Surgery Patient Instructions
Please read these instructions carefully as you prepare for your visit. It is important that you follow each step.
You will receive a call usually the afternoon before your surgery to give you an arrival time. The time that you are requested to arrive is prior to when your procedure is scheduled.
Since this time is needed to allow us to prepare you for your procedure, it is important that you arrive on time. If you think you will be late, please call our Pre-Op/Post-Op team at 757-585-2025. If you need to cancel or have questions, you must call your physician's office.
Sometimes we have unexpected delays in our carefully planned operating room schedule. We will try to avoid any inconveniences to you and your family. We will keep you informed as changes occur.
We recommend that you not schedule any other appointments the day of your surgery. In addition, if you have young children, you should make plans for their care on your surgery day, such as having someone pick them up from school.
Medications and Supplements
Discuss your medications with your doctor or surgery scheduler. You may need to stop taking some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or blood thinners. You also need to tell your doctor about any vitamins and herbal supplements you take. Some preparations can interfere with bleeding or healing.
A nurse will call you before your surgery to go over medications with you; however, we ask that you bring a detailed list of your medications with you on the day of surgery and whenever you seek healthcare or services.
This list should include the name of the medicine, the dose and frequency (or how often you take it). Riverside offers a free wallet-sized List for Life/MediCard that you can keep and use to list your medications and other important information. To request a free List for Life/MediCard call Riverside Nurse at 757-595-6363 or 800-675-6368.
Call your physician immediately if you notice a change in your health between the time you see your surgeon and the day of your procedure.
Testing Before Surgery
Your doctor may order testing before your surgery. You can have this testing performed in the diagnostics area at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg. You should plan to have your testing done 10-14 days prior to your surgery.
To ensure that it is safe for you to have your procedure, you may need to have your blood drawn and/or an EKG performed if ordered by your physician. If your physician orders a chest x-ray, you can have this test performed in the hospital's Radiology/Imaging department.
In addition to the testing services offered at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg, Riverside offers other testing sites where patients can have testing done (lab draw, EKG, x-ray) on a walk-in basis - no appointment needed. You can also make an appointment by calling Central Scheduling at 757-989-8830 (choose Option 2).
The Day Before Surgery
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT ON THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SURGERY. This includes chewing gum, eating candy and swallowing water when you brush your teeth. If you are taking medications regularly for heart and lung conditions (such as angina, chest pain, high blood pressure or asthma) or for seizures (such as epilepsy control), we recommend that you continue to take the medications on your usual schedule including your day of surgery. Medications may be taken with a small sip of water. If your physician gives you different instructions, please follow those instructions.
Diabetic patients who do not eat after midnight should not take insulin or other diabetic medications the morning of the surgery.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages 24 hours before and after surgery. Avoid smoking at least 12 hours before and after your procedure.
If your doctor orders a clear breakfast, you may have one of the following items:
- Coffee or tea without cream or sugar
- Ginger ale
- Jell-O, except NO red-colored
- Apple juice
If you have not received a phone call from the Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg surgical services team by 3 p.m. the day prior to surgery, please call 757-585-2025.
The Day of Surgery
You must have a responsible adult with you on the day of surgery, to remain at the facility and drive you home after your surgery. We will not allow you to leave alone. For your own safety, do not drive for 24 hours following surgery if you receive general anesthesia or sedation.
Remember to bring any papers your physician or the admissions clerk has asked you to bring. Please bring power of attorney paperwork if applicable.
If you have them, please bring a copy for our records.
Bring a detailed list of the medications you are currently taking including:
- The name of the medicine
- The dose
- How often you take it.
- Bring any inhalers you are currently using.
- If you are on CPAP, please bring your equipment with you.
- Bring any custom-fitted appliances or orthopaedic appliances that you will use after surgery. These include collars, lumbar corsets, slings, walking boots, post-op shoes, etc.
Wear comfortable, casual clothing. Low-heeled shoes and jogging suits are ideal.
Other than your co-pay (if applicable), please DO NOT BRING VALUABLES (money, credit cards, check book) with you. The hospital accepts no responsibility for the possible loss of these items.
Please do not bring jewelry with you on the day of surgery. Remove all jewelry including wedding rings and body piercings.
Please remove your contact lenses, glasses and hearing aids before surgery and give these items to the person accompanying you. Please remember to bring storage cases for glasses or contact lenses.
Remove all makeup and fingernail polish. These can interfere with our monitoring devices.
Wigs/ Hair Extensions
Wigs may not be worn into surgery.
If Your Child is Having Surgery
If your child is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the child to the hospital to sign surgery consent forms. Please be prepared to stay in the facility until your child is discharged.
Children's Checklist for Day of Surgery
- Favorite toy or blanket - Familiar items will bring comfort.
- Cup or sippy cup
- Bottles - If your child drinks from a bottle, please bring one bottle of formula and an empty bottle for juice to drink after he/she comes back from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit ("recovery room"). Nursing mothers may nurse as usual.
- Extra diapers
After Your Surgery
After returning from surgery, you will remain in the hospital until you have adequately recovered from anesthesia, and your doctor has determined you are ready for discharge. We will offer you beverages and crackers when you awake and are able to tolerate them.
We will not permit you to drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia, as it is not safe for you or others. Please be sure to make arrangements with an adult 18 years or older to transport you home.
For your safety you should also make arrangements for someone to be home with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
You should not drive or drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after discharge. At the time of discharge, you might still feel drowsy.
If You Are Being Admitted After Surgery
A member of your care team will notify your family or significant other when you arrive in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and when you receive your room assignment. If family members are unable to be at the hospital, they may call 757-585-2200 for a status report.
To protect your privacy, please provide those family members or friends with a 'secret password' of your choosing. We will ask callers for the password before we release any information about your status.
Before You Leave
Please be certain you understand your physician's instructions. Your nurse will review physician discharge instructions to include medications, diet, and rest requirements. You will also receive a written copy of these instructions.
If you experience difficulties or complications once you return home, please contact your surgeon. If you cannot reach your surgeon at his/her office or have any questions, call the Riverside Operator at 757-594-2000 and ask them to page your surgeon. Riverside Nurse is also available to answer your questions at 757-595-6363 or 800-675-6368.
After a few days, you may receive a questionnaire from our customer service partner, Press Ganey. Please take a few minutes to complete it. This is an important part of your after care which helps us help you.
Quick Reference Telephone Numbers
757-989-8830 (Option 2)
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg
757-585-2200 - Main Number, 24 hours a day
757-585-2025 - Surgical Services, Monday - Friday: 5 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
The Surgical Services suite at Riverside Doctors' Hospital Williamsburg includes a procedure room that allows us to perform a variety of procedures on site:
- PEG tubes
- Pulmonary procedures
The equipment available at our hospital is some of the safest and most technologically advanced endoscope processing equipment available today. We have also designed work areas to streamline workflow to increase efficiency.
- High definition equipment
- State-of-the-art video imaging
- Automated cleaning process, which significantly reduces the risk of infection.
Educational program for those undergoing joint replacement.
We are honored that you have put your trust in us for your surgical procedure. We will do our best to provide a warm, relaxing atmosphere, with special focus on the things we know are most important to patients, their families and loved ones:
- Keep me safe.
- Help heal me.
- Be kind to me.
- Respect my wishes.
Your comfort and peace of mind are extremely important to us. We hope the following steps we have taken will contribute to both.
Family-Focused Waiting Area
Our technology in the waiting room allows you to "follow" your loved one through their surgical experience by providing accurate real-time updates of their progress. If you would like to visit our cafeteria, or walk through some of our available family areas, you will have a pager provided to you that will alert you when your loved one's surgical procedure is completed, and they are taken to the recovery room.
Your care team will coordinate all care through our fully-integrated electronic medical record. This system includes important safety features like checklists and alerts as well as time-saving extras that allow care providers to spend more time with our patients.
Large Private Rooms
You'll receive care before and after surgery in large, private rooms that better accommodate visits from family and friends.
Our nurses carry special phone devices that are also integrated into the Hospital's technology, allowing them to respond to your needs more efficiently.