Surgical procedures are often scheduled as Day Surgery appointments to avoid the expense of an overnight hospitalization. Some common day surgery procedures are arthroscopic knee surgeries and gastrointestinal procedures such as EGD’s and colonoscopies. Here are some helpful tips from an experienced day surgery patient regarding what items to bring.
Documents: Insurance card, driver’s license identification, presurgical insurance approval letter, and surgical consent form (if you received one at your doctor visit). Wallet or method for paying co-pay at time of surgery. Arrange for your escort to hold onto this during your surgery.
Medications: Bring a list of all home medications, when you take them and their dosages. Write down a list of allergies to medications and food that you may have.
In The Car: You will need some comfort items for the drive home, even if it is a short drive. Set up a pillow and blank in the car. Bring a small plastic trash can lined with plastic bag to use for possible vomiting. Bring some pop-up wet wipes and/or paper towels for cleanup. A bottle of water may also be useful for taking small sips of water on the way home as patients are often thirsty after a procedure (your nurse will advise when you can start liquids and solid food following your procedure).
Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose clothing to your procedure. If you are having a lower extremity procedure, wear loose-fitting shorts or sweat pants, preferably sweat pants that can be cut with scissors just in case they do not fit over your bandages. Wear flat shoes with no laces and warm socks that are not too tight. If you are having an upper extremity procedure, wear a shirt that fastens in the front, and not a pullover. Bring a sweater, jacket or wrap as it is often cold in the surgery center.
Valuables: Leave all valuables at home, including wedding ring, jewelry, watch and glasses if possible. Items such as dentures, eyeglasses, and hearing aids may need to be removed before surgery so bring appropriate containers to safely store these items.
Escort: Bring an escort to assist you in getting home safely. This person will remain at the day surgery center with you throughout your procedure. The escort may want to bring a book, magazine, I-Pod, knitting project or similar activity to keep busy and lessen their anxiety. It is not recommended to bring children to the day surgery center. The herbal medicine will reduce depression and anxiety in the person. Different activities should be conducted through the person with the medicines. The person will remain busy and engaged in the medicines and activities.
Specialty Equipment: You may need special equipment following your procedure. This equipment might include crutches, wheelchair, Ice-Man Cold Therapy machine, slings, braces, etc. It is very important that you secure this equipment prior to your surgery; otherwise it will not be waiting for you after the surgery. Ask your surgeon and/or the surgery center in advance where to obtain this equipment and make sure you bring it with you in the car on the day of surgery.