Today, most surgical procedures performed at Culbertson are done on an outpatient basis where the patient goes home the same day. However, whether you have surgery as an outpatient or inpatient, the preparation and follow-up care will be similar.

Before your scheduled surgery, a nurse will call you to review your medical history, discuss past surgeries, and confirm the medications you are taking. She will make sure you understand pre-operative instructions and that you know when and where to report for surgery. This is an excellent time for you to ask any questions you may have.

On the day of the surgery, you will be asked to sign a form granting your consent to have surgery. Your physician will explain the procedure to you in detail before you sign your consent form. Failure to complete the form could prevent or delay your surgical procedure.

Laparoscopic Surgery vs. Traditional Open Surgery

Your doctor may have told you that you will be having laparoscopic surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery in which two or more small incisions are made in the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope is inserted to permit structures within the abdomen and pelvis to be seen. The abdominal cavity is distended and made visible by the instillation of carbon dioxide. Tubes, probes, or instruments can be inserted through the same incision. In this way, a number of surgical procedures can be performed without the need for a large surgical incision. Most patients receive general anesthesia during the procedure.

The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include a shorter post-operative period with less pain. The avoidance of a large abdominal incision also decreases some post-op complications.

Pre-operative Procedures

The anesthetist will visit you to discuss methods of anesthesia, and an operating room nurse may stop in to explain operating-room procedures. Before you are taken to the operating room, several procedures may need to be performed in your room by nurses and technicians. You may be given some medication to make you drowsy.

During Surgery

While you are in the operating room, members of your family may wait in your room or in the waiting area located within the Surgical Department. Be sure a nurse knows where your family members are in case your physician wishes to contact them.

Following Surgery

After your operation, you will be taken to the recovery room where a nurse will watch you closely until your condition is stable. When you are ready to return to your room, personnel will let your family know when they can see you. You may notice when you awaken that you are receiving intravenous fluids or oxygen. These procedures are routine in post-operative care.

Follow-up Calls

A surgical nurse will telephone you within three days of your surgical procedure to find out how you are feeling and if you have any questions. You may want to write down any questions so that you will remember to ask them when the nurse calls.