Patients & Visitors

Surgery Information

The following information will be useful to you as you prepare for surgery, and then prepare to come home to recover.

At Home

  • If you feel sick or have a fever, call your physician. We may have to postpone your surgery.
  • If your surgeon tells you to, take a shower the night before AND the morning of surgery with antibacterial soap (Hibiclens).
  • Wear clean, freshly-washed clothes to come to the hospital. Your clothes should be loose-fitting and comfortable.
  • You may brush your teeth, but DO NOT swallow any water. 
  • Remvoe ALL body piercing and jewelry.
  • Leave your valuables at home. There is no storage area at the hospital for these items, and Memorial is not responsible for the security of them. 
  • Take only the medicines your doctor has approved/recommended with a small sip of water.
  • DO NOT suck on mints, chew gum, eat or drink anything including water for eight hours before surgery (unless your physician instructed you otherwise).
  • DO NOT smoke or chew tobacco the morning of your surgery.
  • DO NOT wear make-up or nail polish.

What to Bring to the Hospital

  • Personal toiletry articles
  • Slippers
  • Robe, pajamas or gown
  • Contacts, glasses, dentures, hearing aids, etc. (with cases for storage while you are in surgery)
  • List of medicines you take (with doses and schedule)
  • Any instructions your doctor may have provided
  • Small amount of cash ($5 or less) on hand to purchase newspapers, magazines or items from the gift cart

Before your procedure, your personal items will be placed in a plastic bag and given to your loved ones. They will return these items when you're assigned to a room.

Do NOT bring:

  • Jewelry, large amounts of cash or credit cards. (Memorial is not responsible for them.)
  • Electrical appliances, such as hair dryers, shaving equipment or radios. We ask this for safety reasons; all electrical equipment in the medical center is specially grounded and checked for the protection of all patients.
  • Medicines. Only medicine prescribed by your physician while you are in the hospital will be given. Do not bring medicine unless specifically requested by your physician.

At the Hospital

  • Check-in. Arrive on time and in the correct location. We will need time to prep you for surgery, so if you are not on time it could cause us to delay, or even cancel, your surgery that day.
  • We will ask you for a list of your medicines, insurance cards and forms from your physician. Then we will review your medical history, have you change into a patient gown and start an IV. If you have any questions while we are getting you ready, ask us. We are here to help you. 
  • We will ask you several times to tell us your name, medicines, allergies and procedure. We repeat these questions for your safety. 
  • Before surgery, a nurse will ask that you sign permission for the procedure. The anesthesiologist will talk with you about the safest kind of anesthetic for you and will answer any questions. 
  • Depending on your care needs, you may be monitored with a heart monitor, blood pressure device and oxygen sensor. If you are to receive intravenous (IV) medication, an IV will be started. 
  • The scheduled time for surgery and the actual time in surgery may be different. We will tell you if there are any changes.
  • There is a staffed waiting room for your family members and friends where they can ask questions and get information about you. They can also go to the coffee shop or the cafeteria; however, someone must stay in the waiting area for updates about you. 

After Surgery

After surgery you will be taken to the Recovery Area, also called the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Your condition will be monitored by a registered nurse and an anesthesiologist. When you are awake, your family can see you.

Your physician will meet with you or call your family members after your surgery. If you are having a cardiac catheterization, the cardiologist may not meet with your family until after reviewing the films later the same day.

If you are staying at the hospital after your surgery…
After you are out of the Recovery Room, you will be transferred to a nursing care unit. Your family will be told when you are ready to go to your room and they can go with you.

If you are going home the same day as your surgery…
After you have recovered from anesthesia, you will receive your discharge directions and be allowed to go home. Arrange to have someone to be with you. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. You also should not take the bus or a taxi alone. Someone should stay with you the remainder of the day and the night as you continue to recover. You may not be able to drive for up to a few days after your procedure.

For a complete and speedy recovery, follow all written directions given to you by the hospital and your physician.