Your Surgical Guide

Before Surgery

At St. Francis, safe surgery begins with good communication among the surgeon, St. Francis' surgical staff and the patient. The surgeon will work with the patient to select a time and location, then the surgeon's staff contacts St. Francis to schedule the surgery and to relay any special requests. The surgeon's staff also sends pre-op orders that list preparation such as tests or medications that the surgical staff needs to provide pre-surgery.

After these arrangements, the patient meets with St. Francis' surgical staff for a pre-assessment. The pre-assessment includes verifying personal information, checking the patient's records against the physician's pre-op orders, receipt of pre-surgery reading materials and time for questions. An anesthesiologist will speak with you and complete any additional lab tests the surgeon requests. Learn more about the different types of anesthesia, and what to expect regarding anesthesia before your procedure.

Download Pre-Surgery Patient Materials

Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, the patient is taken to "pre-op," dressed in a surgical gown, receives any intravenous fluids and prepares for the surgery. Safety measures continue with "site marking," a method developed by the American College of Orthopedic Surgeons and endorsed by the American College of Surgeons. It involves the patient identifying the body part to be operated on with ink or a sticker before surgery. In addition to the added security site marking provides, it allows the patient to gain confidence in the surgery through patient participation.

As a way for patients to relax, St. Francis offers a Music Relaxation Therapy, including music-assisted relaxation techniques.

Prior to beginning the procedure, the surgeon and staff take a few minutes to make sure they are in agreement about the procedure and what the patient has given them permission to do. Items to be used during the surgery are counted before, during and after the procedure to ensure that nothing is left behind that could injure the patient. Some routine surgeries last only a few minutes. More complex operations can take hours. While the surgical staff's attention is directed toward the patient during surgery, they ensure the family remains involved as well, placing frequent phone calls to the waiting room to report on a patient's progress.

After Surgery

After surgery, patients are moved to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for close monitoring. For outpatients who will go home later in the day, PACU is a recovery room at your outpatient facility. For inpatients, PACU is in the main hospital. Visitors are not allowed for adult patients during the early stage of recovery, but close family of outpatients may visit during the later stage. Family and friends of inpatients may visit once their loved one is settled into a room or care unit, depending on the type of surgery and prescribed recovery process.

Outpatient surgery patients who leave the same day receive follow-up phone calls to make sure they understand their surgeon's orders for recovery and are progressing as anticipated. Inpatients are moved to a room in the hospital, where they receive check-up visits from their physicians and around-the-clock nursing care.

Click here to learn what to expect regarding anesthesia after surgery, and see instructions from the anesthesiologists.

Whether they leave the same day or after an extended stay in the hospital, surgical patients go home with detailed care instructions prepared by their physicians. Patients may be referred to Rehabilitation Services or to St. Francis HomeCare. St. Francis also offers a Wound Healing program for any patients who need additional assistance with post-op wound care.