Preparing for Surgery

If you are going to have surgery at RMC, please read the following step-by-step instructions so that you can be best prepared for surgery.

  1. Preadmission Testing
    When your doctor schedules surgery for you, he or she or the RMC Surgery Scheduling Office will give you a date and time for you to go to pre-admission prior to your surgery. Any tests ordered by your doctor will be scheduled at that time.

    What to Bring to Pre-admission Testing
    Medications – Please bring with you to pre-admissions any medications that you are taking so that they can be recorded.

    Insurance Card(s) – Please bring your insurance card(s) with you to pre-admissions. Any services billed to you by RMC have been directly requested by your doctor. Fees for anesthesia, pathology, radiology, the surgeon and any consulting doctors will be billed directly to you through their offices.

    Living Will – If you have a living will, please bring it with you to pre-admissions as a copy will be made for your file. This is simply to have on file.

    Pre-admission testing is located on the 3rd floor of the RMC Main Building.

    If you have not been contacted by pre-admission staff at least three days prior to your scheduled surgery, please call (256) 235-5141.

  2. Financial Arrangements
    Prior to your scheduled procedure, you will be contacted by an insurance staff member who will verify your surgery. RMC is very much aware of the increasing cost of health care and is dedicated to reducing those costs when possible. Any services billed to you by RMC have been directly requested by your doctor. Fees for anesthesia, pathology, radiology, the surgeon and any consulting doctors will be billed directly to you through their offices.

  3. Admission
    On the day of your surgery, go to the Same Day Surgery nurse’s station, which is on the third floor of the hospital down the hall from the front entrance at RMC. All surgery patients must report to Same Day Surgery, whether the surgery is to be done on an outpatient or admitted patient basis. Please do not arrive before 5 a.m. as the area is not open until that time.

    Unless the patient is a child, children are not allowed in the Same Day Surgery area. Please make other arrangements for children during this time. Following your admission, children are allowed to go to the family waiting rooms conveniently located on each floor.

    When you check in at the Same Day Surgery nurse’s station, you will be given an identification bracelet and taken to your room. A nurse will visit you as soon as possible to begin the simple admission process. You will be asked to sign a consent form giving RMC and your doctor permission to perform the prescribed surgical procedure. A parent or guardian must sign for a minor child under the age of 13.

    Your surgery site will be marked by your physician.

    For information on what to bring and what not to bring for your surgical procedure, please click here.

  4. Parking and Transportation
    Free parking is available in the Visitor’s Parking Lot in front of the hospital. A responsible adult should accompany you to and from the hospital, as well as stay with you for 24 hours following your procedure. Your surgery may be cancelled if these important instructions are not followed.

  5. Guests
    No more than one adult family member may wait in your room. However, if a child is undergoing surgery, both parents or guardians may wait in the room. In addition, there is a family waiting room on each floor.

    All facilities and the RMC campus are tobacco free and smoke free.

The Night Before Your Surgery
Please follow these important instructions to help ensure that your procedure can be performed on schedule and with as little inconvenience to you as possible.

  1. Eat light – Eat a lighter than normal dinner before 8 p.m. Suggestions include salad, soup, Jell-O, etc.
  2. No medications – Do not take any medications except those prescribed by your doctor or the Anesthesia Department.
  3. Avoid alcohol – Do not drink any alcoholic beverages.
  4. No food or drink after midnight – Unless instructed by the Anesthesia Department, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. By avoiding food and drink, the risk of surgical complications and post-operative nausea are greatly reduced.
  5. Call about any physical changes – Please notify your doctor by 10 p.m. if you experience changes in your physical condition such as fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unusual pain.
  6. Bathe – Take a bath or shower the night before your surgery.

The Day of Surgery

  1. No food or drink -- Do not eat or drink anything unless instructed by the Anesthesia Department. Take instructed pills with a sip of water the morning of surgery.
  2. No tobacco – Do not smoke or use chewing tobacco, snuff or chewing gum.
  3. Dress comfortably – Wear loose clothing such as a sweat suit to the hospital. We will provide you with a gown for surgery.
  4. No cosmetics – Do not wear fingernail polish, make-up or perfume the day of surgery.
  5. No jewelry – Do not wear any jewelry, including wedding rings, on the day of surgery.
  6. No valuables – Do not bring any valuables to the hospital including credit cards, jewelry, etc.
  7. Brush your teeth – Brush your teeth the morning of the surgery, but do not swallow any of the water.
  8. No contact lenses – Please bring a container for your contacts or glasses. A denture cup will be provided.
  9. Your hospital bed – The nurse will show you how to operate the controls to adjust the height, foot or head of your bed. However, due to medical conditions, there may be times that adjustments are not permitted.
  10. Room temperature – All rooms in the hospital are centrally heated and cooled. Please notify the nursing staff if your room temperature is uncomfortable.
  11. Calling your nurse – A button to call your nurse is located at your bedside. When you press the button, the nursing station is alerted that you need assistance and a light flashes on above your door. A staff member will respond to your signal as soon as possible.

After Surgery

  1. Transportation – You must make arrangements to have a responsible adult accompany you to and from the hospital. Someone should stay with you for at least 24 hours following your procedure.
  2. No medications – Do not take any medications unless specifically prescribed by your doctor or the Anesthesia Department.
  3. Go slow – Surgery and anesthesia may leave you feeling tired and/or with no appetite. It may be several hours or the next morning before you feel like eating. When you start to feel hungry, begin with a few sips of cola or juice. If there is the slightest doubt, don’t eat or drink anything.
  4. Avoid alcohol – Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours following surgery.
  5. Avoid major decisions – Do no make any important decisions or sign any legal documents for 48 hours following surgery.
  6. Watch symptoms – Call your doctor immediately if severe dizziness or other alarming symptoms occur.
  7. Discuss issues – Ask any questions and discuss any concerns you may have following surgery with your doctor.
  8. Emergency notification – In the event of an emergency, immediately contact your doctor. If you are unable to contact your doctor, you may call RMC’s Emergency Department at (256) 235-5266.