After the decision has been made to proceed with pelvic surgery, there are a variety of steps that need to be taken to make sure that you are completely prepared for the surgery:
1. Scheduling and Pre-Certification: You will be contacted by one of the OR Coordinators that works with our doctors to schedule a date and time for your surgery and to make sure that any pre-approval from your insurance carrier is obtained.
2. Pre-operative testing: Every individual undergoing surgery needs some degree of assessment to make sure that the surgery can be done as safely as possible. This assessment may include blood tests, imaging studies (chest x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc.) and cardiograms (EKG). We try to have these done as soon as possible after the decision to have surgery is made so that if there is anything that is abnormal it can be corrected. Special tests that we recommend for you are:
3. Blood donation: The vast majority of women undergoing pelvic surgery never need a blood transfusion. However, if your surgeon thinks that you have a 5% chance or more of needing a transfusion, he or she may recommend that you donate a unit of your own blood, if possible. This will be arranged by the OR Coordinator.
4. Pre-operative Medicine or Anesthesia Consultation: Just like with pre-operative testing, there are some women who need to be more intensively evaluated prior to the surgery to make sure that everything that can be done is done before the operation to make the surgery as safe and successful as possible.
5. Bowel Preparation: Pelvic surgery is safer and easier if the lower intestine has been completely cleaned. Therefore, your surgeon wants you to complete a bowel preparation prior to you having the surgery. (Please see specific instructions under Bowel Preparations)
6. Medications you are taking: It is important that you continue to take the medications that you need to keep you healthy. Therefore, on the morning of your surgery, please take the medications that your doctors have prescribed but take them with the smallest amount of plain water needed to swallow them.
7. Fasting before Surgery: Beginning at midnight the night before surgery you should have absolutely nothing to eat or drink except for the medications that your doctors have prescribed (see # 6 above).
8. The Day of Surgery: You will need to be at the hospital 2 hours before the scheduled time of your surgery. If your case is first, you need to be at the hospital at 6 am. When you first arrive at the hospital, you can go to any of the information desks and a Patient Care Coordinator can help you with directions to the Nelson 2 OR desk or JHOC Outpatient Surgicenter, which is where you need to go.