Patient Surgery Guide

  • A pre-operative nurse may call you before your surgery and ask you to come to the hospital for a pre-screening appointment. In preparation of surgery, you will be asked questions about your medical condition at your appointment, over the phone or on the day of surgery. If you are not available or do not receive this call, please call us at 818-496-5233, and follow the prompts.
  • Let us know about any current or former allergies, medications (including dosage and frequency), and medical history. If you smoke, we recommend quitting at least a week before surgery.
  • If you develop any signs of illness (e.g., fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea) during the week before surgery, notify your surgeon’s office immediately.

Shower according to your surgeon’s directions. If your surgeon has not given you specific directions, shower on the night before and on the morning of surgery.  Do not shave anywhere near the area where your surgery will be done.

Instructions for showering

  • Wash your whole body, and pay special attention to your surgical area.
  • Let the lather remain in contact with your skin for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Rinse well.
  • Pat yourself dry with a clean, freshly washed towel.
  • Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorant, hair products or makeup.  Do not wear contact lenses.

Pre-surgery diet instructions

  • Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you must follow these diet instructions before your surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water or coffee, after midnight the night before surgery. You may brush your teeth but do not swallow any water. Avoid gum and candy, which are considered food.
  • If your surgery is scheduled for 2:00 pm or later, contact your surgeon’s office for specific instructions.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep.

Ask your surgeon and primary doctor whether you should stop taking any medications prior to surgery. Follow all instructions from your doctors.

Bring a list of medications, including the name, dosage and how often you take them to the hospital. Include over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and dietary supplements. The more your nurses, anesthesiologists and doctors know, the safer your care will be.

Medications to stop taking before surgery

The following medications/supplements may interact with certain anesthetics and prolong their effects, raise blood pressure, cause excessive bleeding or prevent effective healing after surgery.

  • Diabetic medication: Do not take pills or insulin on the morning of your surgery unless advised by your doctor.
    Aspirin: Do not take regular or baby aspirin for seven days before surgery. The exception is cardiac catheterization (“heart cath”) procedures. Cardiologists often want their patients to continue taking aspirin. Check with your doctor.
  • Vitamins: Stop taking one week prior to surgery. These are considered nonessential medications.
    NSAIDs: Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, naprosyn) one week prior to surgery. Ask your pharmacist if you don’t know whether a medication is an NSAID.
  • Herbal supplements: Stop taking one week prior to surgery. Common examples include green tea, fish oil, Omega-3, echinacea, garlic, ginger, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort.

Medications to take prior to surgery

Do not interrupt your usual medications unless advised by your doctor or anesthesiologist. However, you should discuss specific medications, especially those mentioned above, with your doctors.

  • Take essential medications (for your heart, thyroid, blood pressure, or antidepressants) with a small sip of water the morning of surgery.
  • Bring nitroglycerin, inhalers, birth control pills, and/or eye drops if applicable. Do not bring other medications to the hospital.
  • If you use a CPAP or BiPAP (breathing assistance machine), bring it with you.

You are expected to arrive at the hospital two hours before your scheduled procedure. However, your surgeon is responsible for giving you a specific time of arrival. Sometimes a surgeon will instruct a patient to come in earlier. If this applies to you, follow the instructions.

Go to the main entrance of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. Check in at the information desk on the first floor lobby.

Parking is not validated. You may use the visitor lot or the valet at the front entrance; neither is free.

What to bring

  • Personal identification (such as a driver's license)
  • Insurance card(s)
  • Copayment or deductible required by your insurance carrier
  • Any referrals or authorizations required by your insurance carrier
  • A list of any medications you are taking, including any you have stopped taking within the last few weeks
  • Your physician's orders and any CDs/X-rays the surgeon has asked you to bring
  • CPAP or BiPAP (breathing assistance machine), if you use one

What to leave at home

  • The hospital is not responsible for any personal belongings. We encourage you to leave all valuables, such as jewelry, watches, wallet, extra money and credit cards, at home. Bring only the money that is needed to make your copayment or deductible.
  • All jewelry must be removed to prevent injuries and infections. See a jeweler to have items removed if you are unable to do so.

What to wear

Wear loose-fitting clothes, preferably pants with an elastic waist and a loose shirt or jacket that zips or buttons in the front. Sturdy walking shoes are preferred. If you are staying in the hospital, personal hygiene items will be available for you. However, you are welcome to bring your own deodorant, toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush, etc. Don’t forget a charger, if you are bringing a phone. Hospital gowns are provided. Ask a family member or friend to bring any other belongings directly your room after the surgery.

Who you should bring

You should have a responsible adult accompany you to the hospital. If you are having a procedure that requires anesthesia or a sedative, it is your responsibility to arrange in advance for a responsible adult (18 years or older) to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. If you fail to arrange for a responsible adult to care for you, surgery will be cancelled.

Once you go into surgery, your support person can wait in the main lobby on the first floor. This will allow doctors and staff members to find him or her to provide updates.

No visitors are allowed in the recovery room in order to protect the privacy of all patients.

If you will be spending the night in the hospital after your surgery, your visitors can give your name to the main information desk and receive a pass to your room.

Ifyou are going home, a family member or other support person will be invited to your bedside for postoperative instructions before you are discharged.

What to expect

  • Consent forms and policies: All patients are given a number of forms and policies to review and sign on the day of admission. Some patients may receive this paperwork ahead of time from their physician. Expect to review and sign a consent form and receive the hospital's notice of privacy practices, patient's rights and responsibilities, and information about advance directives.
  • Co-pays: Be prepared to pay any copayment or deductible required by your insurance carrier. This amount should be indicated to you during the pre-registration process. However, we recommend contacting your insurance carrier to confirm any amounts owed prior to services being rendered. You may pay with cash, check or credit card.

Financial counseling

Providence Holy Cross has financial counselors who can help explain hospital charges for surgery. For more information, please call the number below that corresponds with the first letter of your last name.

If you are having a procedure that requires anesthesia or a sedative, it is your responsibility to arrange in advance for a responsible adult (18 years or older) to drive you home and remain with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Transportation by taxi or limousine is not acceptable unless you are accompanied by the person responsible for you. This is for your own safety, and there are no exceptions.

  • Ask your physician if you will need home care following discharge. If you have concerns about your postoperative plan, speak with your physician's office.
  • Prescriptions given to you as you leave the hospital may be filled at the pharmacy of your choice.