Skip to main content
Average ER Wait Time
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached
Retry?
Parkland Medical Center
--
mins

Preparing for Surgery

At Parkland Medical Center, our goal is to provide you with the best possible care before, during and after your surgery. You can play an important role in making sure your admission, surgery and recovery go smoothly.

Once the date of your surgery has been set, you’ll receive information that includes instructions and the appointment date/time for your preadmission interview and any diagnostic testing that may be needed. This gives us vital information as we prepare for your procedure.

You may preregister online and provide medical and surgical history and current medications to save time during your preadmission interview.

Preadmission interview options are determined by your surgeon and are based on your procedure and your general health.

  • Hospital–based interview – In–person visit to review information and complete diagnostic tests; allow approximately two hours for your interview and any tests
  • Telephone interview – Telephone–based conversation to review information; a few days before your scheduled procedure. The nurse will be in touch with you or you may call (603) 432-1500, ext. 3390 for the interview

For your in–person interview, bring your personal identification, insurance card, list of names and dosages of all medications (including supplements, herbal preparations, over–the–counter [OTC] treatments and vitamins), a summary of your drug allergies and any advance directives regarding your healthcare.

For a telephone interview, you’ll need all the same information, so be sure to have it near the phone so you can easily refer to it when answering questions.

During your preadmission interview, we:

  • Gather your medical and surgical history, as well as information about any medications you’re currently taking. If you have entered your history online, the nurse will review and verify your information.
  • Conduct a nursing assessment and discuss any concerns you may have about your care
  • Have you meet with anesthesia personnel to discuss your anesthesia options (for hospital–based interviews)
  • Conduct any preadmission tests such as X–rays and lab tests (for hospital-based interviews)
  • Set the time and place to arrive on your day of surgery

If you need to reschedule the preadmission interview, call our Surgical Scheduling staff at (603) 421-2161 right away.

On the day of surgery, arrive at Parkland Medical Center and enter through the Outpatient Registration entrance. Proceed to the surgical waiting room, where you’ll find a phone with instructions to contact the surgical department to check in. You’ll finish signing necessary forms, including your consent to receive services, and visit with the anesthesia provider about your questions.

Follow these general guidelines to prepare for your surgery at Parkland Medical Center unless you’re directed otherwise:

  • Stop eating and drinking at midnight the night before your surgery. This includes chewing gum, candy, throat lozenges, milk or milk products, orange juice, beer or other alcoholic beverages or gas–producing foods. Your physician may allow you to take clear liquids (only water, apple juice, cranberry juice, black tea or black coffee) until a designated time before your surgery. You may brush your teeth on the morning of your procedure, but don’t swallow water.
  • Don’t smoke after midnight.
  • Bathe or shower before your procedure.
  • Don’t apply makeup or lotions.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and remove all jewelry, body piercings and nail polish.
  • Leave valuables, jewelry, credit cards, money, checkbook, wallet or purse at home.
  • Bring containers for eyeglasses, dentures or hearing aids, and place these items in their containers before entering the operating room.
  • Bring your insurance cards and your advance directive document, if you have one.
  • Pack a small bag with what you’ll need for an overnight stay, including pajamas, slippers and toiletries. You may want to leave these items in the car until you’ve been assigned an inpatient room number.
  • For children having surgery, get more details by reviewing our information about preparing for your child’s hospital visit.
  • If you experience a change in your health—such as a cold, cough, fever or infection—within 24 hours of your scheduled surgery, contact your physician or surgeon immediately, and notify our Ambulatory Care Unit at (603) 421-2120 because your surgery may need to be postponed.

Guidelines for medications:

  • Take your prescribed heart, blood pressure, asthma, thyroid, seizure or pain medications with just enough water to swallow them.
  • If you regularly use inhalers, continue to use them at home and bring them with you to the hospital.
  • If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor and/or the nurse during your pre–admission screening about taking insulin, oral hypoglycemics or any diabetic medication on the day of surgery. Call (603) 421-2120 for additional instructions.
  • Don’t take any diuretics (fluid pills) such as Lasix, HCTZ or others.
  • Talk to your doctor if you’re on blood thinners.

Follow these guidelines to help assure that your surgery can proceed as scheduled and that you’ll be as comfortable as possible while you’re with us.

Make plans for someone to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after surgery. Your physician will provide additional directions on prepping for your surgery.

Check our online Health Library for information about what to expect before, during and after your specific medical procedure.

After your surgical procedure:

  • Your physician will talk with your designated caregivers about your procedure.
  • You will be taken to a postanesthesia care unit (PACU) where your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, heart rate, oxygen levels and other vital signs will be continuously monitored.
  • You’ll receive intravenous therapy to replace fluids and administer medications.
  • As your anesthetic wears off, sounds may seem louder than normal and you may experience blurred vision, dry mouth or chills. While these are usually normal responses, tell your nurse how you’re affected.
  • If you experience pain, a nurse will provide pain medication upon request.
  • Your physician or nurse will determine when it’s appropriate for you to return home or be moved to our Ambulatory Care Unit or a postoperative, inpatient room to continue your recovery.
  • Before you’re discharged, you’ll receive written instructions about caring for yourself at home, information on who to call with questions about your recovery and a time and date for your follow–up appointment.

Be sure to ask a member of your surgical team if you have questions about preparing for your surgery or your postsurgical care.

Remember to make plans for someone to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after surgery. During that time, you should not drive, take medications unless prescribed by your physician or drink alcoholic beverages.

Learn more about billing and insurance.

Recovery & Rehabilitation

To more quickly regain function following surgery, you may benefit from our extensive outpatient rehabilitation services.

Scheduled for Surgery?

Preregister now to save time.

Get maps and directions.