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Preparing for surgery

HCA Florida Northwest Hospital offers a set of guidelines to prepare patients for surgery with advice on what to expect before, during and after procedures.

Your doctor has chosen HCA Florida Northwest Hospital for your upcoming procedure. Please be assured that our highly skilled staff will provide you with individualized care and attention in a warm and comfortable setting. We strongly encourage you to ask questions if you do not understand any procedures or guidelines for your surgery.

If you have any questions, you may call the Surgical Services Department at (954) 978-4156.

Presurgery checklist

For your convenience, here is a checklist to help you prepare for surgery:

  1. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your operation. Otherwise, your surgery may be postponed or cancelled. Non-compliance could cause serious complications.
  2. Refrain from smoking after midnight the day before your surgery.
  3. Bathe completely and wash your hair. This helps to remove germs from your body.
  4. Remove all make-up and jewelry before coming to the hospital.
  5. Wear simple, loose-fitting clothes.
  6. Leave money, credit cards, jewelry and other valuables at home.
  7. Please bring your insurance card(s). This will facilitate the admitting process.
  8. Bring a list of medications and dosages you are currently taking.
  9. You may take your daily prescription medication(s) on the morning of your surgery with a sip of water only. However, do not take diabetic medications; just bring them with you.
  10. Bring a container for your dentures, eyeglasses or contact lenses if needed.
  11. Please arrange for an adult to drive you home and, if possible, stay with you for the night following the surgery.

What to expect before, during and after your surgery

HCA Florida Northwest Hospital strives to ensure that your visit with us is pleasant and comfortable. There are a number of steps that will be carried out before, during and after your surgery.

Before your surgery

  • Your surgeon or anesthesiologist may feel it is necessary for you to see your medical physician to be cleared for surgery.
  • You should expect a call from a nurse and/or anesthesiologist the day before your surgery unless you have seen them in person during a preoperative visit. If you do not plan to be at home that day, please call the Surgical Services Department at (954) 978-4156 between the hours of 2:00pm and 6:00pm.
  • Please notify your surgeon if you become ill with a cold or fever the day before your operation or if you have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher. If you suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your surgeon.

The day of your surgery

  • Plan on arriving at the Outpatient Pavilion at least one hour before your surgery.
  • Upon arrival, please register at the front desk in the Outpatient Pavilion Lobby.
  • You will be directed to the Surgical Services Department, where you will be interviewed by a nurse and asked to sign a consent for surgery. If the patient is a minor, this form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian; proof of guardianship will be required.
  • After your interview, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown and wait on a surgical stretcher. At this time, your family member or friend will be asked to go to the Outpatient Pavilion Lobby, located directly outside the Surgical Services Department.
  • An anesthesiologist may administer medications to you through an intravenous (IV) catheter. After the surgery, the IV will allow the nurse to give you fluids until you are able to drink, as well as administer pain medication if needed. You will be asked to describe your pain on a 0 to 10 scale, 10 being the worst possible pain. The IV will stay in place until just before you are discharged.

After your surgery

  • After your surgery, you will be moved to our fully equipped Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), also known as the Recovery Room, where you will remain under close observation.
  • The amount of time spent in the Recovery Room varies from patient to patient but typically is one to two hours.
  • When you are ready to leave, a representative will escort you in a wheelchair to your car.
  • The Surgical Services Department will provide you with a written summary of your surgeon’s post-operative instructions regarding diet, rest and medications. Since it is normal to feel drowsy after receiving an anesthetic, the following activities should be postponed for 24 hours after discharge:

    • Driving and operating equipment
    • Signing important documents
    • Making significant decisions
    • Drinking alcoholic beverages
    • Taking any drugs without your physician’s approval

Additional information about our tests and procedures

Whether you are preparing for a mammogram or are researching information on cancer therapy, Radiology Info's website will answer all your questions related to many radiologic and interventional radiology procedures performed right here at HCA Florida Northwest Hospital.

We hope you will find the information and links above useful in your quest for more information. For any questions about pre-registration, please feel free to call (954) 978-4040 for inpatient surgeries or (954) 978-4041 for outpatient surgeries. If you still have questions or need a physician referral, you can always contact us at (866) 442-2362 or (866) 4HCA-DOCS.