Surgery at DCH

Our goal is to make your outpatient or inpatient surgery at Douglas County Hospital as comfortable as possible. Your physician and nurses should provide you with information specific to your procedure, but here is an overview of what you can expect.

Pre-Admission Phone Call

If you are scheduled for surgery, a registered nurse will call you the day before your surgery to discuss:

  • Day of surgery arrival time
  • Instructions for your surgery
  • An evaluation of your health needs
  • The completion of necessary tests and questions

If you have NOT been notified regarding your surgery time and instructions by 2:00 pm the day before your surgery, please call the Surgery Center at 320-762-6030. For questions after 5:00 pm call the nursing supervisor at 320-762-1511.

Days Before Surgery

  • Stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. Smoking increases the possibility of complications and delays tissue and wound healing.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to surgery.
  • Complete all tests ordered by your physician prior to surgery, such as x-rays, EKG’s and laboratory tests. 
  • Discuss with your physician which of the following medications you should stop taking before your surgery:

-Aspirin or aspirin-based products such as Excedrin, Advil, Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen)
-Blood thinners and anti-platelet medications like Coumadin, Plavix, Lovenox and Heparin
-Vitamins and herbal supplements

Night Before Surgery

  • Complete any special preparations which were given to you by your physician.
  • DO NOT eat any food, liquids, gum, candy or use tobacco after midnight the night before surgery. This includes chewing gum, mints, cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
  • You may take only a sip of water, enough to take the medications, which are directed by your physician prior to surgery.
  • DO NOT shave the surgical area.
  • Perform these exercises, designed to improve circulation and prevent complications after surgery.

Lungs:
1. Inhale deeply and hold your breath. Exhale slowly through your mouth. (repeat 2 times)
2. Inhale deeply and cough using your abdominal muscles.

Feet and Legs:
1. Point feet toward foot of bed and relax, then pull toes toward chin and relax. (repeat 10 times every two hours while awake)
2. Circle both ankles to the right and then to the left. (repeat 10 times every two hours while awake)
3. Bend knee and slide heel up to hip. (repeat 5 times with each leg every 2 hours while awake)

What to bring to the Hospital

  • Current list of medications including dosages & frequencies
  • Insurance card and one form of photo I.D.
  • Robe, slippers and personal toiletries of your choice
  • Children can bring a favorite toy or blanket
  • Please leave jewelry, money, credit cards and other valuables at home.

Morning of Surgery

  • Take only the medications prescribed by your physician the morning of surgery.
  • Take medications with only a small swallow of water.
  • DO NOT smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Complete any preparations as prescribed.
  • Shower or bathe as directed by your physician or the Surgery Center staff.
  • Remove all nail polish, makeup and jewelry prior to coming to the hospital.

Arriving at the Surgery Center

Check in at the registration desk, to be assigned a room. A nurse will admit you and answer any questions you have at that time.  You will sign a consent form, a parent or legal guardian is required to sign for individuals under 18 years of age.

Going Home

Please arrange for an adult to drive you home. Your discharge instructions will include:

  • Diet
  • Activity level and returning to work
  • Medications including dosage and frequency
  • Follow up appointments
  • Incision, stitches and dressing care
  • Any pending test results
  • Potential complications of your surgery or condition
  • Referrals and other outside agencies

For more information on other services to meet your health care needs upon discharge, contact our Social Services at 320-762-6108. Thank you for choosing Douglas County Hospital to participate in your care. Please contact the Surgery Center at 320-762-6030 for any questions.