Preparing for Surgery


Getting Ready:

·        Two days before surgery, an outpatient surgery center nurse will call to tell you what time you need to arrive at our Outpatient Surgery Center. Please make note of your assigned arrival time and plan to arrive on time. Our nurse will also discuss health history, medications, and will review instructions on eating and drinking prior to surgery. If we have not reached you by 4:30 p.m. on the day before surgery, please call us at the phone number listed below.

·        Patients who become ill shortly before surgery must tell their surgeon as soon as possible.  Patients who are sick on the day before surgery or day of surgery and cannot reach the surgeon must call us at 434-982-3107.

·        All patients must have a responsible adult who will transport them home.


The Day of Your Surgery

·        Bring all medications or a list of all medications including doses and times.

·        Bring doctors’ reports for recent studies (past 5 years) not performed at UVA Health System, such as cardiac stress tests, catheterizations, blood test results, X-rays, etc.

·        Patients that have Sleep Apnea and use CPAP, should bring their CPAP machine with them into the surgery center.

·        If the surgery will be performed on a minor child or other individual who has a legal guardian(s), a legal guardian must accompany the patient unless a surgical consent form signed by a legal guardian is already on file with the surgeon.

·        Bringing a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or other special item may comfort pediatric patients.

·        Bring medical insurance cards.

·        Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and consider bringing an extra set of clothing.

·        Bring a case for glasses, contact lenses or hearing aid(s).

·        Do not wear jewelry, including wedding rings, or body piercings.

·        Leave all valuables at home or have them held by a friend or family member.



Your Surgery

·        On arrival, register with our receptionist at the front desk and find a seat in our waiting area.

·        As surgery time approaches, a nurse will call you back to our pre-operative suite where they will check vital signs, place an IV, review health history and answer questions. Small children often have the IV placed after they are asleep.

·        If the surgical procedure takes place on just one side of the body, or involves fingers or toes, then the actual surgical site will be marked by a member of the surgical team.

·        Before surgery, members of the anesthesia, surgical and operating room nursing teams will come to the preoperative area to ask and answer questions. Be prepared to provide detailed information about health history, medications (including any herbal remedies) and diagnostic studies.

·        If you have any questions or concerns about your surgery during your visit to the surgery center, please ask us!


After Your Surgery  

·        Once surgery is completed, we move patients to our recovery room where they stay until they are determined by our staff to be ready for release.

·        When patients awake, we move them to the second side of our recovery room, and a nurse will bring in your family/friends to participate in reviewing post-operative instructions with our nurses and/or doctors.

·        Parents of children having surgery are brought in to recovery to be with their child as soon as the child is alert.

·        We depend on patients telling us if they are in pain, experience nausea, or feel cold. We use a 10-point pain rating scale to help determine pain intensity. Please familiarize yourself with that scale shown below.

·        After surgery, deep breathing and coughing helps with the recovery process.

·        Before leaving the recovery room, be sure you understand all instructions about medicines, diet, rest, and follow up visits.

·        Once discharged, patients should go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Due to residual impairment from anesthesia and surgery, it is important not to drive, operate machinery, drink alcohol, or make important decisions for at least 24 hours after discharge.

·        A responsible adult should stay with the patient the night after surgery.

Before You Leave

Please be sure you understand all the instructions about medicine, diet and rest. You may feel sleepy and dizzy. You should plan to go home and stay at home for the rest of the day. For your own safety, it is important that you do not drive a vehicle, operate machinery, drink alcohol, or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after discharge.


UVa Outpatient Surgery Center                      434-982-6100

Toll free                                                     888-882-4635

UVA Toll free number for all UVa Services         800-924-3627

UVa Page Operator to contact your doctor       434-924-0000