Preparing for Surgery | White Plains Hospital

Preparing for Surgery

A safe, comfortable, and successful surgery experience is dependent on following certain pre-operative guidelines from your doctor. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Please do not eat after midnight (12 a.m), the night before your surgery.  This includes gum, hard candy, mints and chewing gum. You may have clear liquids up to three hours prior to your surgery, unless your surgeon has instructed you otherwise.
  • We encourage you to brush your teeth the morning of surgery however please be careful not to swallow any water.
  • Bring a complete list of any medications you may be taking, including injections, aspirin, compounds containing aspirin, anti-inflammatories, herbal preparations, and vitamins. Consult with your doctor regarding when or if you should take medication prior to surgery.
  • Please shower the night before and the morning of surgery with antibacterial soap. If your surgeon has instructed you, please use Hibiclens during these showers.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat, supportive shoes. Do not wear makeup. If you wear dentures, a partial plate, contact lenses, or any other prosthesis, you may be asked to remove them before surgery. Your nurse will label the item and keep it in a safe place until your return.
  • On the morning of your surgery please do not use any hair products, perfume, cologne, after-shave or scented lotions. Be sure to remove all jewelry and body piercing items from your body. These can pose the possibility of injury if worn during surgery.
  • If you develop a cold, fever, or rash, notify your surgeon. Your surgery may be postponed.
  • For any leg surgery, wear clothing that can accommodate bandages such as sweat pants, shorts, or skirts. If you will need crutches after surgery, bring them with you.
  • One person may stay in the Ambulatory Surgery Department with you while you are recovering. Please do not bring children (other than the patient) to the hospital.
  • Surgical patients are requested to report to the Admitting Office (main floor) two hours prior to the scheduled time of surgery, unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon’s office.
  • It is mandatory that a responsible adult accompany you and drive you home upon your discharge. This must be arranged before the day of surgery. The telephone number of your designated driver must be given to the Ambulatory Surgery Department nurse. Surgery will not be performed unless these arrangements have been made. Do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after surgery (unless otherwise instructed) A taxi driver is not considered a responsible adult. Your driver must be available for discharge instructions.
  • Please do not bring valuables into the Hospital. If you must bring valuables, we ask that you place them in the safe in the Cashier's Office located on the main floor next to the Admitting Department. 

For Pediatric Patients

Pediatric patients should follow all applicable pre-operative guidelines, as well as any additional guidelines from your physician. There is an exception: Children can be given clear liquids like apple juice and water up to two hours before surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Unless otherwise instructed, report to the Admitting Office to sign in on the day of surgery. You will be asked to sign insurance forms and medical consents if you have not already pre-registered.

From the Admitting Office, you will be directed to the reception area in the Ambulatory Surgery Department on the 3rd Floor in the Flanzer Pavilion. Once your chart is reviewed, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. A nurse will take your vital signs and review your prior medical/surgical history with you. To ensure the best care possible, you may be asked some questions again that you have already answered.

The Operating Room (O.R.)

Prior to entering the Operating Room, you will be introduced to an anesthesiologist who will ask questions about your health, previous surgeries, allergies, medicines you are taking, and other conditions you may have such as diabetes or high blood pressure. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any remaining questions you may have about anesthesia. At this time you will be taken to the OR on a stretcher.

In the Operating Room, your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be monitored. The anesthesiologist will then administer medication previously discussed with you and your surgeon.

The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (P.A.C.U.)

After surgery you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, a special unit designed to monitor your health after surgery. Here, your vital signs will be monitored every 15 minutes. You will have an IV and may receive oxygen through a tube placed under your nose. Some discomfort and nausea should be expected, but if your symptoms are severe, please inform a nurse as soon as possible.

White Plains Hospital adheres to the most current pain control measures so that your recovery is as comfortable as possible. For best results, discuss pain control options with your doctor and nurses.

When your condition allows, your nurse will determine when you can be returned to the Ambulatory Surgery Department or transferred to your hospital room.