Before, During and After Your Surgery FAQs

You probably have many questions about your surgery. If you don’t see an answer to your question, call us. We want your surgery experience to be the best it can possibly be.


Before Your Surgery

Talk to your surgeon about any tests you will need before surgery and how long your surgery will take. You can expect to be contacted by your healthcare team with specific instructions for the day of surgery, by our business office for financial details, and by your anesthesiologist.

Not eating or drinking helps keep you safe. When your stomach is empty, there’s no risk that stomach contents can come back up into your windpipe or lungs while you’re under anesthesia.

Usually, your doctor will ask to not to eat or drink at least six to 12 hours before your surgery. If you don’t follow these rules, your surgery may be rescheduled.

A friend or family member needs to be with you so that they can get any discharge instructions, drive you home and help you at home for the first 24 hours after your procedure. You may need help walking, with meals or medications, or using the restroom.

Please bring:

  • Your photo identification and insurance card(s). Our staff will make copies when you check in.
  • Any medications you need during your stay, such as insulin or an inhaler.
  • A list of all current medications.
  • Your co-payment or deductible, if required.

Don’t bring jewelry, watches or other valuables.

Your doctor may give you specific instructions about washing — including providing a special soap and asking you to sleep in fresh, clean bedsheets and pajamas. Don’t apply lotion, perfume, deodorant or hairspray after washing.
Before your surgery, you can set important items within reach of your bed or chair, move furniture to make room for a walker and remove trip hazards.
Call us right away. Your surgery may need to be rescheduled as the procedure, anesthesia and medications could be harmful to a developing baby.
The Day of Surgery

What you should do during the day of surgery.

Arriving early gives your care team time to check you in and to prep you for your procedure. This may include starting and IV, giving you medications, cleaning and marking the surgical site, and more.
Ask your doctor or staff member. Remember to bring a list of your current medications and any medications you may need during your stay, such as insulin or an inhaler.
Choose clothes that you can take off and store easily. Don’t wear jewelry, piercings, nail polish or cosmetics. Leave contact lenses at home or bring your lens case and plan to remove them before surgery.
Don’t smoke the day of your procedure. Smoking interferes with anesthesia and can make you nauseous during recovery.
You may notice that our healthcare team will ask you several times to confirm the surgery you are having and the surgery site. This is part of the rigorous guidelines we follow to make sure you stay safe. In most cases, your surgeon will mark the site before your procedure.
After you check in, your nurse will take your vital signs and may start an IV, and your anesthesiologist will go over your anesthesia. Meanwhile, our staff will keep your friend or loved one updated on your progress.
After Your Surgery

What to do after surgery.

Every patient’s recovery time is different. Once you are awake and alert, your care team will bring your loved one or friend back to the recovery room. Before you go home, we will make sure your pain is under control and that you are able to use the bathroom. We will also review:

  • Your updated list of medications
  • Home health, if ordered
  • Any equipment you’ll need

You must have someone drive you home after your surgery. If you plan to walk or take public transportation, a responsible adult must go with you.

While this is rare, our surgeon or anesthesiologist will assess you and may decide that you need to be transferred to a hospital for additional post-operative care.

You have options available within Tanner Health System, including our “swing bed” recovery program that provides you a spacious private room in Bremen or Wedowee with therapy, nursing support, meals and more to get you back on your feet and able to live independently.

If you start to have serious pain or any of the warning signs listed in your discharge instructions, call your doctor, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
Ask your doctor if they have specific instructions on what you can eat. Eat lightly and drink clear liquids, such as water or juice. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
In most cases, yes. Patients on blood thinners or who have diabetes may need some adjustments. Your care team will give you instructions before you leave.