What To Expect for Your Surgery
Surgery information for you
Surgery: What You Need To Know
When you need surgery, you may feel overwhelmed. The surgical teams at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth stay by your side during the entire process.
Our providers listen to you and answer your questions. Our day surgery program and hospital campus are designed for your comfort and convenience.
Learn what to expect from your surgery. Watch our video about the surgical experience.
Before your procedure, you will meet with your surgeon. Your surgeon will explain the specifics of your procedure and what to expect. We schedule any needed tests at this time.
Please bring the following items to your pre-operative appointment:
- A list of medications that you’re currently taking
- All medical information regarding your current diagnosis, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, doctors' notes and pathology reports
- Completed patient forms
- Your insurance card and hospital card (if you have one)
- Your insurance copayment, if applicable
While your surgery team will coordinate financial coverage with your health insurance provider, be sure to check with the insurance company first about any requirements that are specific to your policy. These may include:
- Authorization for elective procedures
- Copayment on the day of your surgery
- Referral from your primary care doctor
- Second medical opinion
If a date of service copay is needed, be prepared to make the payment during check-in.
After your surgery, you’ll get several bills. You can expect bills from your:
- Any other medical specialists who provided treatment
If your procedure requires pre-admission testing, your provider will schedule the needed tests. You will also have nursing and anesthesia interviews. These are completed before the day of your surgery.
If you don’t need testing, we complete the nursing and anesthesia interviews on the day of your surgery.
If you experience any significant change in your health, please tell your doctor right away.
Your care team will provide specific, individualized, pre-operative instructions to you during your testing and interviews. Be sure to follow these guidelines before your surgery.
Your registration process starts when your doctor schedules your pre-admission tests. When you arrive for testing, we review and update your demographic and insurance information.
If you don’t need pre-admission testing, we call you before your surgery to confirm your information.
Anyone under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The Night Before Your Surgery
You will receive a call the night before your surgery. We will tell you what time to arrive. If your surgery is on a Monday, we will call you the Friday before.
Remember to follow the specific instructions from your doctor, such as:
- Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight (no gum, hard candies, mints, water, coffee or juice) unless directed otherwise.
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital on the day of your surgery. You cannot drive after anesthesia.
- Dress comfortably in warm, loose-fitting clothing (a bathrobe, slippers and hospital gown will be provided).
- Bring as little to your surgery as possible, leaving all valuables at home.
- Don’t wear makeup or nail polish. The natural color of your skin and fingernails gives the anesthesiologist valuable information about your condition.
- Remove all jewelry and piercings.
If you drink or eat after midnight, tell your doctor right away. For your own safety, your surgery may be rescheduled.
Be sure to share your driver’s contact information. We will contact this person when you’re ready to go home.
The Day of Your Surgery
Please arrive on time so that you and your care team will have time to prepare. When you arrive, check in with the receptionist. A nurse will then call you to begin getting ready. From there, you will go through the following steps:
- Your nurse will take you to a pre-op room where she will take your temperature and blood pressure.
- The nurse will then ask you a few questions and ask for the phone number of your support person.
- You will receive a gown and instructions on how to properly dress for surgery.
- After you're changed and ready, you will receive any necessary medications before resting in your bed. Your family or support person may wait with you at this point.
- Your nurse or an anesthesiologist will then place an intravenous (IV) line in your arm to prepare you for anesthesia.
- Once the IV is securely in your arm, your nurse will take you to the operating room.
During surgery, your family or support person may leave and wait at home, in their car or the cafeteria. They will be notified when it's time to pick you up.
After Your Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, we will move you to a recovery room. During this time:
- Your anesthesiologist will monitor your vital signs until you wake up.
- You will receive pain medicine, if needed.
- Your doctor will call your family or contact person to discuss how the surgery went.
- If you need to stay overnight, we will transfer you to a patient room, and notify your support person or family.
- If you are a day surgery patient, we monitor you until you are ready to go home.
- When you’re ready to go home, we will call your support person (if they aren’t already with you).
- Your nurse will share care instructions for when you get home.
On the Day After Your Surgery
As you recover at home, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for post-operative care.
If you have questions or don’t understand the instructions, call your doctor’s office. Your follow-up care is vital to your healing process.
In general, you should:
- Avoid specific activities for 24 hours after discharge (drinking alcohol, driving, making important decisions, smoking, using power tools, vigorous exercise).
- Eat lightly.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take any prescribed medications as directed.
Within 48 hours after your surgery, a nurse will call to check on your progress. Your comfort and care are our main concern.
If you experience any type of emergency, call 911 or come to the Emergency Department.
What are the benefits of day surgery?
Advances in technology — like laparoscopic surgery — means a better experience for you. The day surgery program at BID Plymouth gives you safe, top-quality care that is convenient and efficient.
Today, many procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis. For most surgeries, you can expect to go home within four to six hours.
Day surgery has many advantages, such as:
- Allowing you to recover in the comfort of your home.
- Limiting your time off from work.
- Reducing interruptions to your normal routine.
What resources are available for families?
We know that waiting for a loved one in surgery can be stressful. We strive to make your wait time as easy and comfortable as possible. You can find more Patients & Visitors information here:
- Cafeteria. Located outside of the waiting room to the right. View our cafeteria hours here.
- Coffee shop. Located off the Urann Lobby on the first floor. Open from 6 a.m. to midnight.
- Gift shop. Located on the first floor across from the reception desk. View our gift shop hours here.
- Meditation room. Located on the third floor. Visitors are welcome at any time.
- Restrooms. Located outside of the waiting room to the right, just past the cafeteria.
- Snack and ATM machines. Available outside the cafeteria.
- Telephones. Available in the waiting areas and in the Bailey and Urann lobbies.
Will you please share your experience with us?
We want to provide the highest quality service to our patients and family members. We evaluate our performance based on patient surveys. You may get a survey in the mail. Please complete this survey and return it to us. We appreciate your time and consideration.