Preparing for Surgery

Planning ahead for your surgery or procedure at Samaritan Medical Center and knowing what to anticipate will help you feel more confident and comfortable when you are here – we understand that any surgery or procedure can be intimidating, and we want to help you be as prepared as possible.

The information below will be helpful to understanding some of the terms you may hear during your surgery or procedure.

Pre-admission Testing (PAT):

In most cases, your doctor will order tests to be performed prior to your surgery or procedure. Pre-admission testing (PAT) is usually done no earlier than 14 days before surgery or procedure and is scheduled through the doctor's office. Your physician's office will tell you if you need pre-admission tests. Based on individual needs, your surgeon may elect your PAT interview to be performed by phone. If you have questions about PAT, please call your doctor's office directly.

Your PAT appointment will consist of testing and physical therapy instruction (if ordered) and an RN interview of your current health status. This will be reviewed by an anesthesiologist prior to your surgery and is a critical component to the process.

Please remember to provide a complete list of medications and dosages that you are currently taking (prescription, over-the-counter and herbals) to the nurse conducting the PAT interview. Download our fill-able Patient Medication List to help keep track of your medications.

Common tests conducted during the PAT appointment are: complete blood count (CBC), complete medical profile, Electrocardiogram (EKG), x-rays, stress test, pacemaker or defibrillator placement report (when and where the testing was done, name of doctor, and facility where the placement was performed and who is following up with the patient's care).

Your participation in the PAT interview and testing is needed to provide optimal care during and following your procedure and to promote the best possible surgical outcome. As a result, participation in the PAT interview is a requirement. If you are unable to keep this appointment, it will result in a delay or cancellation of your surgery.

For Outpatient Surgery

If you are having surgery or a procedure and will return home within 23 hours or less, you are considered an "outpatient" having same day surgery.

What to bring the day of surgery:
• Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, such as a jogging suit, and bring slippers
• Container for contact lenses
• Healthcare proxy and other advance directives information (i.e. living will)
• Co-payment that is required for your insurance, if applicable
• A complete list of medications and dosages you are currently taking and the time/date of your last dose: prescription, over-the-counter and herbals
• Ambulation aids, such as crutches or a walker if these have already been provided to you for use following your surgery
• For children, a favorite toy and/or blanket

Things you should leave at home:
• Large amounts of cash
• Jewelry and other valuables

Before your surgery or procedure:
• Please review any instruction sheets that were given to you by your doctor's office.
• Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your admission.
• Consult your physician regarding taking your regular medications.
• Take a complete bath or shower and shampoo your hair. Do not wear makeup or nail polish on your fingers or toes.
• For patients having outpatient surgery, please arrange for an adult to drive you home after surgery. You will not be allowed to drive yourself or take a cab by yourself.

Your arrival:
Free parking is available in Samaritan's parking garage on the corner of Washington and Woodruff Streets. Handicapped parking is available on the ground level of the garage. A pedestrian crosswalk links the garage to the main hospital lobby entrance and an information desk is located at this entrance to assist with directions and other information. Our map has further information.

Discharge – Outpatient Surgery
• Your nurse will review your discharge instructions with you before you leave Samaritan Medical Center.
• You must make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home. Because of the effects of your anesthesia, you may not drive sooner than 24 hours after you are discharged from the hospital. We also advise you to make arrangements for someone to stay with you at home following surgery.

For Inpatient Surgery

If you are having surgery and will then be admitted into the hospital to stay, you are considered an "inpatient."

What to bring the day of surgery:
• Robe
• Nightgown or pajamas
• Slippers
• Toothbrush, toothpaste or denture products
• Personal toiletries
• Container for glasses, contacts or dentures, if needed
• Healthcare proxy and other advance directives information (i.e. living will)
• Co-payment that is required for your insurance, if applicable
• A complete list of medications and dosages you are currently taking and the time/date of your last dose: prescription, over-the-counter and herbals
• For children, a favorite toy and/or blanket

Things you should leave at home:
• Large amounts of cash
• Jewelry and other valuables

Before your surgery or procedure:
• Please review any instruction sheets that were given to you by your doctor's office.
• Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your admission.
• Consult your physician regarding taking your regular medications.
• Take a complete bath or shower and shampoo your hair. Do not wear makeup or nail polish on your fingers or toes.

Your stay:
As a patient admitted to our hospital you will receive the Patient Handbook outlining all the services available to you, please refer to this handbook or ask your Nurse. In addition you can read over Inpatient Room services, which covers Dietary Service, TV service and more.

Your discharge:
• Your attending physician is the only person with authority to discharge you from the hospital. If you choose to leave before your doctor authorizes you to do so, you must sign a statement assuming full responsibility for your action. In addition, your insurance company may not cover your surgery costs if you do this.
• The hospital's customary discharge time is 12 p.m. However, there may be times when, due to medical necessity, you will remain in the hospital a few hours longer. This decision will be based on your individual health care needs.

Samaritan Medical Center | 830 Washington Street | Watertown, NY 13601 | (315)785-4000 | Toll-Free 1-877-888-6138
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