We want to make your experience at Vidant SurgiCenter as hassle-free as possible. Our team is here to help you and your family prepare for surgery.

Please review the guidelines for surgery carefully. If instructions are not followed, we may have to reschedule your procedure for safety reasons. Please call the SurgiCenter at 252-847-7700 if you have any questions.

Here's a step-by-step plan to help you get ready for surgery.

Step 1: Pre-register for surgery.

You'll need to pre-register with the SurgiCenter before your procedure. You can do this by phone or in-person. If you already completed admissions paperwork at your surgeon's office and you have surgical soap, simply call us to pre-register at 252-847-7705.

If you haven't completed the admissions paperwork and do not yet have surgical soap, you'll need to visit the SurgiCenter before your procedure date and meet with an admissions counselor in person. Please bring a copy of your insurance card and a picture ID with your current address.

Step 2: Tell us about your health.

For your safety, we need to know about any health issues, medications or recent infections. We also need to know if you get sick leading up to surgery. We may need to reschedule your surgery as a protective measure. Be sure to tell us about any medications you’re taking. Certain medications should not be used before surgery. To learn more, see our complete list of medication guidelines.

Step 3: Arrange help after surgery.

You’ll need to arrange for a family member or friend (18 years or older) to drive you home after surgery. When you arrive for surgery, we’ll need confirmation that you have a ride home, and your driver will need to come into the SurgiCenter prior to discharge. You’ll also need someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours after you get home.

Step 4: Limit food and drink.

For your protection, we ask that you do not eat anything after midnight before your surgery. This includes mints, gum and candy. However, you can have clear liquids up to two hours before your arrival time. This means liquids you can see through, such as tea (without milk or creamer), sports drinks, Pedialyte, ginger ale or water. We also recommend that you refrain from alcohol and smoking for 24 hours before your surgery.

Step 5: Get ready for surgery day.

To protect yourself against infection, take a shower or bath the night before, and again on the morning of your surgery. If surgical soap is recommended, simply follow the instructions provided by your medical team. Don’t shave near the surgical site, and don’t use lotion, deodorant or powder.

On the day of your surgery, wear warm, loose, comfortable clothing. Think about clothing that will be easy to put on after your surgery. For example, a button-up shirt for arm surgery or loose-fitting pants for foot surgery. Also, be sure to remove makeup, nail polish, jewelry, body piercings and metal hair accessories. If you have false teeth, don’t apply adhesives on the day of surgery.

Step 6: Arrive early.

Plan to arrive at least one hour before your surgery time (your physician may ask you to come earlier). If needed, please see these directions to Vidant SurgiCenter. Please bring your insurance card and method of payment on your day of surgery. Leave valuables at home, including purse, cell phone or pagers. If you wear dentures, eyeglasses, contact lenses or hearing aids, bring a container to keep them safe during your surgery.

Our team is committed to making your surgery experience a positive one from the moment your enter the door. Expect a warm welcome at Vidant SurgiCenter on the day of your surgery. Our team is here to answer all your questions and make your time with us as comfortable as possible. We also provide a place for your family and friends while they wait.

Here’s what you can expect on the day of your surgery:

Arrival and welcome

Plan to arrive at least one hour before your surgery time (your physician might request an even earlier arrival). When you come in, you’ll be greeted by our receptionist and connected to an admissions counselor. The admissions counselor will review your paperwork one last time and also check your photo ID one last time.

Check in with your health care team

A nurse will be dedicated to your care at Vidant SurgiCenter. Before surgery, your nurse will review your chart, ask a few important questions and prepare you for surgery. Tell your nurse if you’re cold — staying warm lowers your risk of infection. Be sure to tell your SurgiCenter team if you’re not feeling well or have been sick recently. Your physician may decide to postpone surgery until you’re feeling better.

Before your surgery, an anesthesiologist will also come by to ask questions about your health history and any prior experiences with anesthesia. Tell your anesthesiologist if you have diabetes or high blood sugar so we can take extra precautions (people with high blood sugar have a higher risk of getting an infection). The anesthesiologist may arrange medications for you to take before your surgery, such as medications that help with relaxation, nausea or heartburn.

Preventing infection

Our priority during surgery is to take every step to prevent infection. Here’s what you can expect of our team:

  • We’ll always wash our hands before caring for you.
  • A nurse might clean your skin at the surgical site with a special soap that kills germs and also remove hair at the site with clippers.
  • You might be given an antibiotic right before surgery.
  • Your surgery team will perform a surgical scrub of their hands and forearms immediately before starting.

While you wait

We welcome family and friends at Vidant SurgiCenter. To make your experience as comfortable as possible, we provide:

  • A family-friendly waiting area with large-screen television and surround sound
  • A lounge with complimentary coffee, a selection of snacks and a microwave
  • Wireless internet access
  • Computer terminal access
  • A courtesy phone

Our team will be by right by your side after surgery. The effects of anesthesia wear off slowly, so give yourself time. Your health care team will check in with you regularly and monitor your immediate recovery. Here’s what you can expect right after surgery:

Seeing your loved ones

We give your family and friends a pager while you’re here, so they can be notified as soon as your doctor is ready to give an update. You may also have visitors (a maximum of two at a time) once you’re fully awake.

Controlling your pain

We'll do everything we can to keep your pain under control. The best way for you to help us do that is to keep us informed. After surgery, your nurse will ask you often to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10. If pain medication isn't helping, or if you experience side effects, let us know right away. We'll also talk about alternative ways to control pain, such as relaxation techniques, elevation and heat or cold.

Getting ready to go home

Your health care team will keep track of your recovery progress and decide when you’re ready to be discharged. Before you leave, your nurse will talk with your caregiver about how to take care of yourself at home. If, for some reason, your doctor feels it’s not safe to discharge you from the SurgiCenter, we’ll make a plan to admit you to the Vidant Recovery Care Center on-site at the SurgiCenter for additional care and recovery time, or at Vidant Medical Center if necessary.

What to know about pain medication

  • When prescribed under the care of a doctor, pain medications are safe, effective and rarely lead to addiction.
  • The common side effects of pain medications are constipation, itching, nausea and drowsiness.
  • It’s advised to take your pain medication before walking, exercising or doing physical and occupational therapy.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have concerns, have side effects, or if your pain is not under control even while taking medication.

Before you go, we’ll make sure you and your caregiver have all the information needed to guide you through recovery. Since you may still be under the effects of anesthesia, your nurse will talk through these instructions with your caregiver. Your nurse will review how to manage pain and make sure you understand specific recovery instructions for your procedure. We’ll also make sure you’re scheduled for a follow-up with your doctor.

All these instructions will be provided in a package of discharge instructions called the Blue Folder. It is important that your caregiver shares this Blue Folder with you when you’re settled at home so you can refer to the information inside.

Here’s what to expect in the first days following your surgery.

The first 24 hours

You need to limit your activities for at least 24 hours following surgery. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow during the first 24 hours after a procedure:

  • No driving (you’ll need someone to drive you home from the SurgiCenter and for the first 24 hours).
  • You’ll need an adult to stay with you and take care of you.
  • Do not work or do any manual labor.
  • Do not operate machinery or equipment.
  • Do not sign any important papers.
  • Take pain medications as advised and tell your doctor if you experience side effects.

Preventing infection

It’s important to protect against infection after surgery. Here’s what you should know:

  • Wash your hands before touching the dressing or surgical site.
  • Make sure that your caregiver washes his/her hands before touching your dressing. If you’re not sure, ask.
  • Ask family and friends to wash their hands before and after visiting you.
  • Call your surgeon right away if you see any signs of infection. Signs may include fever, redness, swelling, or heat or pain at the surgical site. If you see cloudy fluid draining from the surgical wound or notice a sudden opening of the surgical wound, this might also indicate an infection.

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