Patient and Visitor Information

Preparing for Surgery

Most people will tell you “there’s no place like home.” We agree. That’s why Ascension Seton Smithville offers a complete range of advanced inpatient/outpatient surgical procedures developed with your comfort, convenience and individual medical needs in mind. Your desire for home recovery has led the way to more procedures being made available on an outpatient basis. Research is also a guiding force, indicating that patients get better faster in the familiar surroundings of home. That’s the real value of outpatient surgery returning you to your normal activities sooner. The specialized skills, technology and resources of our staff and nurses are making this possible for more patients of all ages.

What to Bring for Pre-Admission Testing

  • Your insurance card in order to complete processing of your admission form.
  • Any physician’s orders and records that have been given to you.
  • Information on any prescription medications you are currently taking.
  • Guardian papers, living will and medical power of attorney, if appropriate.

During Pre-Admission

Several tests, including diagnostic blood tests, urinalysis, a chest X-ray and EKG may be performed as ordered by your physician. At this time, your medical history will be reviewed, as well as any medications you are currently taking.

Preparing at Home for Surgery

If you become ill with fever, cold, sore throat or other illness before your scheduled surgery, then please notify your physician as the procedure may need to be postponed until after you recover from your illness.

If you will be given general anesthesia or any sedation, then you must arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home following your procedure. Any anesthesia you receive may make you drowsy for up to 24 hours, so driving is not permitted.

For patients under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must stay with the child during admission and then remain in the waiting area during the procedure.

Other steps to prepare for surgery include:

  • Please bathe or shower prior to coming in for surgery.
  • Remove all nail polish, makeup, lipstick, false eyelashes and hairpieces. The doctors and staff need to see your natural skin coloring.
  • Please wear casual, comfortable, loose clothing such as sweat suits, easy button shirts or blouses that are large enough in case you have a large bandage after surgery, as well as comfortable shoes (please, no high heels). All personal items need to be removed prior to surgery. Your nurse will instruct you of any exceptions to this policy.
  • Please leave valuables and jewelry at home. If you wear contact lenses, bring a case or leave them at home.
  • If you wear glasses, bring your case for their safekeeping.
  • If you smoke, try to quit or cut down before surgery.
  • Bring any medications you take regularly with you to the hospital.
  • If you have diabetes and have not received instructions concerning your morning insulin, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of your procedure, unless otherwise instructed by your surgery personnel. This includes chewing gum, mints, water and coffee.


Bring your personal toiletries and your pajamas, robe and slippers.


You may want to bring a pair of slippers and a robe with you to the hospital.

When You Arrive for Surgery

Please arrive at Ascension Seton Smithville at the time specified by your physician so that you can be prepared for surgery. Plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled procedure but not before 6 a.m. Complimentary parking is provided at Ascension Seton Smithville.

After you are registered, you will be taken to a pre-operative holding room where you will change into a hospital gown. A nurse will take a brief medical history, perform any needed lab work (that has not already been completed) and ask you to sign a consent form for surgery. You will also meet with an anesthetist to discuss the type of anesthesia you will receive. Parents may remain with children during this time.

When the nurse is taking your history, please remember to mention:

  • If you wear dentures, including permanent dentures such as bridgework caps or crowns
  • Any medication you have taken or brought from home
  • Any allergies
  • Special orders from your physician
  • Colds, fever or infection
  • In the case of a child, any serious or chronic illness the child has had
  • Any problems you have had with previous surgery or anesthesia
  • Any family members who have had trouble with anesthesia

Once it is determined that you are in a safe condition to have surgery, your family or friend may wait with you in the pre-operative holding room until you are taken to surgery. From there, you will be taken directly to the operating room on a gurney or in a wheelchair for your safety. Your friends and family will then be directed to the waiting area.

Waiting Room

Your surgery will be performed in the north end of the hospital. Family members and visitors are encouraged to wait in the family waiting area or the post-op room. There, the physician can give them an update on your condition following surgery.

After Your Surgery/Recovery Room

After your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room and remain at the hospital until your physician and nurse have determined it is safe for you to go home.

Depending on the type of anesthesia you received, you may have blurry vision, a dry mouth and/or chills. Noises may sound louder than usual. The nurse will check your dressing(s) and blood pressure often. You may also have an IV and other tubes used for drainage. The area around your surgery may hurt or burn. Don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for pain medication. Before you can leave the hospital, your nurse will make sure that you are able to walk, urinate and take liquids.

The time spent in recovery varies from patient to patient but usually averages about 45 minutes to one hour. If you are an inpatient, you will be taken to your hospital room from the recovery room. Your family and friends may see you the same day as your surgery. If you are an outpatient, you will be taken to another unit to continue your recovery or back to the outpatient area for discharge. Be sure to have made arrangements for someone to drive you home.

Patient Pickup

At Ascension Seton Smithville, we begin our discharge planning process at the time you are admitted. Your personal discharge plan should begin even earlier. Plan to have someone drive you home from the hospital and also to schedule your follow-up doctor visit. Before you leave the hospital, your doctor and nurse will give you specific written instructions on how to care for yourself at home and will answer any questions you may have.

Your Recovery

Inpatients stay in the hospital after surgery so the doctor and nurses can monitor their recovery. Other hospital staff, such as physical therapists, social workers and/or dieticians may also be available.

Outpatients will be discharged the day of surgery and recover at home. Remember that activity helps circulation and deep breathing speeds recovery. You will be told what type of activity is safe to do.


Walking wakes up all of your systems, helping your body return to normal function. Be sure to have someone with you the first time you get out of the bed.

Breathing and Coughing

Deep breathing and coughing are important for all patients following surgery. Deep breathing expands the lungs, aids circulation and helps prevent pneumonia. If you are recovering in the hospital, you may be asked to use the respirator exerciser regularly. The first few times you are asked to cough, please use a pillow to support your abdomen.


Your digestive system may be slow after surgery. If you are staying in the hospital, you may be fed with an IV after your operation. Your diet will gradually progress from liquids to solids over time. If you are an outpatient recovering at home, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders.

Pain Management

You may be given pain medication in the hospital or be sent home with a prescription for some. Everyone has different levels of pain. If you have pain or nausea, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse for medications. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any or have had any side effects from the pain medication.

Going Home

Your doctor will leave orders when you can go home. Your nurse will give you instructions and answer any questions you may have.