Our hospital departments are located on both towers’ 1st and 2nd floors. Registration is located on the 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 before 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. Completing the survey gives us the unique opportunity to hear from you about what we are doing well and what we can improve upon. This allows us to continue growing as an organization and improve the next patient’s experience! 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 before my surgery by the facility? Yes. You may receive up to three calls. A healthcare team member will contact you a few days before surgery. 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 before my surgery?
Any pre-operative tests will be determined by your physician or anesthesiologist and communicated to you before 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. A responsible adult must accompany you if you plan to go home in a taxi or public transportation.
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 harm 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
- Chickenpox 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 before surgery. You must follow the instructions provided. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or canceled. Stomach contents are hazardous when having any anesthesia. Gum, breath mints, and chewing tobacco are not to be used within four hours before coming to the surgical center. You may brush your teeth and use mouthwash but do not swallow.
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 surgery date, 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 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 before 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 of 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)
- If applicable, insurance card(s), including Medicare and/or Medicaid cards. 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 asthma or other lung inhalers, 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. You must 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 acknowledgment of these various providers contributing to your care and the potential 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 during your procedure. We will make every effort to inform them of your progress and when they can rejoin 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 before 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 and the medication that will help to keep you comfortable during your procedure. Anesthesia will be provided based on your surgery type, health status, and anesthesiologist. All anesthesiologists 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 healthcare team will follow rigorous site identification and procedure confirmation guidelines. National Patient Safety Goals have been developed that require your involvement too. You will be asked numerous times to confirm both your procedure and the surgical site. You should take a very active role in all discussions with your physician, your anesthesia provider, and our staff regarding identifying your procedure and the correct surgical site. Your surgeon will mark the site before your procedure.
What can I do to help prevent a surgical site infection?
Ensure you, your family, and other caregivers wash your 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 recovery.
How long can my family stay with me prior to my procedure?
This will depend upon several 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” after surgery if they cannot drink from a regular cup.
When will my surgery start?
Waiting times before your procedure 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 you informed, and your patience is appreciated.
North Central is open 24/7 to ensure your needs are always met. 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 department 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 you receive, special anesthetic agents and techniques provide a safe and speedy recovery. If choices are 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. After reviewing your medical history, your physician or anesthesia provider will discuss available options with you.
Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?
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 depend upon many factors, including the type of surgery and the patient’s medical condition. 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. If anesthesia is administered, you will receive a separate bill from your anesthesia provider.
Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking before surgery?
Refraining from eating and/or drinking before surgery is important to prevent the risks of aspirating stomach contents (complications related to vomiting) during your surgery. This complication can be very serious. Specific instructions based on national safety standards will be provided to you before your procedure. You must 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 ensure you are comfortable as the anesthesia wears off. You will be observed until you have met medical criteria.
- The 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 a 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 to go home in a taxi or 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 must 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 and increased redness or puffiness near the wound.
- There is a 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 the 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 you should not touch the surgical wound 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 in fighting 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. Before 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 with 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 convenient time for you to come in and complete your testing. Depending on your medical history, this appointment will take approximately 1-2 hours. 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. 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
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
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 the 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 the 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 driver’s 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 has a sleeper sofa for visitors to stay with the patient.
- Minor patients must always have a parent or legal guardian present.
For details on visiting hours, please check with your nurse. Please be aware that for security reasons, some of the entrances may be locked during the evening hours.
If you lose any of your 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.