FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
What will the length of my surgery be?
The length of surgery is determined by several factors. First is the surgery time which can be estimated by your surgeon. To this add 5-10 minutes on each end once in the procedure room to get you prepared prior to the surgery, put you to sleep (if needed), and do a sterile prep. The reverse is done at the end of your procedure. Procedure lengths vary from 10 minutes for some cataract operations to several hours for more involved surgeries. You will need to arrive early to allow time for check-in and paperwork, and can expect an average stay of 30-45 minutes in the PACU (recovery room).
Can I stay with my child up until they go to surgery?
Yes, you will be able to stay with your child until they go back for surgery. We have several pediatric rooms in the pre-operative area. You are encouraged to stay with your child until we escort them to the operating room. Parents are not allowed in the operating suites. When your child's procedure is complete, they will be brought to the PACU (recovery room). Once the child is stable, we encourage parents to come back to comfort and assist in their child's recovery.
Can I get medication to prevent nausea?
Nausea and vomiting (N/V) are a possible complication of any surgery or anesthetic. At ECSC, we use several methods to prevent N/V, including ultra-short acting anesthetic infusions, local anesthetic (i.e. Novocaine) infiltration (numbing) of your incision site, avoidance of nitrous oxide gas, and regional anesthetic blocks. Some surgeries have a higher risk of N/V, including inner ear, eye muscle, and laparoscopic procedures. Women of child bearing age are at higher risk as are those who experience motion sickness (cars, boats, or roller coasters) and those who have a history of post-operative N/V. These patients are pre-medicated to prevent N/V. At ECSC, we have had excellent success preventing N/V and encourage you to ask your anesthesiologist about N/V risk if you have any further questions.
Will I be awake during my procedure?
Your surgeon will schedule your procedure at ECSC and request a certain type of anesthetic. This could be a local anesthetic, conscious sedation, monitored anesthesia care (MAC), or general anesthesia. During a straight local anesthetic, you will remember your surgery but not feel any discomfort. During conscious sedation, previously called "twilight sleep," you may be dimly aware of your procedure but will not feel any discomfort. During a MAC or general anesthetic, you will be completely unaware of your procedure.
How much pain will I have and how long will it last?
There will be some minimal discomfort after any surgery and our goal is to make it as minor as possible. At ECSC, we use several methods to control your pain including local anesthetic (i.e. Novocaine) infiltration (numbing) of your incision, IV pain medications during surgery, oral pain medications, and regional anesthetic blocks. When you arrive in the PACU (recovery room) after your procedure, your nurse will assess your pain level using a 0 (no pain) to 10 (unbearable pain) scale. We will treat any pain you may be having and no patient will be discharged until their pain is under adequate control. Your surgeon will provide you with a prescription for oral pain medication to control your pain at home. Our nurses will be happy to call the prescription to your pharmacy while you are recovering, allowing it to be ready for pick-up on your way home. This way, your pain will be under constant control.
Can my escort leave the center while I am in surgery?
We request that your escort remain at ECSC until you are ready to leave. It is acceptable if they have a short trip (i.e. refreshments) to make and will return immediately. We discourage escort call backs due to the delays of area traffic.
Why do I have to take my jewelry off before surgery?
During your procedure at ECSC, your surgeon may use an electrocautery device (Bovie) that allows rapid control of bleeding and tissue biopsies. This device uses electricity that, if it conducts through your metallic jewelry, may cause a burn. For this reason, we ask that you leave all jewelry at home.
Why do I have to take my underwear off before surgery?
During your procedure at ECSC, your surgeon may use an electrocautery device (Bovie) that allows rapid control of bleeding and tissue biopsies. This device uses electricity that, if it conducts through your nylon underwear or metallic underwire bra, may cause a burn. For this reason, we ask that you remove your underwear or wear only 100% cotton underwear without any metal pieces.
Can I wear my dentures during my procedure?
If you are having monitored anesthesia care (MAC) or a general anesthetic, we request that you remove your dentures and leave them at home. This is due to the possibility of bending or breakage during your procedure when you will not be able to protect the dentures. There is a waiver form available at ECSC that enables you to keep your dentures during your procedure but absolves ECSC and BROAD Anesthesia from any liability due to damage to the dentures. If you are having straight local anesthesia, you may keep your dentures intact.
Why do I have to fill out a pain assessment when I am not having any pain?
Pain is now considered to be the fifth vital sign (with heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature). Assessment of pain on admission by all medical facilities is now required by AAAHC.
Why is it so cold at the surgery center?
The surgery center is kept cool for two main reasons - the first is to help suppress bacterial growth in the operating rooms, and the second is due to the surgeon's garments. Surgeons wear up to four levels of garments during a procedure and need to have the rooms kept cool to work efficiently. Occasionally, the air conditioning will spill out to the patient holding areas and the waiting room. If the waiting room is too cool, please inform the receptionist. If you are cool while a patient, please inform your nurse and we will do our best to warm you up.
Why can't I stay a little longer at the center?
ECSC is an ambulatory surgery center, specializing in rapid recovery of patients following surgery. Our philosophy entails efficiently preparing patients to return to familiar surroundings, believing that this allows a more rapid and complete physical and mental recovery from surgery. No patients will be discharged prior to meeting strict medical discharge criteria or before the patient and escort are comfortable leaving our facility.
I don't remember getting dressed. Why?
During your stay at ECSC, you may receive potent amnestic (memory impairing) drugs. These medications allow you to function normally when observed by medical staff and even your own relatives, but you may not be able to remember your own actions during this time. The point where memories resume is impossible to determine and varies from patient to patient. If you do not remember getting dressed, this is not unusual and there is nothing to be concerned about.
When can I eat?
During your recovery period at ECSC, you will be offered some light snacks. You may resume eating as soon as you feel up to it. We recommend starting with light foods, such as toast or soup, and then gradually working up to larger and spicier meals.
Why do I have to have someone stay with me for 24 hours after my procedure?
At ECSC we recommend a caregiver or escort stay with patients for 24 hours after their procedure for the patient's protection. Even though we use the fastest and shortest acting anesthetics available, and the patient may not have been completely asleep, patients react differently and their reflexes may be impaired, especially for children and the elderly. A caregiver or escort for 24 hours allows the patient to have a margin of safety following their procedure. This caregiver can be any ambulatory adult, including relatives and older teens.
Why can't I have alcohol today?
During your stay at ECSC, you may have received drugs that impair your judgment or reflexes. Despite our use of the latest, shortest acting drugs available anywhere, their effects may linger, and may be intensified by alcoholic beverages. To ensure your safety, we recommend abstaining from all alcoholic beverages for the 24 hours following your procedure.
Why can't I drive for 24 hours?
During your stay at ECSC, you may have received drugs that impair your judgment or reflexes. Despite our use of the latest, shortest acting drugs available anywhere, their effects may linger. To ensure your safety, we recommend not driving for the 24 hours following your procedure.
Did I talk or say anything stupid during my procedure?
At ECSC, we maintain strict patient confidentiality conforming to the US Government's HIPAA recommendations. If you have a local anesthetic, you will be able to remember all statements made. If you have a general anesthetic, you will not be making any comments at all during surgery. If you have IV conscious sedation or monitored anesthesia care (MAC), you may be able to speak during your procedure. The most frequent occurrence is to repeatedly ask the same question, not remembering that it has already been answered. Inadvertent, inappropriate comments are exceedingly rare.