Preparing for Surgery

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Making Your Surgical Experience as Comfortable as Possible

To help ensure your surgery is safe and successful, you’ll work with our surgical team before and after it. They’ll prepare you for your hospital stay, whether you’ll be here for a day surgery (also called outpatient surgery) or a longer inpatient admission. They can also provide resources to make your return home as easy as possible and direct you to help with things like having visitors and paying your bills. 

You can also print out these instructions: 

Contact Us

You can reach the preadmission evaluation staff at:

All in a Day’s Stay: Preparing for Surgery

baystate concierge pointing to hospital map directions helping a visitor

Additional Resources

Here are some resources that will help make your experience, and that of friends and family who may be supporting and visiting you, go more smoothly.  

patient filling out form

Be Prepared: Choose a Healthcare Proxy

We encourage all patients 18 and older to select a healthcare proxy and complete a healthcare proxy form before their surgery. The healthcare proxy form is a legal document that names the person you choose to make healthcare decisions for you if you can't do it yourself.

A preadmission evaluation helps prepare you and your family for your surgery. All patients 14 and older who are scheduled for a day stay or inpatient surgery at Baystate Medical Center will have a preadmission evaluation. These evaluations usually take place 7 to 10 days before your surgery. 

What to Expect 

The surgery you’re having, along with your health history, helps us determine the preadmission evaluation you’ll need.  

These screening calls and visits are done by a Baystate Health nurse. It might be a telephone screening, or you might need to come in for a visit for laboratory tests, electrocardiogram (EKG), or chest X-rays.  

Once we collect the information we need, a nurse practitioner from our anesthesia department will review it. 

How to Find Us

If you need to visit us in person, here’s our contact information:  

100 Wason Ave. 
Suite 240 
Springfield, MA 01107 
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
Call:  413-794-1940 

The Kind of Pain to Expect After Surgery

What You Can Expect

Your First Visit with Your Surgeon (Prior to Surgery)

On your first visit to our office, try to get here at least 15 minutes early, so you’ll have enough time to complete your intake paperwork.  

You should also bring:

  • X-rays, reports and other materials related to your surgery
  • Your insurance card and photo ID
  • A current list of medications and allergies
  • Insurance co-payments or deductibles, or both if needed

If your insurance requires a referral, contact your primary care physician to be sure that one is in place.

The Day Before Surgery

A preoperative nurse will call you in the afternoon or early evening the day before surgery to review important information regarding your surgery.  

In addition:

  • Don’t drink, eat, or take anything by mouth after midnight. This includes gum, candy, applesauce or cough drops.
  • Take any medication with just a few sips of water.
  • Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages or use any recreational drugs, including marijuana, for 48 hours before surgery.
  • Do not smoke. Your surgeon can give you specific instructions to make it easier for you to stop smoking
    Reminder: Baystate Medical Center is a 100% smoke free environment.
  • Brush your teeth without swallowing any water.
Day of Surgery — including getting to the hospital, after arrival, and after surgery
  • Bring a photo ID, insurance card, and check or credit card for your co-payment, if you have one. 
  • Bring an up-to-date list of all medications you take. Include the name, dose, and how many times a day you take each. Note the last date and time you took each medication. 
  • Bring your inhaler if you use one.
  • If you use a CPAP machine, bring it, along with a copy of the manufacturer's card. 
  • If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, tell the preoperative nurse the name of the manufacturer (example: Medtronic). Bring a copy of the manufacturer's card with you.
  • Visitors are not allowed to have food or beverages in the preoperative or postoperative/recovery rooms.
  • For their safety, leave small children at home. 
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. 
  • Don’t use your cell phone in the preop area.
  • If you’re staying overnight, have your family hold your overnight bag. They can bring it to you once you’re settled in your hospital room. The preop unit does not have a locked area and has very limited space.
  • You can bring dentures, hearing aids, and eyeglasses /glass case — but you’ll need to remove them prior to surgery.

Before Coming to the Hospital

  • Be sure to confirm any allergies you have (and notify the healthcare team of any new allergies) at your preadmission evaluation appointment. 
  • Leave jewelry and money (except your co-payment) at home.  
  • Do not wear perfume, cologne, lotions, oils or deodorants.  
  • Do not shave near your operative site prior to your surgery. Shaving increases your risk for infection. 
  • Leave the following at home — Contact lenses, all jewelry, including wedding bands, all piercings (for example tongue ring), hair ties, clips, and pins. 
  • Remove all makeup and all nail polish, including fingernails and toenail polish.  
  • You may need to trim or shave your facial hair.  

Once You Arrive at the Hospital

  • Day Stay Surgical Patients — Arrive at Baystate Medical Center Chestnut Surgery Center at the time on your white preadmission evaluation instructions. If you’re late, your surgery could be delayed or canceled. Check in with the registration secretary, located on the ground floor. We’ll collect your co-payment at that time. 
  • Inpatient Surgical Patients — Check in at the registration desk in the Daly Lobby.  We’ll collect your co-payment at that time. After checking in, you’ll be directed to the Surgical Family Waiting Room. 
  • Once you’re settled in the preop unit, a preop nurse will take care of you and prepare you for surgery. 
  • You’ll be asked to remove all your clothing including undergarments. You’ll change into a hospital garment. 
  • Remove your wig or toupee if you’re wearing one. 
  • After the nurse has completed the admission process, you can have up to two family members stay with you until you go into the operating room. 
  • While you wait in the preop unit, you’ll meet with your anesthesiologist, operating room nurse and surgeon.

After Surgery

  • If you wish, your surgeon will speak to your family after the surgery is complete. 
  • You’ll be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (also called the recovery room) where the staff will closely monitor you. 
  • Inpatient Surgical Patients — Your family may be allowed to visit you in the recovery room. 
  • Day Stay Surgical Patients — Before discharge, you’ll get instructions about what to do, what not to do, and how to care for yourself at home. 
  • You may need to fill prescriptions at a pharmacy before going home. We have pharmacies in each of our hospitals. 
  • If you have any pain, nausea or vomiting, please inform the nursing staff. To understand your level of pain, they’ll use a pain scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is severe pain. 
  • Inpatient Surgical Patients — You'll be given an incentive spirometer, a handheld medical device which you’ll use to keep your lungs working well after your surgery. Please use this as you’re instructed, to help prevent pneumonia. 
Have questions about the preadmission process for an upcoming surgery?
Feel free to call the preadmission evaluation staff for help.
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