Before Surgery

Before Surgery

The day before your surgery, a Health Unit Coordinator from the Surgery Center will call you at home or at work.  The Health Unit Coordinator will confirm your scheduled surgery time and your required arrival time at the hospital. At this time you will also be given your pre-procedure instructions.

If we cannot reach you at home or at work, please call the Surgery Center so we can inform you of your surgery time. Call us at 216.491.6161 between the hours 1 - 5 p.m. Long distance callers may call toll free at 1.800.646.2434.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance Coverage

Many insurance companies require pre-authorization for hospital admissions. Please make sure we have the most current and complete insurance information. Confirm with your insurance company that all necessary paperwork has been completed prior to your admission. Please remember to carry your insurance and prescription drug cards with you at all times. If you have questions about your insurance approval, please call the pre-authorization customer service office at 216.444.4811 from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Cleveland Clinic will bill your insurance carrier for the charges associated with your stay. The Health Unit Coordinator may ask for any copay, or if you have a balance not covered by your insurance company, you will be billed.

Confirming Your Arrival Time

Confirming Your Arrival Time

Hospital Room Choices

The Cleveland Clinic has semi-private rooms for patient care. A limited number of private rooms are available for those patients whose medical needs require isolation.

Day of Surgery

Day of Surgery

Upon arrival at your assigned time, please check in at the front desk in the main lobby at Building B prior to coming up to the surgery department. Most patients will be directed to go straight to the surgery department.

The surgery Health Unit Coordinator will greet you on the second floor with further instructions. If you have family or friends accompanying you they can check in at this time with the Health Unit Coordinator and wait in our Surgery Waiting Room.

Once you have signed in with the Health Unit Coordinator you will be brought into the preoperative area where you will put on a hospital gown, slippers, and surgery hat. We will lock your personal belongings in a locker.

While we prepare you for surgery, your family will need to remain in the Surgery Waiting Room.  Two visitors are permitted at your bedside once this preparation process is complete.

Pre Op

You will be called to the preoperative area where you will have a lengthy interview about your current health status and your current medications will be reviewed. You will need to provide the date and time you last took your medications.

Upon arrival, a urine sample pregnancy test is required for all menstruating females as well as those females who have had their last period within the year.

You will be given a hospital gown to wear, and your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be taken. An intravenous (IV) line may be started to provide you with fluids. Later, the IV may be used to provide anesthesia or other medications as needed. All undergarments, glasses, dentures, jewelry and piercings will need to be removed.

While you are in the perioperative area, you may be asked several times to state your name and what type of surgery you are having. Do not be alarmed by this. It is our way of ensuring your safety.

Before you are transported to the operating room, a member of the surgical team privileged to perform your surgery may mark your surgical site with an indelible marker. This is part of our safety policy - to verify that we have the correct site/limb. During the pre-operative process, there may be other items that we routinely check before going to the operating room, such as (but not limited to) informed consent, current history and physical, an anesthesia assessment, availability of x-rays, blood products (when indicated), and specific implants. All of these measures are in place to help keep you safe.

One or two of your family members or friends may stay with you until you go into surgery. We strongly suggest young children stay at home due to long waiting periods. Family members may wish to bring a book, pillow, blanket or other materials from home to help pass the time. Bringing a sweater or jacket is recommended as rooms can be cool.

Family Information

The Surgery Waiting Room, located on the second floor, offers comfortable seating and television. The Health Unit Coordinator will update you on the status of your family member in surgery, and will arrange for you to speak with the doctor after surgery.

We provide free coffee and tea in the waiting room. Visit our new Café at the Pointe, located on the first floor of building B Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5 pm. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition, South Pointe Hospital’s cafeteria is located on the basement level and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  No dinner service is available. The cafeteria is closed Saturday and Sunday.

Operating Room

Operating Room

In the Operating Room

You are the most important person in the operating room, and your care, comfort and satisfaction are our priority. Many people are concerned about undergoing surgery, so your nurse will answer any questions and will be there with you throughout the procedure.

You will be asked questions to verify your name, the surgical procedure and the site throughout the surgical process. Patient identification is verified by name and date of birth. You will then state the surgical procedure to be performed followed by confirmation of the marked surgical site.

You may notice a lot of activity in the operating room. The lights may seem bright and the temperature cool. Warmed blankets are available for your comfort. Please notify a nurse or surgical personnel if you are uncomfortable.

An additional aspect of our culture of safety is called the “time out.” In this safety measure, we confirm that we have the following before surgery begins:

  • The correct patient
  • The correct side and site marking
  • The correct procedure
  • The correct position on the operating table
  • The correct implants, special equipment, and x-rays (when applicable)


In the operating room, your surgeon may administer your anesthetic, if you are having a procedure performed under "local" anesthesia only. Otherwise, an Anesthesia Care Team will care for you the entire time you are in the operating room. The Anesthesia Care Team consists of a staff physician anesthesiologist with either an anesthesia resident or Certified Nurse Anesthetist. The Anesthesia Care Team ensures you have both a smooth and safe anesthetic. They will constantly monitor your vital signs, including your heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and amount of oxygen in your blood. Should you require special monitoring for your safety, these monitors may be placed either before or after you enter the operating room. The type of anesthesia you receive will depend upon the surgery you are having and your state of health.

Just before your surgery, the anesthesia options will be discussed with you and in collaboration with your surgeon, the type of anesthesia will be determined.

General Anesthesia: This is the most common type of anesthesia performed for surgery. You will be made unconscious during your surgery with the use of intravenous medications. When your surgery is finished, the medications are stopped, and you will begin to awaken from anesthesia.

Regional Anesthesia:  This type of anesthesia is somewhat similar to what you may experience at the dentist's office. With regional anesthesia, only the area of the body on which surgery is being performed is numbed. Spinal or epidural anesthesia is commonly used for surgery of the legs or for some gynecologic procedures. Peripheral nerve blocks may be used for arm, shoulder, and foot or knee surgery. It entails placing medicine around a nerve or group of nerves to block the feeling at the spot where the surgeon is operating. It can be used for anesthetic purposes during the surgery as well as for a method of pain control after your surgery. If this method is chosen, it can be done either prior to going into the operating room or after your surgery in the recovery room. It can be done as a one-time injection or it can be done as a continuous flow of pain medicine through a very thing tube called a 'catheter'. An advantage to having a nerve block prior to surgery is that patients usually need less anesthetic medicine during their surgery which can decrease the chance of side effects happening.

Transversus Abdominis Plane (TAP) Blocks: TAP blocks involve injection of local anesthetic medication in a specific layer between your abdominal wall muscles. This area contains many nerves that supply sensation from your abdomen, so numbing these nerves can reduce pain from your surgery, typically lasting 1-2 days. TAP blocks will not stop all pain but will work with other medications to help control your surgical pain. A TAP block is usually done by a physician anesthesiologist prior to your surgery so you will wake up more comfortably. Often, mild sedation is given to help you be more comfortable during the procedure. The procedure does not take long and involves one or two injections on each side of your abdomen after numbing the skin where the injections happen.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC): During this type of anesthetic, the Anesthesia Care Team gives you medications intravenously to make you drowsy and comfortable while monitoring your vital signs. Your surgeon provides “local" anesthesia to the site of surgery.

Local Anesthesia: Occasionally, your surgeon may prefer to perform a procedure in the operating room that requires only local anesthesia. This involves numbing only a specific area and will be administered by your surgeon

Surgical Site Infections

Surgical Site Infections

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 infection are:

  • Redness and pain around the area where you had surgery
  • Drainage of cloudy fluid from your surgical wound
  • Fever

Can SSis be treated?

Yes. Most surgical site infections can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic 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 healthcare 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 before the surgery starts and the antibiotics should be stopped within 24 hours after surgery.
  • Clean the skin at the site of your surgery with a special soap that kills germs. Your surgeon may provide these.

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 before your surgery.
  • Bathe or shower right before or morning of 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:

  • 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.
After Your Surgery

After Your Surgery

When surgery is complete, we will transport you to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for observation.

If you are having an outpatient procedure, one family member may be with you once your initial recovery is complete.

During this time, your family will be updated on your progress. When you are ready to go home, we will provide verbal and written dischargeinstructions.

Your Hospital Stay After Your Surgery

You will be taken to the recovery area (PACU, Post Anesthesia Care Unit) or, if medically necessary, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when your surgery is complete. During that time, your surgeon will talk with your family members.

Your recovery time will depend upon the type of procedure you have undergone and the anesthesia used. Some patients need more or less time to recover. However long the recovery period may be, please be assured you will be receiving the best care and personal attention from our staff. Visitation may be allowed in the PACU and is dependent on the activity and safety issues in the PACU and is at the discretion of the PACU nurse. No children will be permitted to visit in the PACU.

If You Are Admitted to the Hospital

If You Are Admitted to the Hospital

Most rooms are semi-private with two patients per room. As a courtesy to all patients and families, please respect the needs of your roommate and keep visitors, noise level and TV volume to a minimum. This will help promote a restful environment.

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation embraces a philosophy of open and flexible patient visitation that encourages and welcomes family/significant others involvement in patients’ care. Recommended visiting hours may be posted on units to support patient privacy and condition status.

Pain Management

Effective pain management is an important part of your care. Every effort is made to minimize your pain; however, it is normal to experience some discomfort following surgery. Communication of unresolved pain is necessary to make you as comfortable as possible. You will be asked about your level of pain upon admission, and this will continue throughout your stay. You will be asked to "rate" your pain on a scale from 0-10. "0" being no pain at all, "5" being moderate pain, and "10" being the worst possible pain. This score will be used to select the correct pain medicine to treat your pain. This is all done in an effort to maximize your pain management. The doctors and nurses will ask you how the pain medicine is working and adjust it as needed. Please see more details about pain management in the Patient Education Materials section.

Reducing Your Risk of Falls

We want to make sure you are safe during your hospital stay, so we have prepared these guidelines for you to help prevent a fall. We don't want your recovery time to take longer than expected.

Patient’s receiving anesthesia are considered a fall risk. A fall is more likely to occur in an environment that is unfamiliar to you, such as a hospital room. We will place a yellow wristband on your arm and provide you with yellow footies. This will notify the staff members to be alert that you may need extra assistance during your hospital stay.

Planning for your Hospital Discharge

Getting you well enough to leave the hospital is our goal. Together we will make your discharge is comfortable and timely for you and your family.

Going Home

Going Home

Instructions for Going Home

Because we care about your safety and comfort, we urge you to follow these instructions regarding your recovery:

  • A friend or a relative must accompany you when you leave the Surgical Center.
  • Have a responsible person stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Progress gradually from fluids to solid foods.
  • You will be given individualized written instructions regarding diet, activity, medications at home. Refer to your After Visit Summary.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not make important decisions or sign any important documents within 24 hours after surgery.

If you have questions, you may call your surgeon's office during regular business hours.

For outpatient procedures, a member of your health care team will call you a few days after surgery. This is a routine call to check on your progress. We believe that answering your questions at this time is an important part of providing you with excellent care.

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 after you get home.
  • If you have any symptoms of an infection, 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

Educational Resources

Additional Information

Additional Information

Miscellaneous Additional Information

For access to additional information about Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital and it's services please call 216.491.6000 or visit the Cleveland Clinic website.

Cell Phone Usage

The use of cellular phones and wireless computer devices are permitted throughout the hospital.

Foreign Language Interpreters

A Global Patient Services (GPS) provides both language interpreters and American Sign Language interpreters at no charge to patients and their companions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Language interpreters are provided either through the phone or by on-site interpreters. American Sign Language interpreters are provided either through a Video Remote Interpreter deaf cart or by an on-site sign language interpreter. Family and friends of the patient are not expected to act as a medical interpreter for the patient. GPS Dispatch provides interpreters for in-patient hospitalizations and out-patient appointments.

Latex Safe

Cleveland Clinic health system is latex safe, which means every reasonable effort was made to remove highly allergenic latex sources. This will reduce direct exposure to patients and employees. With less exposure to latex, our patients and employees will have reduced risk of developing an allergy. Please remember, with the latex safe initiative, only Mylar balloons are permitted at Cleveland Clinic.

Medications from Home

Patients are encouraged to send all medications home. Your doctor will prescribe medications dispensed through the hospital pharmacy. Talk with your physician or nurse about this.


Have a concern about your hospital services? The staff in the Ombudsman Department is available to help resolve issues about services that cannot be solved through other channels. The office is located on the first floor near the Café at the Pointe.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays

Email: [email protected]

Call: 216.491.6299

Online Personalized Health Connection

eClevelandClinic MyChart® is a secure, online tool that connects you to personalized health information from the privacy of your home at any time, day or night. eClevelandClinic MyChart® also alerts you to important, health-related reminders to help you better manager your ongoing healthcare.

Personal Belongings and Valuables

We strongly encourage you to leave personal items and valuables at home.

Smoking Policy

Cleveland Clinic is committed to the good health of all our patients, visitors and employees. Therefore, smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is strictly prohibited.