Your doctor may determine, based on your health history, that you need pre-surgical testing. His or her office will call to schedule the appointment and will indicate the tests you may need before your surgery. If you need to cancel or re-schedule this appointment, please call your doctor’s office.
To contact us:
For all Surgery Center Pre-surgical Testing, call 330.665.8124, Monday - Friday | 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
For Registration and Procedures, call 330.665.8120, Monday - Friday | 6:30 a.m.- 3:45 p.m.
If pre-surgical testing is not needed, the Surgery Center staff will call you up to one week before your surgery date to review important information with you, including:
- Your health history
- Pre-operative instructions
If you are unavailable at the time of the call, please call us back at your earliest convenience at 330.665.8124 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Preparing for Surgery
Information your doctor needs to know about before your surgery:
- Any illness, including sore throat, flu, elevated temperature, or if you have been exposed to a contagious disease.
- Changes to your skin, especially near the incision site, including cuts, scratches, insect bites, rashes and poison ivy.
- Any medications you take daily, including prescriptions, aspirin, blood thinners, insulin and arthritis medications.
- If you have diabetes and/or an insulin pump, you will need to discuss day-of-surgery instructions with the doctor who manages your diabetes.
Home-going information you need to know before your surgery:
- For your personal safety, you will not be allowed to drive or take a taxi, Uber or Lyft home alone following your surgery. Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you or accompany you home in a taxi, Uber or Lyft. That person should remain in the Surgery Welcome Center during your surgery in order to receive timely updates regarding your status, including discharge or admission information.
- For your safety, arrange for someone to stay with you for 24 hours after surgery. Your surgery may be canceled if no one is available to stay with you.
- If you are having surgery on your knee or foot, it is very important to ask your doctor if you will need crutches post-operatively. This needs to be addressed prior to the day of your surgery.
For your own peace of mind, we encourage the completion of Advance Directives, which outline your wishes for life-sustaining treatments, and include a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Please bring a completed copy to be included in your medical record. If you have questions or need further assistance, please call 330.344.6880 or visit akrongeneral.org to learn more.
Understanding Your Surgery
Make sure you understand what will happen before, during and after your surgery. Research has shown that patients who are informed can better work with their doctors to make the right decisions. Together, you and your doctor should review the possible benefits and risks involved in the surgery you are scheduled for.
Day prior to your surgery
For your safety, please:
- DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages or use any illegal substances for 24 hours before your surgery. Alcohol/illegal substances may cause an undesired reaction when mixed with anesthesia or other drugs. If you appear under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances your surgery may be canceled.
- DO NOT smoke before or after your surgery. Smoking may cause anesthetic problems and increase carbon monoxide in the blood stream. Nicotine also interferes with healing.
- No solid food after midnight. You may have 12 ounces of clear liquids (water, clear juices such as apple juice or Gatorade, carbonated beverages) until four (4) hours before your procedure start time.
- If applicable, complete any pre-operative prep as instructed by your doctor.
- Practice coughing and deep breathing exercises and pain control techniques.
Day of Your Surgery
What to bring with you
- Your driver’s license or a photo ID, as well as your insurance card
- Inhalers, if you use them
- A CPAP or BIPAP machine, if you use either
- Your glasses and glass case
- DO NOT bring any valuables (cash, checks, credit cards, etc.) with you
The morning of your surgery
- Continue to take all your scheduled medications, as instructed, with only a sip of water. You may take prescribed pain medication, if needed. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor for additional instructions.
- Perform your normal morning routines such as showering and brushing your teeth.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- DO NOT wear cologne, perfume, skin lotions, makeup or colored nail polish (clear nail polish and acrylic nails are permitted). No wigs, hairpins, contact lenses, false eyelashes, dentures or partial plates are permitted.
- Do not wear any jewelry/piercings. All jewelry should be left at home.
- If you have piercings that you cannot remove yourself, please discuss this with your doctor prior to your surgery date.
- Women of childbearing age, will be required to bring the first voided urine on the day of surgery for pregnancy testing. You may use a clear leak-proof container labeled with your name. Bring the container of urine with you to the pre-surgical unit on the day of your surgery.
Arriving at the Surgery Center
Please plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled surgery time. If your presurgical testing was completed on an earlier date, you may arrive 90 minutes before your scheduled surgery time. Endoscopy patients should arrive 60 minutes prior to scheduled procedure time. This allows enough time for pre-surgical registration, to meet with anesthesia personnel and to be prepared for your surgery.
If you are running late, please call us at 330.665.8120.
As you enter the Surgery Center, Suite 104, please sign in with the receptionist. We will ask for your photo ID and insurance information. As surgery times and preparations for surgery vary with each patient, you may be taken out of order in which you registered.
Unfortunately, emergencies or cancellations cannot be predicted and can affect your estimated surgery time. If this happens to you, we appreciate your patience. We will make every attempt to keep you and your family informed of changes as they occur.
Before your surgery
You will be taken to the Pre-Surgical Unit, where:
- You will be asked to change into a gown.
- Your temperature, pulse and blood pressure will be taken, along with an interview assessment. A nurse will review any allergies and any medications you are taking.
- Dentures, glasses and other prostheses will be removed just before you’re taken to the operating room and returned to you in the recovery room.
- The nurse may start an intravenous line to administer fluids and medication during your surgery.
- Multiple checks will be performed to confirm your surgical site. If your surgery involves the left or right side, your doctor will initial the correct operative site with a marking pen.
Because of limited space, we ask that there be no more than two visitors per patient in the Pre-Surgical Unit. In order to protect our patients, caregivers and community and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are making changes to our visitation policy. For the most current visitation guidelines, visit our website.
During your surgery
While you are in surgery, we will keep your family and/or friends in the Surgery Center waiting room informed. We offer a patient tracking system to provide them with prompt patient updates. Please feel free to ask a member of our staff if you have any questions about this service.
Following your intake assessment, a board-certified anesthesiologist will then explain your anesthesia options. Together, you will then review your health and anesthesia history, as well as the type of anesthesia to be used during your surgery, including:
- General anesthesia causes you to be asleep (unconscious) during the surgical procedure.
- Regional anesthesia (nerve block, epidural and spinal) causes the area of the body, which includes the surgery site, to be numb. Nerve blocks can also provide pain relief for many hours after surgery.
- Local anesthesia is performed by the surgeon at the surgical site.
- Monitored anesthesia care (MAC) combines local anesthesia at the surgical site (administered by the surgeon) and significant intravenous sedation and monitoring provided by the anesthesia personnel.
After Your Surgery
You will be taken to the Phase 1 recovery room, where a registered nurse will closely observe you until you are able to sit up and take fluids. Then, you will be moved to our Phase 2 recovery room where you can relax in a reclining chair until discharge.
While in the recovery room, your level of pain will be continually evaluated and treated by a registered nurse, in consultation with your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Types of pain relief medication you could be given include intravenous injections, tablets or liquids given by mouth, and local anesthetics, which make certain areas of your body numb and can last for hours after surgery.
The nurse will review your discharge instructions with you and your family or companion at this time. He or she can answer any questions you may have about going home, follow-up care and the recovery process.
You will be given medications during your surgery that may affect your ability to remember what happened. If you have questions, please call your doctor’s office or be sure to discuss the results at your next office visit.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.
Surgical Site Infections
What is a surgical site infection (SSI)?
A surgical site infection is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Most patients who have surgery do not develop an infection. However, infections develop in about 1 to 3 of every 100 surgical patients.
Some common symptoms of surgical site infections are:
- Redness and pain around the area where you had surgery
- Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound
Can SSIs be treated?
Yes. Most surgical site infections can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics given to you depends on the bacteria (germs) causing the infection. Sometimes patients with SSIs also need another surgery to treat the infection.
What are some of the things that hospitals are doing to prevent SSIs?
To prevent SSIs, doctors, nurses and other health care providers:
- Clean their hands and arms up to their elbows with an antiseptic agent just before the surgery.
- Clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for each patient.
- May remove some of your hair immediately before your surgery using electric clippers if the hair is in the same area where the procedure will occur. They should not shave you with a razor.
- Wear special hair covers, masks, gowns and gloves during surgery to keep the surgery area clean.
- Give you antibiotics before your surgery starts. In most cases, you should get antibiotics within 60 minutes of the start of your surgery. The antibiotics should be stopped within 24 hours of the completion of your surgery.
- Clean the skin at the site of your surgery with a special soap that kills germs.
What can I do to help prevent SSIs?
Before your surgery:
- Tell your doctor about other medical problems you may have. Health problems such as allergies, diabetes and obesity could affect your surgery and your treatment.
- Quit smoking. Patients who smoke get more infections. Talk to your doctor about how you can quit smoking before your surgery.
- Do not shave near where you will have surgery. Shaving with a razor can irritate your skin and make it easier to develop an infection.
At the time of your surgery:
- Speak up if someone tries to shave you with a razor before surgery.
- Ask why you need to be shaved and talk with your surgeon if you have any concerns.
- Ask if you will get antibiotics before surgery.
After your surgery:
- Make sure that your healthcare providers clean their hands before examining you, either with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. If you do not see your healthcare providers clean their hands, please ask them to do so.
- Family and friends who visit you should not touch the surgical wound or dressings.
- Family and friends should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after visiting you. If you do not see them clean their hands, please ask them to do so.
What do I need to do when I go home from the hospital?
- Before you go home, your doctor or nurse should explain everything you need to know about taking care of your wound. Make sure you understand how to care for your wound before you leave the hospital.
- Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound.
- Before you go home, make sure you know who to contact if you have questions or problems once you get home.
- If you have any symptoms of an infections, such as redness and pain at the surgery site, drainage or fever, call your doctor immediately.
If you have any additional questions, please ask your doctor or nurse.
This information is provided and endorsed by:
- The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
- Infectious Disease Society of America
- American Hospital Association
- Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
- Centers for Disease Control
- The Joint Commission
Home care instructions
We care about your safety and comfort after surgery and urge you to follow these instructions regarding your recovery, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. If you have any questions, please refer to your discharge instructions or call your doctor.
- To control your pain, your doctor may give you a prescription.
- Progress gradually from fluids to solid foods.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages or use illegal substances for at least 24 hours after surgery.
- Take deep breaths to keep your lungs clear.
- Move around according to your instructions.
- Do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after surgery or if taking narcotic pain medications.
- Do not make important decisions or sign any important documents within 24 hours after surgery.
Additionally, you will receive a courtesy follow-up phone call the next business day after your surgery to see how you are doing and if there are any questions you might have. If no one answers the phone, for your privacy, we will not leave a voice message. There is no need to return our call, unless you have any questions or concerns.
After surgery, we may not be able to stop all your pain, but we will help you to be as comfortable as possible.
Other helpful pain reduction techniques
- Get in a comfortable position.
- Breathe in slowly while counting to three.
- Breathe out slowly while counting to three.
- Continue breathing in and out in same manner.
- Get in a comfortable position.
- Imagine you are in a place you have found to be relaxing (e.g. beach, mountains).
- Breathe in and out slowly while picturing this in your mind.
- Get in a comfortable position.
- Listen to “easy listening” music or your favorite type of music with your eyes closed.
Coughing and deep breathing
Coughing and deep breathing will help prevent pneumonia, decrease pain, improve the oxygen in your blood and remove the anesthetic from your body. You will be asked to take three or four deep breaths followed by one cough, 10 times every hour on the day of your surgery. Deep breathing and coughing can be accomplished in a sitting or lying down position.
- Breathe out normally.
- Clasp your hands over your abdomen.
- Breathe in until you feel your abdomen push out.
- Breathe out slowly.
- Rest a few seconds.
- Repeat three to four times then cough one to two times.
- Relax and breathe normally.
- Repeat technique 10 times every hour.
You may wake up with pumps on your feet or inflatable stockings on your legs after your surgery. These help pump blood from your legs back to your heart. Movement and walking will decrease the chance of blood clots forming in your legs.
We will teach you how to do ankle pumps. When lying down, point your toes on both feet toward your chin and stretch them out by pushing them away from your chin. Do this 10 times an hour. Flex your knees. Do not lie in one position or cross your legs.
Your doctor is a member of the hospital’s medical staff and will supervise your care. Your doctor will arrange for your tests, medications, diet and completion of a history and physical. Your doctor may call in other specialists for consultation or assistance.
Most insurance companies require pre-certification of surgical procedures. Your doctor’s office is required to obtain pre-certification if required. If there are no requirements listed on your card, please contact your employer or health insurer to be sure you know and understand the cost. We also ask that you bring your insurance card(s), along with your driver’s license or photo ID the day of surgery.
The Surgery Center has patient account representatives available for financial counseling Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., to answer your questions about insurance coverage, Medicare and other financial concerns you may have. If you need assistance, please call 330.344.4188.