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What to Expect

We want to provide as much information as possible so you will be well prepared for your surgery. If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, please feel free to call us at 573.651.5830.

Your Presurgery Visit

Your appointment for a presurgical visit will allow you time to ask questions and for the medical staff at Southeast Hospital to gather information to help reduce the possibility of surgical complications and prevent delays the day of surgery. We want to ensure that you are as safe and comfortable as possible during your anesthesia, surgery and recovery.

Please gather the following information and bring to your appointment:

  • Insurance information
  • List of prescribed medications, over-the-counter medications and supplements you normally take
  • List of any allergies to medications
  • List of any past surgeries and their approximate dates
  • Copy of the identification for your pacemaker and defibrillator if you have these devices
  • Copy of your advanced directive and power of attorney for medical care and living will
  • Results of any presurgery tests that were done outside of SoutheastHEALTH, such as blood work, electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, stress tests and cardiac catheterization. You can also ask your primary care provider or cardiologist to fax test results to Pre-Surgical Anesthesia Testing at 573.651.5882.

What to Expect During Your Appointment

Your appointment will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes and possibly longer if you need additional testing. Open-heart surgery patients can plan on two to four hours for their appointment. Here is what will take place:

  • Interview with nurse regarding your medical history and other necessary clinical information
  • Vital signs taken, weight and height obtained
  • Brief physical exam by nurse
  • Discussion about which medications you should and should not take on the day of your surgery (unless previously determined by your surgeon)
  • Review of patient education materials regarding your procedure
  • Pediatric or adult medical history and physical examination by a hospitalist or an advanced practice registered nurse if needed
  • Anesthesia evaluation and an interview with an anesthesia provider if needed (more information below)
  • Required presurgery diagnostic testing as requested by your provider (more information below)
  • Scheduling of additional testing if needed
  • You will be asked to provide a phone number where you can be reached 24 hours before surgery

What Kind of Testing to Expect

We offer a full range of testing services before surgery depending on your age, physical condition and procedure. A full determination of the scope of testing will be made at your appointment. Your provider may order one or more of the following:

  • Blood testing (labs)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (heart)
  • Respiratory testing (lungs/breathing)

Instructions for the Day Before Surgery

You will receive pre-op instructions regarding medication, food and drink from your provider's office at the time your surgery is scheduled.

  • Please carefully follow the fasting instructions you received. Failure to do so could result in the delay or cancellation of your surgery.
  • A representative of the hospital will contact you between 1 and 6 p.m. to confirm the time of your procedure and your arrival time. You will be asked to arrive 1.5 hours prior to your scheduled time.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking nonprescription drugs 24 hours before your surgery.
  • You must bathe (bath or shower) and wash your hair the night before and the morning of surgery to decrease the chance of infection. If you are provided a bath kit, please follow the enclosed instructions.
  • Please call your surgeon if you have any changes to your health such as an infection, fever, cold or flu symptoms and scratches, abrasions or rash where your surgery will be performed.

Instructions for the Day of Surgery

  • You may brush your teeth but do not swallow water.
  • Do not use glue on your dentures.
  • If you need to take certain medications, do so with a sip of water.
  • Do not take diabetic medications/insulin the morning of your surgery.
  • If you use an inhaler, CPAP mask and machine, braces, assistive devices or cervical collar, please bring it with you.
  • Please bring any medications as directed by your provider.
  • Do not wear contacts, and if you wear glasses, please bring a case for them.
  • You may wear your hearing aids during pre-op, but bring a container to store them.
  • Do not wear makeup, nail polish, body piercings or hair products.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes.
  • Do not bring money or valuable items with you. Please leave personal items at home or with a family member, especially cellphones and computer tablets.
  • Children/minors must have a parent or legal guardian (and legal paperwork) with them.
  • You will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after anesthesia and you must have a responsible adult drive you home after surgery.

After Surgery

You will receive detailed instructions of care after your surgery and contact information if any problems develop.