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Surgery Process at St. Joseph's

In an effort to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, we have prepared the following instructions and suggestions for you. Please take a moment to review this information prior to surgery.

Preparing for Surgery

  • Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding your procedure.
  • Follow the fasting (eating and drinking) guidelines given to you by your surgeon.
  • Follow instructions given to you by your doctor or nurse regarding your medications.
  • Bring inhalers with you on the morning of surgery.
  • Shower two nights before your surgery and the morning of your surgery with an antibacterial soap, such as Hibiclens (chlorhexidine). This can be purchased over the counter or will be provided during your preoperative visit.
  • Do not wear make-up or nail polish on the day of your surgery.
  • Please remove contact lenses before surgery.
  • Dentures will need to be removed before going to the operating room.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Bring any equipment, braces or collars that have been prescribed for you by your surgeon. You will need these during your hospitalization.
  • Single patients under the age of 18 MUST have a parent or legal guardian in the hospital at ALL times on the day of surgery, from the time of admission until discharged either to home or inpatient bed.

Pre-Admission Testing Center    

We encourage patients to participate in a pre-surgical visit in our Pre Admission Testing Center (PATC). This appointment can be scheduled by your surgeon’s office prior to the day of your surgery. The benefit of this appointment is that all of the steps required to proceed with your surgery are completed in one convenient location.

The Day of surgery

  • Please arrive in the Pre-Operative Center, 2nd floor, at the time specified by your surgeon’s office. This allows us adequate time to prepare you for your surgery.
  • You will change into a hospital gown
  • Your admission information will be reviewed
  • An intravenous (IV) line will be started.
  • You will meet the anesthesiologist who will be with you during your surgery.
  • You will be taken to the operating room on a stretcher.

While you are in surgery

  • Your family or significant other may wait in the surgical waiting room on the 2nd floor near the Preoperative Center.
  • Your surgeon or his/her representative will speak with them after your surgery.

After your Surgery


  • You will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU) or directly to the Intensive Care Unit depending on the type of surgery you are having.
  • Most patients stay in the PACU for 1-2 hours, but this varies for each individual patient.
  • After you have satisfactorily recovered in the PACU, you will be taken to your room in the hospital (or discharged to home if you are having an outpatient procedure).

Discharge from the hospital

  • Your doctor will determine when you are ready to be discharged from the hospital.
  • Nurses, case managers and social workers are available to help make sure you have everything you need when you leave the hospital.
  • You will be given written discharge instructions.
  • Please ask your nurse if you are unclear about any instructions.
  • Discharge is usually in the morning. Please have your ride come to the hospital a half hour before your expected discharge time.