Thank you for choosing Steele Memorial Medical Center for your surgical procedure. This page provides a general overview of preparing for your visit and what to expect the day of your procedure.
The following Pre-Operative Instructions have been provided by your physician and healthcare team to make your upcoming surgery the safest that it can be. Please review these instructions and call your physician if you have any further questions prior to your surgery.
General Surgical Pre-Op Instructions
- DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight, including gum, lifesavers, water.
- No smoking, no chewing tobacco for 24 hours prior to surgery.
- On the day of surgery, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
- On the day of surgery, register at the front desk of hospital. If you have never been to Steele Memorial Medical Center please call 208-756-5608 or stop by prior to your surgery date to pre-register.
- Patients under age 18 must bring parent/legal guardian with them.
- Remember to bring to the hospital all of the medications you are taking.
- If you take a Blood Pressure or heart medication, you can take it with just a sip of water the morning of surgery.
- Bring a list of all of your ALLERGIES.
- Take a bath/shower and brush your teeth on the morning of your surgery.
- Remove all jewelry and leave all of your valuables at home.
- Remove any make-up or Nail Polish.
- Children are not allowed to visit you while you are in the Surgical Services area.
- Pediatric patients may wish to bring a favorite toy/blanket for comfort.
- Have someone available to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.
- Bring glasses for reading/signing paperwork.
If you have not been contacted within one week prior to your surgery date please call the PACU/SURGERY DEPARTMENT AT 208-756-5713 and leave a message. Someone will return your phone call as soon as possible with your scheduled surgery time.
Frequently Asked Surgical Questions
The Steele Memorial Medical Center Surgery Department receives numerous pre-surgery questions each day. We have compiled this list of most often asked questions and answers to help inform and prepare our patients for their upcoming surgery.
Q: When and how will I find out what time I am scheduled for surgery?
A: A nurse from The Steele Memorial Medical Center Surgery Department will contact you one week prior to your surgery to give you a scheduled time. If you have not been called, please call the PACU/Surgery Department at 208-756-5713. Surgical procedures surgeries vary in length. It is impossible to accurately predict the exact duration or each procedure. Therefore, we ask that patients maintain a flexible schedule on the day of your surgical procedure. Occasionally it is necessary to adjust your scheduled time. If this occurs, you will be called at home.
Q: Why can't I eat or drink prior to surgery?
A: With food or fluids in the stomach, there is a risk of aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs under anesthesia.
Q: Why do I have to be there an hour ahead of my scheduled procedure time?
A: Your preoperative time is a time for patient and family education. This time also serves to assure that you are ready for your scheduled procedure. This is crucial to assuring the best possible results. This educational phase takes time and requires family involvement. Most patients are distracted at this time, and may not retain all the information being given to them. We rely on family members to reinforce what is discussed both before and after surgery.
Q: What are some of the things that go on during the pre-operative phase?
A: Your doctor leaves orders for specific pre-op testing, medications and preparations. It is during this time that you may have an intravenous line started, laboratory tests drawn and your surgical site prepared. In addition, you will undergo a physical evaluation prior to your surgical procedure. This allows the operating team to confirm important elements of your medical history, evaluate you for new medical conditions, and confirm the procedure you are to have. You will have the opportunity to speak to your surgeon, anesthetist and caregivers prior to entering the operating suites.
Q: Why do I have to have someone with me prior to and after my surgical procedure?
A: The presence of your family or designee is important. Pre-operatively, your family may reduce any anxiety you may have about your procedure. They will also serve to provide perspective and ask additional questions that you may have forgotten. If you are having an out-patient procedure, your family or designee must understand all after care instructions in preparation for going home. This is for your safety and comfort.
If you have received anesthesia, you will likely have amnesia for the events of the day.
After anesthesia you will need someone to help keep you safe. Each individual is affected by anesthesia differently. For example, you should not drive a motorized vehicle, make important decisions, operate firearms or cook after anesthetics for at least 24 hours.
Patients recover in the comfort of their home instead of the hospital therefore a significant other must understand post-operative instructions and care procedures because patients themselves will still experience the effects of anesthesia after they have returned home.
Q: What are some of the side effects I may experience after surgery?
A: Drowsiness, nausea, unsteadiness in walking, and lightheadedness are some possible symptoms which may occur after anesthesia. After anesthesia you will need someone to help keep you safe. Each individual is affected by anesthesia differently. For example, you should not drive a motorized vehicle, make important decisions, operate firearms or cook after anesthetics for at least 24 hours.
Q: Will I feel pain?
A: Each person experiences pain differently. Your physician will order post-op pain medication to keep the pain at an acceptable level. It is important to follow your physician's directions on the use of the post-op pain medications and to report any complications, side effects or concerns immediately.
Q: Will I see my doctor after surgery?
A: Every reasonable effort is made to assure that you and your family or designee are informed of the findings at surgery. We welcome to opportunity to educate you and your family about your condition and future expectations.
Q: What happens when I leave the operating room?
A: You will spend your recovery time in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Acting under the orders of your Surgeon and Anesthetist, a Registered Nurse (RN) will remain with you, assess you and treat you until you meet the criteria for discharge.
Q: In summary, what can I expect from the time I arrive until my discharge from the Surgery Department at Steele Memorial Medical Center?
A: You can expect high quality medical care and efficiency from the staff and physicians at SMMC. During the time you spend with us at SMMC, you can expect to have completed:
- registration and insurance verification;
- preparation for your surgical procedure;
- surgery and early post-operative recovery.
The remainder of your post-operative recovery either takes place in the comfort of your home or on the well-equipped and well-staffed Medical/Surgical Ward at Steele Memorial Medical Center.
Q: If I have a question or experience a problem after returning home, who do I call?
A: Your physician will instruct you regarding follow up care and contact information. You should call his office or seek immediate medical attention with any questions, concerns, or problems.
In addition, the Emergency Department is staffed by an Emergency Department Physician 24 hours a day. Surgery Department staff at Steele Memorial Medical Center is available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday thru Friday.