UnityPoint Health - Meriter

Surgical Services

Our surgical wing features eighteen state-of-the-art surgical rooms with leading-edge technology and integrated information technology systems.

Operating like a high-tech command center, our operating rooms are equipped with digital imaging equipment and three flat-screen monitors suspended from the ceiling and one 42-inch monitor hung on the wall. Through a high technology switching station, nurses access real-time images from endoscopic cameras, as well as stored digital images of x-rays, MRI and CT scans and can send the images to the screens located around the surgical table to meet the precise needs of the patient and surgeon.

Pre-surgery and post-operative room are all private rooms providing for the privacy and comfort of patients and their family member.

Before Surgery

Transportation Arrangements
Begin making arrangements for a ride home from the hospital and someone to spend the first night with you. All patients receiving anesthesiology are required to have a ride home arranged.
Office Visit Before Surgery

Your doctor will:

  • Complete your health history and conduct a physical exam
  • Order any needed tests including lab work and X-rays.
  • Spend time discussing risks, benefits, and alternatives to surgery
  • Review your medications. Tell your doctor if you take:
    • Blood thinners
    • Aspirin
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Any paperwork from your employer that your surgeon needs to complete
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
  • How much pain should I expect and how long is it likely to last?
  • Where will I get supplies or medications I need for home?
  • When will I be able to drive?
  • When will I be able to return to work?
  • When will you want to see me next?
  • Who should I contact with questions or concerns?
What to Bring to the Hospital
  • Any personal equipment, including:
    • Glasses, dentures or hearing aides
    • Walker, cane, crutches, or leg braces
  • Photo ID, health insurance card, and form of payment if you have a co-pay, a copy of your Advance Medical Directive if you have one.
  • Clothing to wear that will fit loosely over the surgical site (you may wear to the hospital if you wish)
  • A book, game or puzzle to pass the time if surgery would be delayed.
  • Tubing and mask if CPAP has been prescribed for home use. We will provide the machine.
What to Leave at Home
  • Large sums of money, credit cards, or highly valued personal items. The hospital is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please leave unneeded valuables at home.
  • Your medications, unless your surgeon specifically suggests that you bring them.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Preparing for Surgery
  • Do not shave or wax body hair within 2 days of surgery.
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use any recreational drugs the day of surgery.
  • If you would like additional information on smoking cessation, please ask a member of your healthcare team.
  • Make sure your bed linens are cleaned and washed before going to bed the night of surgery.
CHG Application

Why is my doctor giving me these wipes?

  • Cleaning of the skin with a CHG preparation reduces the risk of infection at the surgical site. The CHG has an ongoing antimicrobial effect.

Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) disposable cloths

  • Use all the cloths in the packages (total of 6 wipes), one clean cloth to prepare each area of the body in order as shown in steps 1 through 6 (below). The blue sheet is not used.
  • Wipe each area thoroughly, in a back-and-forth motion, for 30 seconds.
  • Allow skin to air dry (the skin may feel sticky; this is normal)
  • Do NOT rinse off, the CHG moistened disposable cloths are rinse-free.
  • Your bath or shower should be done before using wipes.
  • Do NOT allow this product to come in contact with eyes, ears, mouth or mucous membranes. If experience itching or irritation, rinse the area with clear water.
  • Discard cloths in ordinary trash.

Wipe each area for 30 seconds

  1. Wipe the neck and chest. Do NOT wipe the face.
  2. Wipe both arms, starting each with the shoulder and ending at the fingertips. Then thoroughly wipe both arm pits areas, last.
  3. Wipe the back starting at the base of your neck and ending at the waist line.
  4. Wipe the right and left hips, followed by the groin. Be sure to wipe folds in the abdominal and groin areas. Do NOT wipe the vagina or penis.
  5. Wipe both legs, starting at the thigh and ending at the toes. Be sure to thoroughly wipe behind the knees.
  6. Wipe the buttocks. Do NOT wipe near the rectal opening
Eating and Drinking Instructions
  • Do not consume any food within 8 hours prior to surgery. You may have a normal meal the evening before surgery (unless otherwise directed by your surgeon).
  • You may drink ONLY the following liquids until 3 hours prior to your surgery; do not substitute:
    • Water
    • Black coffee or tea (no sweetener, no dairy or non-dairy creamer, no flavorings)
    • Apple juice you can see through. No pulp or cider.
    • 7-up® or Sprite®
  • Stop ALL liquids 3 hours prior to surgery.
  • These are in place to ensure that you have a safe surgery. If your surgeon has given you additional restrictions please follow that advice. Not following these guidelines exactly can result in your surgery being delayed or canceled.

Day of Surgery Patient Itinerary

Arriving and Parking

Ramp and valet parking are free for patients the day of surgery. Bring your ticket into the hospital to have it stamped at the registration desk.

Valet service is conveniently offered at the front entrance of the hospital weekdays, 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Valets will retrieve vehicles until 6:30 p.m.

When you arrive please go directly to the 4 Tower surgical welcome desk.
4T: Pre-op Nursing Unit
  • Your nurse will help you prepare for your procedure and will answer your questions. You will change into a hospital gown, review your surgical consent form, and answer a few last-minute questions.
  • Your nurse will also check your vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, temperature) and make sure they are within normal limits in preparation for surgery. Adult patients will begin IV fluids.
  • You will see your surgeon, as well as meet your anesthesiologist and OR nurse. You may ask any of them questions at any time.
Operating Room (OR)
  • You will arrive to the OR on a stretcher and will be assisted to the OR bed.
  • Equipment will be applied to monitor your vital signs.
  • You may notice bright lights and equipment already in place.
  • You will get a chance to meet members of the operating room team.
  • The healthcare team will perform a “time out”. Just as a pilot has a checklist to complete prior to take-off, we do the same to ensure your safety.
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (Recovery Room)
  • As you awaken from surgery, your vital signs and overall well-being will be closely monitored.
  • You will receive medication as needed for pain, nausea, or other symptoms.
  • Only parents of small children are allowed in the recovery room. The recovery room nurse will send for a parent shortly after arrival.
  • After a period of monitoring, you will be transferred to your hospital room or the Surgical Short Stay Unit. Recovery times vary based on your needs.
  • While you’re in recovery, the surgeon will speak with your friends or family members you have chosen to receive updates on your condition.


Same Day Discharge
  • You will be escorted from the recovery room to your room on our surgical short stay unit. You will be reunited with your family and/or friends at this point.
  • Your nurse will share the criteria the surgeon has set up for you in order to be discharged. In most cases your next surgeon visit will be at your follow-up appointment.
  • You can expect to leave the hospital 1-2 hours from the time you arrive on the unit, depending on your symptoms and pain control.
  • Your nurse will review your written instructions with you and provide you with a copy to take home.
  • If your physician orders medication to be taken at home there is an outpatient pharmacy located on the lobby level where your prescriptions can be filled. Your nurse will help you with this.
  • The UnityPoint Health - Meriter Outpatient Pharmacy (located in the lobby) is open 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Friday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • A registered nurse will call you the next business day.
Questions After Discharge
After reviewing the instructions sent home with you from the hospital, please contact your surgeon’s office directly with questions specific to your recovery. The answering service will triage your call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Remember to call 911 if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency.