Surgery: What to Expect

When You Arrive For Surgery

Surgeon discusses operation with patientWe offer a valet service located outside of the Emergency Department. Please leave all valuables and jewelry at home or with a friend or family member.

When you arrive you will sign in/check in at the day surgery waiting area located on the first floor. We will ask you for your post-operative contact information at this time. Please arrive at the time given to you by preadmission testing or your physician’s office. Please note that no food or beverages are allowed in this area for either patients or family.

Make sure you have followed the instructions on when to stop eating or drinking. Failure to do so will result in a delay or cancelation of your surgery.

When your name is called, you will meet with a nurse who will ask you a series of questions, take your blood pressure and temperature, and provide you with your surgical gown.

All of your belongings will then be placed in a patient belonging area, and you will be asked to wait in the patient waiting area. You will have a choice to wait in either the gowned or public waiting area.

When you are called to surgery you will be assisted to the pre-operative suite and placed on a stretcher. If you are unsteady on your feet or weak, a stretcher will be provided for you in the day surgery area. This is where you will meet your surgeon, anesthesiologist, operating room nurse and other members of the surgical team. This is also where you will have an intravenous line placed.

The surgeon will review your consent for surgery to verify the correct surgery, procedure and surgical site, and any updates to your medical history. Your surgeon will answer any questions you may have.

You will also meet your anesthesia care provider and will have a chance to ask any questions you may have regarding anesthesia. There are a wide range of options for keeping you comfortable.

You will be asked by all of your health care providers a series of question that pertain to who you are, why you are here, and the type of surgery we are performing. This is all part of our culture of safety. It may be helpful for you to write down any questions you have or information you need and bring it with you.

This is your last stop before entering the operating room. You may be given medication that will calm and mildly sedate you before you are brought into the operating room.

After Surgery

After surgery, you will be brought to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. At this time, the surgeon will speak with your designated contact person.

You will stay in the recovery area until you are stable and comfortable — or, if you are being admitted, until you are moved to your hospital bed. This process will be at least one hour but can be much longer, based on your post-operative needs.

When you first wake up you may feel cold, which is normal if you’ve had general anesthesia. The nurses will provide you with warm blankets and devices to maintain your body temperature. Your vital signs and the amount of oxygen in your blood will be checked frequently.

Pain Management

Most patients experience at least some pain following surgery. The nurses will frequently ask you the amount of pain you are experiencing. Our goal is for you to be as comfortable as possible and manage your pain effectively.

Planning For Discharge

Information on how to care for yourself at home and your medicines will be explained to you before you leave. We will provide you with verbal and written instructions upon discharge.

If your doctor has prescribed a pain medication for you, it is important that you do not drink alcohol or drive while taking this medication. When possible, arrange for someone to stay with you the first 24 hours after your discharge from the hospital. You may need help around the house or getting your prescriptions filled. Do not drive for 24 hours after having anesthesia.

Your physician will determine whether you require home care services upon discharge. These services will be arranged by the case manager assigned to you.

Your doctor also may want you to have some type of rehabilitation after you have recovered, such as physical therapy. Learn about Winchester Hospital’s extensive Rehabilitation Services.

In some cases your doctor may feel as though you would benefit from addditional rehabilitation and recuperation at another facility. The case manager assigned to you will assist you and your family in choosing the appropriate facility. However, the final decision will be made by your insurance carrier based on your individual policy.

Download our detailed brochure on Preparing for Your Surgery at Winchester Hospital.

Physical therapist assists patient with exercise

Rehabilitation Services

Winchester Hospital offers a variety of rehabilitation services — including cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy — to help you get back to your normal routine.

Doctor reviews medical model with staff

Pain Management Center

The skilled and caring staff at Winchester Hospital's Pain Management Center helps hundreds of patients each year reduce and cope with chronic pain so that they can lead more active and productive lives.

Provider gives massage therapy to patient

Integrative Therapies

To complement our excellent medical and surgical services, Winchester Hospital offers alternative therapies, including acupuncture, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, yoga and more.