Surgery Patient Guide
We appreciate the trust and confidence that you and your doctor have in our hospital and its services. Your well-being is our primary focus, and we’ll do all we can to ensure that your stay with us is as comfortable as possible.
In this section, we hope to answer many of the questions you may have about coming to the hospital for surgery as they relate to two general areas:
Preparing for Your Hospital Stay
We want to make your surgery experience as stress-free as possible. In this section, you'll find information that will help you prepare for your stay with us.
Once you’ve been scheduled for surgery, a BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel team member will call to verify your insurance information, schedule your pre-admission visit and coordinate any required diagnostic testing. This visit will occur approximately 7-10 days before surgery.
Even if you’ve had your laboratory work done elsewhere, we highly recommend that you come in for this visit. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions and to meet some of the people who will be caring for you, and we’ll assess and plan for your nursing and anesthesia needs.
When you come to the hospital for your pre-admission visit, please bring:
- All paperwork from the doctor's office
- Your medical insurance card
- A copy of your living will, health care surrogate or durable power of attorney (Advanced Directives)
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that opens in the front
We understand that you may be nervous about your upcoming procedure. We’re here to answer any questions you have. We’ll discuss what you can expect when you come in for surgery, as well as what takes place during post-op and recovery. You’ll meet with a registered nurse and/or anesthesiologist, and at your request, a financial counselor can also be available.
Pre-Operative Patient Instructions
When you come to the hospital for your pre-admission visit, you'll receive a Surgery/Procedure Handbook. It will contain several important documents such as:
- Patient Rights & Responsibilities
- Notice of Privacy Practices
- Pre-operative instructions
It's very important that you read these documents. It's also important that you follow the pre-operative directions to prevent delay or cancellation of your procedure.
- Don't eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery. You may brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, but don't swallow.
- Take any necessary medications prior to your procedure only as directed by your doctor.
- Have a designated, responsible adult drive you home after discharge.
- Drink extra fluids throughout the day before your surgery prior to midnight unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Don’t drink alcohol.
- No smoking for at least 24 hours prior to surgery.
- Bathe or shower before coming to the hospital.
- Wear loose clothing. No jewelry.
- Leave your suitcase in the car until after surgery if you are staying overnight.
Items to pack before coming to the hospital
- Non-skid slippers
- Loose fitting clothes to wear home
- Book or magazine
- Hairbrush, comb, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal items such as a contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures and prostheses
Please leave at home:
- Valuable items including jewelry, credit cards and checkbook
- Prescription medications
During Your Hospital Stay
Having surgery is stressful. Your peace of mind, however, is important to the healing process. That's why we want you to understand what will happen when you’re here. That information is included in this section. Information on many of the small "creature comforts" that are available to you while you’re recovering is also included:
- Day of Procedure
- Following Surgery
- Translator Services
- Spiritual Care
Day of Procedure
When you arrive on the day of your procedure, a nurse will greet you and review your paperwork. You may give your belongings to a loved one who may sit in the waiting room. You’ll then change into a hospital gown and an IV may be started. It will be used to deliver fluids and medications. We'll place you on a stretcher, and then you’ll move to a holding area where you’ll wait until everything is ready in the procedure room.
Once you move into the procedure room, you may notice the following:
- The room will be cool.
- A safety belt may be placed over your legs.
- The staff will be wearing scrub suits and masks.
- There will be various pieces of equipment that are used to monitor your progress such as a heart monitor (pads on the chest) and an oxygen monitor (on your fingers).
Comfort and pain management
Each person experiences pain differently, and we’ll make every effort to ensure you’re comfortable. To help us do that, we may ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10, where zero equals no pain, 1 is minimal pain and 10 is severe pain. Be sure to notify the nurse if your procedure site hurts or burns.
Continuing your care
Immediately following your surgery, we’ll continue to monitor your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. We’ll check your dressings and encourage you to drink fluids. Coughing and deep breathing are recommended to prevent pneumonia. Your doctor will order increasing levels of activity to also help prevent pneumonia, as well as blood clots.
If you’re going home the same day, your nurse will review post procedure instructions with you and your loved one. It’s important that you follow all instructions. In addition, you must have a responsible adult present for your instructions, to drive you home and to care for you after your procedure.
Before you leave, your doctor will write your discharge order, and your nurse will give you written instructions for your care at home and for taking any prescribed medications. Discharge time is approximately one hour after your doctor writes the order. A team member will call for your ride once the order is complete and will escort you to your car.
A representative from the Food and Nutrition Department will visit you each day so that you can make your meal selections. However, your medical condition may require certain meal choices to change. To ensure that you follow your prescribed diet, please obtain your doctor's approval before visitors bring any outside food to you. Patient meals are served during scheduled times.
Extra meals for guests can be ordered for an additional charge. Let your nurse know in advance if you’d like this service. Waves Café is also available for visitors.
BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel knows a loved one's attention can be key to one's recovery. Our visitation policies support those interactions while also ensuring the safety of our patients, team members and providers. Read our visitation policy.
The gift shop at BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel is located in the main lobby. We offer a variety of candy, games, books, cards, balloons, stuffed animals and more.
We want you to feel comfortable during your hospital stay. To help you feel at home, each patient room has a TV.
Translators are available for those who don’t speak English. Please see your nurse for more information.
Accessible parking is available in every lot on the hospital campus. People using wheelchairs may use the main entrance.
Our chapel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for prayer and reflection. If you'd like spiritual guidance, a chaplain is available to serve patients and their families of all faiths. Learn more about spiritual care at BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel.