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Preparing for Surgery

Planning Ahead

Please review all the information below.

  • A pre-op assessment appointment will be scheduled for you several days before the day of surgery. Please plan time to attend this appointment, as it is an integral part of preparing for your surgery at UF Health Flagler Hospital. The appointment takes approximately one and a half hours. There is the option for some patients to have a telephone pre-op appointment.
  • You will be asked to arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery two hours before your scheduled surgery time. Please arrange a ride to the hospital with a responsible adult to ensure you arrive on time.
  • Please prepare and freeze healthy meals before your surgery so you will be prepared. This will result in your energy conservation and promote optimal post-op rest time.
  • Put commonly used objects such as pain medications, beverages, telephones, remote controls and assistive devices within reach.
  • If you live alone, arrange for a family member or friend to stay with you after you leave the hospital. It is best that they stay overnight with you.
  • Place emergency telephone numbers by each phone, including your surgeon’s telephone number.
  • Make sure your home is well lit and free from tripping hazards.
  • Make arrangements for the care of your children and pets in advance.
  • Consider making Advanced Medical Directives - these are legal documents that help you get the treatment you wish. They allow you to give directions about your future medical care if you become mentally or physically unable to choose or communicate your wishes. At your pre-op appointment, you will be asked if you have these items.
  • A living will contains instructions that explain your wishes regarding health care should you have a terminal condition.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you name a person to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.

Pre-Op Assessment Appointment

On the day of your appointment, please sign in at the outpatient surgery reception desk. You will be given a vibrating alerting device, which will alert you
to your turn while waiting in the reception area. This appointment will take about one and a half hours, as there are a number of steps to complete. It is not necessary to fast for this appointment. In other words, eat normally on the day of your appointment, unless otherwise told to do so.

During the pre-op appointment you will:

  • Meet with the registration staff to verify insurance, obtain approval and note any changes in insurance, address, phone number, etc.
  • Meet with the pre-op nurse who will review your medical history and medications, assure that all consents are correct and signed and give you instructions about when to arrive on the day of your surgery, what medications the anesthesiologist wants you to take on the morning of your surgery and any other preparation.
  • Be directed to the pre-op lab for blood work and other tests if indicated by your surgeon or anesthesiologist.
  • For your safety and well-being, it is extremely important that you tell the pre-op nurse all of the medications you take at home. In order for the nurse to make a complete and accurate list of all your medications, we ask that you bring a list of the names and doses of your medications (including prescriptions, vitamins, supplements, herbals and any other over-the counter medications.) If you are unable to make a list, bring your medications in their bottles. For your convenience, you will find a small bag in your “packet” to carry your medications to the appointment.
  • Please bring the following items to your appointment: Insurance forms or card(s), Advanced Medical Directive, your list (or bottles) of all of your medications, the name and phone number of someone to contact about your condition on the day of surgery and your surgical packet.
  • Prior to your appointment, please complete the pink history form in your packet. This will help facilitate a smooth and timely appointment. Be sure to bring this form, along with your packet to the pre-op appointment.

On the Day of Your Surgery

Please sign in at the outpatient surgery reception desk at the time you were given by your surgeon. This is the same area in which you attended the pre-op assessment appointment.

It is important that you shower or bathe before coming to the hospital. Please remove all make-up including nail polish. Please leave all jewelry including wedding rings and body piercings at home.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. If your surgery involves your shoulder or arm, a button-up shirt will be best, (this accommodates for an arm sling.) Elastic pull-up pants and easy to slip on shoes are ideal.

Bring a hairbrush or comb and a case for your contacts or glasses. Contacts and dentures will have to be removed before you go to surgery. Bring a robe if you will
be an inpatient. If your procedure requires the use of crutches please bring them with you when you arrive for surgery.

If you did not attend the pre-op appointment, or were unable to bring your medication list or bottles of medications with you to the appointment, please bring them with you on the day of your surgery. Otherwise, leave your medicines at home.

Please do not bring cash, credit cards or other valuables, such as a watch or other jewelry. UF Health Flagler Hospital cannot be held responsible for the loss of these items.

Please limit visitors to two per patient. Children under age 12 should not be brought to the hospital for their own protection.

Remember that if you are having outpatient surgery, you must arrange for someone to drive you home. You will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours following surgery.

After you have signed in:

You will be escorted to a pre-op room where you will change into a hospital gown and be given an allergy and ID bracelet to wear during your stay. Your clothes will be stored in a garment bag and placed in a locker in your room. Please remember to leave your valuables at home.

Your nurse will take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature and will complete any special preparations ordered by your surgeon or anesthesiologist. An IV (intravenous catheter - a small catheter that goes into the vein to give you fluids and medications during surgery) will be inserted at this time.

You will then be escorted to the pre-op holding area, where you will meet the operating room team who will be with you during your surgery: the pre-op nurse, the anesthesiologist, the nurse anesthetist and the surgical nurse. This team is all your patient advocates and will protect your privacy and safety needs throughout your procedure. For your safety, they will ask you questions that you have most likely answered before. You may feel these questions are repetitive and tiring but they are asked to ensure your safety as well as to provide the best care possible for you while you are in the hospital. Before you are taken to the operating suite, your surgeon will mark the spot on your body being operated on.

Information for Family and Friends

Your family and friends may wait in the surgical waiting room where they can check-in with the hospital volunteer or guest service specialist. Your surgeon or someone from the operating room will keep them informed of your progress.

Please inform your family and friends that UF Health Flagler Hospital is a non-smoking facility.

The hospital dining room is open seven days a week from 7 am - 6:30 pm for the comfort and convenience of your family and friends while they are waiting. Full meal service for breakfast is from 7 - 9:30 am; lunch is from 11 am - 1:30 pm; and dinner is from 4:30 - 6:30 pm.

Sandwiches, soups and snacks are available throughout the day between serving times in the vending machines located in the dining area. The dining room is located on the first floor of Alicia Tower.

The UF Health Flagler Hospital Gift Shop is located in the main lobby on the first floor of the main patient tower. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 am - 5 pm and Wednesday and Friday from 9 am - 8 pm. The Gift Shop is operated by the UF Health Flagler Hospital Auxiliary and offers a variety of toys, plants, jewelry, cards and sundries.

The Outpatient Pharmacy is located on the first floor near the Gift Shop. It is open from 7:30 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday.

If you have any complaints or concerns, please contact the Patient Engagement Department at 904-819-4789.

Visiting hours may vary based on your room location. Please check with your nurse for more information.