Surgery & Anesthesia: What to Expect the Day of Surgery
At UnityPoint Health – Trinity, our skilled surgical teams perform many different surgical procedures, always with your health and safety top of mind. You can contribute to your surgery's success by being an engaged member of your care team.
Here is a broad overview of what you can expect the day of surgery, including what to bring to the hospital and surgery anesthesia basics.
Day of Your Surgery: How to Prepare
Your care team will provide detailed instructions for how you can prepare for surgery. In general, on the day of your procedure we ask that you:
- Shower or bathe
- Not apply any lotions, powders or cologne
- Not use any hair products
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing
- Leave valuables, such as jewelry, cash and credit cards, at home
- Remove makeup, lipstick and fingernail polish
Please be sure to bring these items to the hospital with you:
- Insurance cards or forms and a photo ID
- A parent or legal guardian (for children younger than age 18)
- All your medication bottles, so we can check medication dosage and frequency
- Overnight clothes (if needed), such as a robe and slippers
- A case with your name on it for personal items that you may need to remove, such as dentures, glasses or contact lenses
Day of Your Surgery: What to Expect
When you arrive at the hospital for your surgery, you will be asked to sign insurance release forms and a surgery consent form (if you haven't done so already). If your child will be having surgery, a parent or guardian will fill these out. To protect your privacy, we ask that friends and family wait in the waiting room while you fill out these forms.
Next, a member of our surgical team will guide you to the surgery preparation area. There, you will change into a hospital gown and receive an identification bracelet. After you settle into your admitting room, your friends or family can visit with you.
As our team prepares for your surgery, you can expect to:
- Remove your glasses or contact lenses
- Remove hearing aids or dentures, if directed by your doctor to do so
- Go over your health history with a nurse
- Sign a surgical consent form, which gives us permission to perform a surgery
- Have an intravenous (IV) line started so we can provide medication or fluids through a vein in your hand or arm
Your Surgical Care Team: What to Expect
When it's time for your surgery, a member of our surgical care team will guide you to the surgical suite. Our surgical care teams are made up of highly trained, compassionate surgeons and support professionals. They are committed to ensuring your health and safety during and after surgery.
Our surgical teams include a:
- Surgeon who leads the team in performing your procedure, often assisted by a surgical assistant
- Surgical technician who sets up the instruments needed for surgery and assists in surgery
- Nurse who ensures sterile procedures and assists in your care
- Anesthesiologist who administers anesthesia to keep you safely comfortable and unaware during the procedure
Surgery Anesthesia: What to Expect
Anesthesiologists are doctors who are trained to deliver pain relief medication safely during surgery.
On the day of surgery, the anesthesiologist will review your medical history. You'll also discuss your options for anesthesia and pain-relieving medication during your surgery. This process familiarizes the anesthesiologist with your medical needs, such as any pre-existing medical conditions, to help to plan your surgery.
We use three main types of anesthesia during surgery:
- General anesthesia: You'll be unconscious and unable to feel pain or any other sensation. Many general anesthetics are gases or vapors administered through a mask or breathing tube. Others are liquid medicines that we deliver through a vein (IV).
- Regional anesthesia: The entire area of the body where you're having surgery will be numb so you won't feel pain. You'll still be awake.
- Local anesthesia: A specific part of the body (such as the foot or hand) is numb. You'll still be awake and able to move.
Doctors give regional and local anesthetics with an injection. Often, patients who need regional or local anesthesia also receive a sedative to help them relax during surgery or put them to sleep.
If your surgery requires general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist will:
- Deliver pain medication right before surgery begins to prevent you from feeling pain or sensations during a procedure
- Closely monitor your health, including blood pressure or heart function, during surgery and adjust pain medication as needed
- Monitor your health during the first recovery stages, right after an operation
- Deliver medication, as needed, during your recovery
Patient Guide to Surgery
At UnityPoint Health, our experienced, compassionate care teams are committed to providing a safe and comfortable care experience. Learn more about what to expect:
If you have questions about the surgical care process or what to expect, we can help. Call 309-779-5960 (for Quad Cities) or 563-264-9245 (for Muscatine) to connect with a member of our friendly and knowledgeable surgical care team.