What To Expect with Anesthesia Care

Safe, high-quality care close to home

Anesthesiology Care

Pre-Admission Testing

You deserve a surgery program designed with your comfort and convenience in mind. At Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth, we provide safe, high-quality care close to home.

During pre-admission testing, we will interview you to learn more about your medical history. Your doctor’s office will schedule this appointment one to two weeks before your surgery. Telephone interviews are an option for some patients. This appointment may take up to two hours. A parent or legal guardian must accompany children under 18 years.

Please bring the completed Anesthesia Questionnaire with you to your Pre-Admission Testing appointment. This appointment may include any of the following:

  • Anesthesia interview
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Lab tests
  • Physical therapy consults when needed
  • Registration
  • Surgical nurse interview
  • X-rays

Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to register.

What to Bring to Your Pre-Admission Testing Appointment

  • One of the following forms of personal identification:
    • A government-issued picture identification or current Massachusetts driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued I.D.
    • All insurance information.
  • Please complete the Health Care Proxy form and bring it to your Pre-Admission Testing visit and/or day of surgery. If you already have a Health Care Proxy, please bring a signed copy to your Pre-Admission Testing appointment.

Reviewing Your Medical History

It’s important to share your medical history with our team to receive the best care during your surgery.

Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth), part of Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH), has resumed non-urgent, elective surgeries, procedures and clinic visits following the state’s lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19 this week. BID Plymouth also announced the launch of BILH Safe Care, a set of rigorous standards to protect the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff.

As part of the state’s phased re-opening plan, BID Plymouth is again providing a broad range of elective inpatient and outpatient procedures and services, including diagnostic imaging, cardiology, women’s health, and pain management, to name a few. Patients should contact their primary care provider or specialist for more information and to schedule an appointment.

“The extraordinary caregivers and staff of BID Plymouth continue to stand ready to meet the health care needs of our patients and our community,” said Kevin Coughlin, president of BID Plymouth. “As we return to providing the in-person services our community needs to remain healthy, we have implemented a number of new safety measures to protect our patients and staff.”

Now in place at BID Plymouth, BILH Safe Care combines new processes, standards and technologies to promote patient safety, including:

  • Three-point symptom check to confirm patients are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 before their in-person visit, as well as daily symptom checks for staff;
  • Separate care areas for patients with symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19 in the past 21 days;
  • Universal masking requirements for patients, escorts and staff;
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of exam rooms, high-touch areas and common spaces; and
  • Redesigned spaces to accommodate physical distancing and safe pedestrian traffic flow.

“We know COVID-19 continues to present significant challenges and members of our community have a lot of questions about in-person health care visits,” said R. Scott Oliver, Chief of Surgery at BID Plymouth. “We want our patients to know that seeking care – whether for a routine check-up, preventative testing, surgery, or an emergency – is important, and BID Plymouth has taken all the steps necessary to assure your safety.”

BID Plymouth also offers telehealth care options for many specialty areas. To learn more about BID Plymouth’s telehealth options, please visit our Telehealth section.

Tell Your Anesthesiologist About:

Pre-Existing Conditions

Our anesthesiologists receive extensive training on managing chronic conditions that may need attention during surgery. If you have diabetes, asthma, heart problems, arthritis or other health issues, please let us know. This will help us best care for you before and after your surgery.


Tell your doctor if you have any food and drug allergies.

Cigarette Smoking and Drinking

Cigarettes and alcohol affect the lungs, heart, liver and blood. They also change the way an anesthetic drug works during surgery. It is essential to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know about past, recent and current use of these substances. Your surgery can be a motivator to quit smoking. Our doctors, nurses and other health professionals are here to give you support. Quitting will help you heal and recover faster. It also reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Herbal Supplements

Some commonly used herbal products may cause changes in your heart rate, blood pressure and may increase bleeding. Tell your care team if you take ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger or ginseng. St. John's Wort and kava may increase the time a sedative stays in your body, making you sleep longer. It is best to stop taking all herbal supplements two to three weeks before surgery, but be sure to speak with your doctor prior to making herbal supplement changes.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you have recently taken. Your doctors need to know if you take aspirin daily or dietary supplements, since they can prolong bleeding and interfere with muscle relaxants used by anesthesiologists. You must stop some medicines, such as blood thinners, for a period before surgery. Speak with your doctor before stopping any medications.

Street Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, etc.)

All conversations between you and your doctors are confidential. Your doctors must know if you have taken drugs recently or in the past. This allows your doctor to provide you with the safest anesthesia possible.

Surgery Day

It is important to be prepared for your surgery. Follow the instructions from your doctors office.

Don't Eat After Midnight the Day Before Your Surgery

Your doctor will remind you not to eat or drink after midnight unless your surgeon has given other instructions; this includes gum and hard candy. If your surgery is after noon and you don't have a history of gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), diabetes or obesity, you may have a small amount of clear liquids four hours before the scheduled procedure.

Water, black coffee (NO MILK OR CREAM), black tea, ginger ale, gatorade, apple juice, white grape juice and white cranberry juice are clear liquids. Be sure to discuss restrictions during your pre-admission testing visit.

What To Expect

Surgery Day
  • Don't wear jewelry to the hospital on the day of your surgery. If you forget, give your jewelry to the person who took you to the hospital.
  • Before surgery, your anesthesiologist will meet with you again to review your medical history and discuss the results of any tests you may have had before surgery. By learning about your medical history and studying your medical tests, your anesthesiologist will clearly understand your needs. This keeps you safe during surgery.
During Surgery
Your vital signs — including heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels — are continuously watched during surgery. Your anesthesiologist will manage vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm, body temperature and breathing. They will provide fluid and blood replacement when necessary.
After Surgery
  • Because it is unsafe to drive after receiving anesthesia, you will need a responsible adult to take you home. You cannot take a bus or taxi.
  • When you leave the hospital, an adult should stay with you for 24 hours after anesthesia. It takes that long for the anesthesia to wear off.
  • If you feel you may have a medical emergency, call 911 and go to the nearest emergency room. If you aren't feeling well, but don't believe it is an emergency, contact your surgeon and/or primary care doctor. You can also contact BID Plymouth Pre-Admission Testing Department at 508-830-2903.

Pre-Admission Department

Worried about your upcoming surgery? Contact us to speak with a member of our team.