WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE THE SURGERY:
It is very important to tell your doctor about the medicines that you are taking and any allergies that you may have. Write this information down and show it to your doctor.
- each medicine
- what the medicine is used to treat
- when the medicine is taken
If you will be undergoing any anesthesia, arrange for a driver to pick you up following your surgical procedure.
Review all of the information on the Consent Form before you sign it. You or your surrogate must sign a consent form before any surgery can take place. If you are unsure about anything, ask.
The doctor or another member of the surgical team will make a mark with a pen on the part of your body where the surgery will happen. This should be done BEFORE you go into the operating room.
Some doctors will sign their name or initials. Some will make an “X” or “Yes” mark on the correct body part.
Check that the mark does not rub off. It will be very important for the doctors and nurses to see the mark while you are asleep prior to the surgery.
MANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED WHEN READING THE CONSENT FORM. HERE ARE SOME GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK IN ORDER TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR SURGERY:
- What is the name of the surgery that will be done?
- Where or what body part will be operated? (write down if it is the left or right side, if needed.)
- Are there any alternatives to surgery?
- What are the risks of this surgery?
- What is likely to happen if I do not have the surgery?
- Who is in charge of the surgical team?
- About how long will it take to recover after the surgery?
AN HOUR, OR LESS, BEFORE THE SURGERY…
While you are still awake, a doctor or nurse will ask you to say your name, your social security number or birth date, and the part of your body undergoing operation. Do not be alarmed by these questions; your doctor knows who you are. This is how they make sure they have everything right.
JUST BEFORE THE SURGERY BEGINS…
Just before the surgery begins, everyone in the operating room will take a short “time out” and check for the last time that they have the right patient and are doing the right operation on the right body part.
You may be asleep during this part.