesthesiologist and communicated to you prior to the date of your surgery.
Should I arrange a ride to the facility?
Yes. You will not be allowed to drive after surgery. If you do not have a responsible person to drive you home, your procedure will be canceled. If you plan on going home in a taxi or use public transportation, a responsible adult must accompany you.
What if I think I might be pregnant?
Please be sure to notify your physician, anesthesiologist and nurse prior to the date of surgery if you think you may be pregnant. The surgical procedure, anesthesia and medications may be harmful to a developing baby.
What if I’ve been exposed to illness? Notify your surgeon if you develop any of the following:
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cough or congestion
- Chicken pox exposure/illness within two weeks of surgery.
- Any other problems that may interfere with your scheduled surgery.
What may I eat and drink before surgery?
DO NOT EAT, DRINK OR SMOKE ANYTHING after midnight the night before your procedure, unless otherwise instructed. Your physician or a pre-operative nurse will inform you of eating and drinking restrictions prior to surgery. It is very important that you follow the instructions provided. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or canceled. Stomach contents are hazardous when having any type of anesthesia. Gum, breath mints and chewing tobacco are not to be used within four hours prior to coming to the surgical center. You may brush your teeth and use mouthwash, but do not swallow.
Are there special considerations for a child having surgery?
We understand that surgery can be frightening for you and your child and that special preparation is needed. In the case of young children having surgery:
- If your child experiences any health changes between your most recent visit with your physician and the date of surgery, notify your surgeon immediately. Please report even minor changes, such as an elevated temperature, cough or cold. If you cannot reach your physician, please call the facility.
- A parent or guardian of a patient under 18 must stay in the facility until the patient is discharged. If you are the guardian of a patient, bring copies of forms indicating guardianship or power of attorney. Do not send grandparents or stepparents unless they are legal guardians and can give consent.
- If your child would like to have a stuffed animal or security blanket for added comfort, you may bring these items on the day of surgery. You may also bring games and activities, or music with headphones, if you choose.
- It is best to have someone along with the driver to help care for the child on the trip home.
Day of Surgery
What grooming steps should I follow prior to arrival to help prevent infection? Take a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Follow these simple steps:
- Wash all of your body using a liquid antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth.
- Do not shave or clip the area where the surgery will be done unless your physician directs you to do so.
- Rinse well to remove all soap.
- Dry your body with a clean towel.
- Do not use lotions, creams, powders, cosmetics or nail polish.
- Make sure your hair is dry prior to arriving. Pull back long hair with an elastic band.
- For your comfort and safety, wear loose clothing that is easy to get off and on and that will fit over a dressing.
- Do not wear jewelry (including body piercings) or metal hair accessories.
- Leave contact lenses at home or bring your lens case with you.
Should I take my routine medications on the day of surgery?
You will be given instructions regarding medications by your physician. Also, please bring a list all medications you are taking, and be sure to bring any of your routine medications with you that may be needed during your stay (e.g.., inhaler or insulin).
What should I bring?
Please bring the following:
- Photo identification (such as a driver’s license)
- Insurance card(s) including Medicare and/or Medicaid cards if applicable. Our staff will need to verify and make copies when you check-in on the day of your surgery.
- Cash, check or a credit card for your co-pays (depending on your insurance.)
- A completed Living Will (if you have one.)
- A list of all drugs you are currently taking.
- If you use an asthma or other lung inhaler, be sure to bring it with you.
- Please bring cases for eyeglasses, contact lenses or hearing aids.
- If you are bringing a small child or infant be sure to bring diapers or any other supplies the infant will need.
DO NOT bring or wear valuables. Your healthcare team will be busy looking after you and cannot be responsible for your articles.
When should I arrive?
You will receive instructions regarding arrival time from your surgeon or the center’s staff. It is important that you arrive at the designated time.
What will happen when I first arrive at the facility?
- We will review your insurance information and inform you of any co-pays. Depending on your insurance co-pays may be collected at this time or billed to you.
- You will also be given information about anesthesia, physicians and the facility, which includes an acknowledgement of these various providers contributing to your care and the potentials for separate billings.
What happens after I check-in?
A nurse will conduct a pre-operative assessment and you will be prepared for surgery, taking your vital signs and starting an IV if it is required for your procedure. Our staff will keep your family and friends informed of your progress. We understand the anxiety family and friends will have while you are having your procedure. We will make every effort to keep them informed of your progress and when they will be able to re-join you after the procedure.
What should I do with my clothes and additional belongings?
A nurse will escort you into the pre-operative area where you will change your clothes. Your belongings will be safely stored until you are ready to go home. We recommend that you leave all valuables and additional accessories at home.
Will I see my physician prior to surgery?
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you. Please feel free at this time to ask any questions regarding your procedure. You’ll learn about your anesthesia, the medication that will help to keep you comfortable during your procedure. Anesthesia will be provided based on your surgery type, your health status and your anesthesiologist. All anesthesiologist are medical doctors with special training in the field of anesthesiology.
What can I do to help ensure that I have the proper procedure on the correct surgical site?
Your safety is our primary concern. Your entire health care team will follow rigorous guidelines regarding site identification and procedure confirmation. National Patient Safety Goals have been developed that require your involvement too. You will be asked numerous times to confirm both the procedure you are having and the surgical site. You should take a very active role in all discussions with your physician, your anesthesia provider and our staff regarding the identification of your procedure and the correct surgical site. Your surgeon will mark the site prior to your procedure.
What can I do to help prevent a surgical site infection?
Make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash hands frequently while at the facility. Also, do not hesitate to ask members of your healthcare team at the facility if they have washed their hands!
Can I use my cell phone?
Cell phone use is limited to the lobby.
Can I smoke?
No. We advise against smoking or using other tobacco products on the day of your procedure. Smoking may interfere with the anesthesia and frequently produces nausea during the recovery period.
How long can my family stay with me prior to my procedure?
This will depend upon a number of factors. However, we believe that familiar faces can assist in reducing your anxiety about the procedure, so please do not hesitate to inform the nurse that you would like a friend or family member to sit with you. Your family will be shown where to wait during your surgery. No family may be permitted in the operating room during the surgery.
Can my child keep a special blanket or stuffed animal to ease his/her fears?
Absolutely. If your child would like to have a stuffed animal or security blanket for added comfort, feel free to bring these items on the day of surgery. Also, bring your child’s bottle or “sippy cup” for after surgery if they cannot drink from a regular cup.
When will my surgery start?
Waiting times before your procedure starts will vary. Occasionally a delay will occur. The patient’s surgery ahead of you could take longer than scheduled or there may be an emergency and your physician is needed outside of surgery. We will try to keep your informed and your patience is appreciated.
North Central is open 24/7 to ensure your needs are met at all time. Visitors are welcome anytime. For your convenience, the parking garage is open 24 hours a day for visitor parking. We also offer complimentary valet parking services to our patients. Valet validation is required. Valet tickets can be validated at any registration departments in the hospital.
Are there different kinds of sedation or anesthesia?
Yes. There are five different categories of sedation and anesthesia: Conscious Sedation, General, Regional, Monitored Anesthesia Care and Local Anesthesia. Regardless of the type of sedation or anesthesia that you receive, special anesthetic agents and techniques are used to provide a safe and speedy recovery. If there are alternative choices available for your surgery, and often there are, your physician or anesthesia provider will discuss them with you before surgery.
May I request the type of anesthesia I will receive?
Depending on the type of surgery, there may be anesthetic options. Your physician or anesthesia provider will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history.
Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?
Together, you, your surgeon and your anesthesia provider will develop an anesthetic care plan. This plan may include preoperative sedation and other medications if necessary.
What are the risks of anesthesia?
All surgical procedures and all anesthetics have risks. These risks are dependent upon many factors, including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Your anesthesiologist will assess you preoperatively and every precaution will be taken to minimize your risk. We routinely see minor symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, sore throat, dizziness, tiredness, headache, muscle aches and pain, most of which are easily treated. Please feel free to discuss any questions with your anesthesia provider.
Will I be billed separately by the anesthesiologist?
Yes. You will receive a separate bill from your anesthesia provider if anesthesia was administered.
Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?
It is important to refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating stomach contents (complication related to vomiting) during your surgery. This complication can be very serious. Specific instructions based on national safety standards will be provided to you prior to your procedure. It is very important that you follow the provided instructions. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or canceled.
After Your Surgery
What should I expect in the recovery room?
Your recovery begins with individual nursing care – including pain management. An average of 30-45 minutes is spent in the PACU. It may be longer depending on your needs, the type of anesthesia and the procedure performed. A nurse will monitor your vital signs and make sure you are comfortable as the anesthesia begins to wear off. You will be observed until you have met medical criteria.
- Family will not be able to visit in stage one.
- Once you have met specific medical criteria, you will be transferred to stage two where family can visit. Visitors are limited to two at a time.
- You will be observed and made comfortable until you have met medical criteria.
May I drive home?
You will not be allowed to drive after surgery. If you do not have a responsible person to drive you home, your procedure will be canceled. If you plan on going home in a taxi or use public transportation, a responsible adult must accompany you.
What will happen if I am not well enough to go home?
Admission happens occasionally. In certain circumstances, your physician or anesthesiologist may determine that you need to be transferred to a hospital for additional post-operative care.
What should I watch for at home?
Call your doctor if:
- Your pain increases
- You are not getting relief from your pain with medicine and other treatments.
- Your bandage is soaked with bright red blood.
- You have a fever of more than 101 degrees.
- You are unable to urinate.
- You experience increased soreness, pain or tenderness at the wound.
- There is a red streak, increased redness or puffiness near the wound.
- There is yellowish or bad-smelling discharge or pus from the incision.
- You have a swollen or painful lump in your groin, neck or armpit.
- You experience a tired feeling that doesn’t go away.
- You have leg pain, tenderness, swelling or a change in skin color of your leg.
What if I am not feeling well once I get home?
If you are in serious pain, or exhibit warning symptoms described in your discharge instructions, please call your physician, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
What can I eat when I get home?
Your surgeon may have specific recommendations for your post-operative diet. We generally suggest that you eat lightly after surgery, and strongly encourage you to drink plenty of fluids. You should avoid alcoholic beverages.
What can I do to help prevent a post-operative infection?
In addition to following the recommendations below, follow your post-operative instructions carefully and notify your physician if you have any signs or symptoms which concern you.
- When you are at home, wash your hands with soap and water:
- Before touching your bandage.
- Before you carry out any treatment instructions your doctor has given you.
- When you are finished with any treatment instructions your doctor has given you.
- Before you take any medicine
- Any time your hands get soiled.
- Friends and family that visit your should not touch the surgical would or bandage.
- If you smoke, stop or cut down. Ask your doctor about ways to quit.
- Take antibiotics only when told to by your doctor. Using antibiotics when they’re not needed reduces their effectiveness to fight infection. If antibiotics are prescribed, be sure to take all your antibiotics, even if you feel better.
How will my pain be managed?
The management of your pain is of great importance to us. Discomfort and some pain are expected after surgery. Do not mix prescription drugs with over-the-counter pain relievers without talking first to your doctor. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our post- operative call at home. During your stay at the facility, you will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain using a numerical scale (1-10), or for children, the “Faces Pain Scale” (shown below).
We will often use a combination of different modalities to help make you comfortable – choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc. Prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and hence a smoother, more comfortable recovery. It is important to follow instructions regarding your post-operative pain medication closely. Many pain medications take 20 to 30 minutes to begin to work. For best results, the pain medication should be taken before the pain becomes too strong.
Should I continue my usual medications after surgery?
Most patients should continue their usual medications after surgery. Patients who have diabetes and those patients on blood thinners may require some adjustment of their medications. These instructions will be clarified with you before you leave the facility. If you have any questions, please call your surgeon or primary care physician.
Patients that need Pre-Admission Testing:
If your doctor has instructed you to complete labs, EKG or Chest X-ray prior to your procedure, please call and schedule an appointment. We will try to find a time that is convenient for you to come in and complete your testing. This appointment will take approximately 1-2 hours depending on your medical history. In order to expedite the visit, please bring a list of your medications with dosage and frequency (including vitamins and supplements), your driver’s license (or photo ID) and your insurance cards.
Patients that do NOT need Pre-Admission Testing:
Due to the high volume of phone calls, patients will be contacted by a (Pre-Assessment Testing) PAT Nurse via telephone. Patients are typically contacted 48-72 hours before their scheduled surgery. In order to expedite the call, please have a list of your medication and surgeries available. If your call is missed, please leave a voice message with the best contact phone number. A return phone call will be made as soon as possible. Patients will be contacted based on the order of their surgery date.
Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm
During this call, you will learn what to expect during your visit and have the opportunity to ask questions. Thank you for trusting North Central with your healthcare needs.
The Day of Surgery
- Do not eat or drink anything (including water), smoke or chew gum after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Failure to follow these instructions can result in cancellation of your surgery.
- All patients taking blood thinners or medications for heart, high blood pressure or diabetes should contact their physician for instructions for those medications prior to surgery. Please bring all medications in the original containers with you.
- Do not smoke immediately before or after receiving anesthetic.
- Please arrive promptly at your scheduled arrival time.
- Please limit visitors to one or two adults.
- Bring your insurance card, method of payment and Drivers License or photo ID to the Center.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that can be easily removed. Please avoid wearing nail polish, cosmetics, and jewelry. Leave contact lenses at home or bring your lens case with you to the Center. All valuables should be left at home.
- Children having surgery must have a parent or guardian in the facility throughout the surgery. Please feel free to bring a stuffed animal or security blanket for added reassurance. Please bring a bottle or sippy cup if your child cannot drink from a cup.
- If you experience any health changes between your recent visit to your doctor and the day of your procedure, notify your doctor.
- Although time varies, most patients are discharged 1 to 2 hours after surgery unless the procedure requires an overnight stay.
- Bring pillows for your ride home to help make you more comfortable.
- You must have a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for the first night following surgery. You will not be allowed to leave the facility alone.
Inpatient – Post Surgical Unit
PATIENTS ADMITTED FOR OVERNIGHT STAY
Please bring all home medications in their original containers as this is a requirement to dispense your home medications to you at the facility.
- Each room is furnished with a sleeper sofa for a visitor to stay with the patient.
- Minor patients need to have a parent or legal guardian present at all times.
For details on visiting hours, please check with your nurse. Please be aware that for security reasons, some of the entrances may be locked in the evening hours.
If you lose any of your personal items during your stay with us, please notify your nurse immediately. We will make every effort to help you locate it. Unclaimed items are turned in to the Inpatient – Post Surgical Unit.