Jeffrey Carlson, MD updates a family member after surgery


Any pre-operative tests will be determined by your physician or anesthesia provider and communicated to you prior to the date of your surgery. 

Your safety is our primary concern. Your entire health care team will follow rigorous guidelines regarding site identification and procedure confirmation. National Patient Safety Goals have been developed with your involvement too. You will be asked numerous times to confirm both the procedure you are having and the surgical site. You should take a very active role in all discussions with your physician, your anesthesia provider and our staff regarding the identification of your procedure and the correct surgical site. In most cases, your surgeon will mark the site prior to your procedure.

  1. Take a shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Follow these simple steps:
    a.Wash your hair first with any shampoo;
    b.Wash your entire body using a liquid antibacterial soap and a clean washcloth for each shower;
    c.Rinse well to remove all soap;
    d.Dry your body with a clean towel;
    e.Do not use lotion, cream or powder;
    f.Do not shave or clip the area where the surgery will be done unless your physician directs you to do so
    2.On the day of your procedure, make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash hands frequently while at the facility and at home following your surgery. Also, do not hesitate to ask members of your health care team at the facility if they have washed their hands!
    3.After your procedure, make sure you, your family and any other caregivers wash their hands frequently. Also be sure you follow all instructions provided by your health care team regarding the care and cleaning of your surgical site, as well as the administration of post-operative medications and bandages.

Yes. The nature of most procedures will require that you and your physician confirm both the specific type of procedure you are having as well as the surgical site of the procedure. However, it is important to keep in mind that the amnesia effects of anesthesia may cause you to forget this visit, as well as other parts of the pre and post-op time.

Please be sure to notify your physician, and Coastal Virginia Surgery Center prior to the date of surgery, if you think you may be pregnant. The surgical procedure, anesthesia and medications may be harmful to a developing baby.

The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our post-operative call at home. During your stay at the facility, you will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain using a numerical scale (1-10), or the “Faces Pain Scale” (shown below):

We will often use a combination of different modalities to help make you comfortable – choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc. Prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please feel free to bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and hence a smoother, more comfortable recovery. It is important to follow instructions regarding your post-operative pain medication closely. Many pain medications take 20 to 30 minutes to begin to work. For best results, the pain medication should be taken before the pain becomes too intense.

Yes. After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area. A nurse will monitor your vital signs and make sure you are comfortable as the anesthesia begins to wear off. Once you are awake and alert, your family will be invited back to the recovery area. Exceptions may be made with patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Most patients should continue their usual medications after surgery. Patients who have diabetes and those patients on blood thinners may require some adjustment of their medications. These instructions will be clarified with you before you leave the facility. If you have any questions, please call your surgeon or primary care physician.

Surgery times are often difficult to predict, because each patient and case is different. There is no exact time for most surgeries. We estimate the duration of your surgery based on similar cases and we schedule accordingly. The amount of recovery time also varies from patient to patient. After your procedure, a nurse will monitor your vital signs and make sure you are alert and stable. You will be sent home as soon as your health care team feel it is safe to discharge you from the facility. Please consider this as you plan your day. You may not be assured a specific time for discharge to attend to other appointments or responsibilities.

No. We advise against smoking on the day of your procedure. Smoking may interfere with the anesthesia and frequently produces nausea during the recovery period.

It is important to refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents (a complication related to vomiting) during your surgery. This complication may be very serious. Specific instructions, based on national safety standards, will be provided to you prior to your procedure. It is very important that you follow the provided instructions. If you do not, your surgery may be delayed or cancelled.

Admissions to a hospital from a surgery center happen occasionally. In certain circumstances, your physician or anesthesiologist may determine that you need to be transferred to a hospital for additional post-operative care.

If you are in serious pain, or exhibit warning symptoms described in your discharge instructions, please call your physician, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

Your surgeon may have specific recommendations for your post-operative diet. We generally suggest that you eat lightly after surgery, and strongly encourage you to drink plenty of fluids. You should avoid alcoholic beverages.

Due to the effects of anesthesia, even light sedation, you will not be allowed to drive home after your surgery. Coordination and decision-making skills are impaired. Someone needs to be responsible for you for 24 hours after your anesthesia to keep you safe. If you have not arranged this prior to arrival in the surgery center, your procedure may be cancelled. It is also important that your escort remains at the center with you in case of unforeseen issues that could arise during your surgery and decisions need to be made on your behalf.