Preparing for Surgery

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An image (#0) within the articleUndergoing a surgical procedure can be a stressful experience. We want your surgery, hospitalization, and recovery at the Paley Institute to be as smooth as possible. If you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the Paley Institute at 561.844.5255 or toll-free at 844.714.5293. You can also Contact Us online to submit a question.

Prior to arriving for surgery, you must see your primary care physician and have them complete a history and physical. Kindly complete this as close to your surgery date or departure date as possible. Please bring a hard copy of your history and physical form with you on the day of surgery.

You should also contact your health insurance carrier and notify them of your upcoming surgery. You may need to obtain the necessary authorization ahead of time.

Once you have scheduled your surgery, the Paley Institute will contact you approximately 1 - 2 months prior to your surgery date. Our representative will inform you of the dates and times for your pre-operative appointment and your pre-admission testing appointment. They will also be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

What is the pre-operative appointment?

The pre-operative appointment will take place at the Paley Institute, at the west side of the Kimmel Building in St. Mary's Medical Center. The appointment will be with your surgeon (Dr. Paley or Dr. Robbins) and/or one of his physician's assistants. The appointment will usually take place on the Monday prior to your surgery. Your physician will go over the surgical procedure and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

What is the pre-admission testing appointment?

The pre-admission testing (PAT) appointment will take place at the surgical center at the east side of the Kimmel Building of St. Mary's Medical Center. During this appointment, you will meet the anesthesiologist, and the nurse will perform a blood test. The PAT appointment will typically take place the morning before surgery.

What do I need to do before my surgery?

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery
  • Do not take medications without specific instruction, including aspirin or aspirin products.
  • Do not bring jewelry, credit cards, money, or other things of value.
  • Do not wear make-up, nail polish, lotions, or perfumes the day of surgery.
  • Do not plan to drive yourself home. You must make prior travel arrangements. You cannot travel unattended in a taxi or on a bus.
  • Notify the Paley Institute if you develop a cold, sore throat, fever, or other illness.
  • Wear clean, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and shoes that can be easily removed.
  • Bring a case for contact lenses or glasses.
  • Brush your teeth, swish, and gargle the morning of surgery, but do not swallow!

What happens after surgery?

After surgery is complete, the patient will be transported to the recovery room. At this time, the surgeon and/or a member of the surgical team will come out and speak to the family and caregivers. If the patient will be discharged that day, the surgical team member will go over instructions for pain medication and post-surgical instructions and protocols. If the patient is staying inpatient, they will be transferred to the main building of St. Mary's Medical Center.

Inpatient hospital stay will vary depending on the type of surgery. Typically, patients will be in the hospital for three to four days. While in the hospital, the patient will have serveral tubes and cords attached to them. These include the epidural or pain-controlled analgesic (PCA) pump, the IV, a wound drain (if necessary), and a Foley catheter for urine. The patient may also be in a cast or have an external (or internal) fixator applied, depending on the type of surgery. While inpatient, the patient may also require a blood transfusion.

What happens after discharge from the hospital?

Upon discharge, patients may be required to return to the clinic for follow-up appointments. If the patient is lengthening, or if recommended by the surgeon, the patient will need to start outpatient physical therapy. The Paley Institute Rehabilitation Department will contact you to schedule an evaluation. You can reach the Rehabilitation Department at 561.844.7878.

You will also be provided with prescriptions for pain medication and any recommended medical products or durable medical equipment (walkers, crutches, commodes, etc.). The St. Mary's hospital staff will be happy to assist you in the discharge process and will be on hand to answer any other questions you may have.