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Day of Surgery

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Patient stories

  • Steve Towle – Tackling the Pain 
  • Ollie Harbin – A Hip for the Spare

Prepare for Your Surgery

Follow these instructions to prepare for your surgery, including the guidelines for eating and drinking, medications, hygiene, personal items, medical equipment and documents.

Where to Arrive

Enter The University of Kansas Hospital’s main entrance, and report to Admissions on the ground floor across from the Information Desk.

After registration, you will be directed to the surgery waiting room on the second floor. Please stay in the waiting area until a staff member escorts you to the presurgery area, where your pulse, blood pressure and respirations will be checked.

Our staff will help you, if necessary, to change into a gown. Your belongings will be placed in a labeled bag.

What to Wear

Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing is advised. You should also wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes.

The hospital will provide a gown and non-skid socks, so it’s not necessary to bring your own from home. Do not wear makeup, fingernail polish or jewelry of any kind, including body piercings, to the hospital. You will be required to remove contact lenses and tampons prior to your surgery.

What to Bring

Some items will make your check-in run more smoothly at Admissions. These include:

  • A copy of your living will, advance directives or durable power of attorney for your file
  • Insurance card and prescription cards
  • Photo identification
  • Medical equipment such as an inhaler, hearing aid, CPAP/BiPAP (masks only). If you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker or AICD, please bring the medical device identification card
  • A case or container for eyeglasses, dentures and partials to include with your belongings during surgery

Do Not Bring

  • Medications, unless directed to do so by your doctor
  • Large sums of cash, jewelry or other valuables

Bring only items you need. Mark them clearly with your name for easy identification.

Presurgery Area

Here, your anesthesiologist will discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive. Your signed consent is required for anesthesia to be administered.

After consent, your anesthesiologist or a nurse will start your IV line and begin the anesthetic and other medications, as needed. Additionally, a small tube may be placed into your leg to deliver numbing medicine.

During Surgery

While your surgery may be scheduled for a specific time, these details could change. You will be notified of any changes in advance.

In the operating room, you will be greeted by a nurse who will verify your name and surgical procedure. Your pulse, blood pressure and oxygen level will be monitored throughout the surgery.

Friends and family members are encouraged to remain in the second floor waiting room. They should check in with the front desk staff in the waiting area. If they need to leave the waiting area while you are in surgery, they should notify staff members when they leave and return. Nurse liaisons will be able to provide updates to your friends and family members as you proceed through surgery and the initial recovery phase.

Recovery Room

Blurry vision, dry mouth, chills, pain, sore throat and discomfort are common experiences as you awaken from anesthesia in the recovery room. A nurse will check your dressing, blood pressure, pulse and respirations. Oxygen may be administered to help you breathe more easily. Let your nurse know if you have pain or experience nausea. Medications are available to ease your discomfort.

The length of time you spend in the recovery room is dependent upon the type of surgery and anesthetic you had, in addition to your body’s response to surgery. Time varies depending on your needs and the availability of a bed on the appropriate floor of the hospital.

After Surgery

Due to the high number of patients who need our care, we have both private and semi-private rooms. A private room may not be available as we must prioritize these for patients with a medical need.

Once you have been assigned a room, your nurse and aide will get you settled and check your blood pressure, pulse, respirations, dressing and overall comfort level. Inform your nurse if you have pain, nausea or other discomfort.

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