Guide for patients

We are honored that you have put your trust in us. We welcome you to our center and will do our best to provide a warm, relaxing atmosphere, with special focus on the things we know are most important to our patients, their families and loved ones:

  • Keep me safe.
  • Help heal me.
  • Be kind to me.
  • Respect my wishes.

Riverside Doctors' Surgery Center is a Department of Riverside Regional Medical Center. This means that we are held to high standards of quality and safety. If you have any questions or concerns during your visit, please speak to a member of our team.

Surgery Patient Instructions

Exterior view of Riverside Doctor's Surgery CenterPlease read these instructions carefully as you prepare for your visit. It is important that you follow each step.

You will receive a call 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 757-645-3131. 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 of these can interfere with bleeding or healing.

Diabetic patients should ask their doctor for instructions before the day of surgery.

A nurse will call you one to three days before your surgery to go over your medications and health history. We ask that you bring a detailed list of your medications with you on the day of surgery and whenever you seek health care 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, to include skin changes such as rashes, scratches, bruises and sores.

Testing before surgery

Your doctor or anesthesiologist may order testing before your surgery. This may include X-rays, EKG or blood tests. Please have your pre-op testing completed one week prior to your surgery but no later than three days before surgery to allow your doctor to review the results.

Riverside offers testing at most of our diagnostic & surgery centers. Most services are available on a walk-in basis. You can also make an appointment by calling Central Scheduling at 757-989-8830 (choose option 2). One of our diagnostic centers is located right on our campus at Riverside Kings Way.

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.

If you have diabetes, you should follow the instructions from your doctor.

Do not consume alcoholic beverages 24 hours before and after surgery. Avoid smoking at least 12 hours before or after your procedure.

If you have not received a phone call from the Riverside Doctors' Surgery Center team by 3 p.m. the day prior to surgery, please call 757-645-3131.

The day of surgery

You must have a responsible adult with you on the day of surgery, to remain at Riverside and drive you home after your surgery. We will not allow you to leave Riverside alone. For your own safety, do not drive for 24 hours following surgery if you receive general anesthesia or sedation.


Medical papers: Remember to bring any papers your physician or the admissions clerk has asked you to bring. Please bring power of attorney or legal guardianship paperwork if applicable.

Advance directives: If you have them, please bring a copy for our records.

Medications: Bring a detailed list of the medications you are currently taking includingthe name of the medicine, the dose, how often you take it and the last time you took it.

Medical equipment:

  • Bring any inhalers you are currently using.
  • Bring any custom-fitted appliances or orthopedic appliances that you will use after surgery. These include collars, lumbar corsets, slings, walking boots, post-op shoes, etc.

Clothing: Wear comfortable, casual clothing. Low-heeled shoes and jogging suits are ideal.

Valuables: Other than your co-pay (if applicable), please DO NOT BRING VALUABLES (money, credit cards, checkbook) with you. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for their possible loss.

Jewelry: Please do not bring jewelry with you on the day of surgery. Remove all jewelry including wedding rings and body piercings.

Glasses/ contact lenses/ hearing aids: 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.

Makeup/ fingernail polish: Remove all makeup and fingernail polish.

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 our center to sign surgery consent forms. Please be prepared to stay in the facility until your child is discharged.

If your child has a favorite toy, blanket, cup or sippy cup let him/her bring it.

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 postanesthesia care unit ("recovery room"). Nursing mothers may nurse as usual.

Please remember to bring extra diapers.

After your surgery

After returning from surgery, you will remain in the center until ready for discharge. We will offer you beverages and crackers when you are awake and able to tolerate them.

We will not permit you to drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia. 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 cannot drive or drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after discharge. At the time of discharge, you might still feel drowsy.

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.

At home

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. Please take a few minutes to complete it. This is an important part of your after care which helps us help you.

Quick Reference Numbers

  • Central Scheduling, 757-989-8830 (option 2)
    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Riverside Doctors' Surgery Center
    A Department of Riverside Regional Medical Center
    Main Number 757-645-3131
    Monday - Friday: 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m.