How to Prepare & What to Expect

When your doctor tells you that you will need surgery, dozens of questions race through your mind. We understand and want to help.

Your surgeon will answer your specific questions about your procedure. But, many questions you have may be addressed here. This information was designed to help you understand what to expect and how to prepare for surgery at Rush North Shore Medical Center.

One Month Before Surgery OR as Soon as Your Surgery is Scheduled

PRE-SURGICAL MEDICAL EXAM  If your surgeon has asked you to get a pre-surgical medical exam, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call the Presurgical Services Department at 847-933-6762. We can refer you to a doctor on staff at Rush North Shore who can help you.

The purpose of a pre-surgical exam is to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. Your doctor may request specific tests. The results of these tests must be sent to Rush North Shore Medical Center’s Presurgical Services Department.

One Week Before Surgery

CONFIRM ALL PRE-SURGERY TEST RESULTS   Check with your doctor to be sure you have completed all necessary pre-surgical tests, and that the results have been sent to Presurgical Services at Rush North Shore Medical Center.

Please note, for your safety, we must have required test results on hand prior to your surgery. If not, we will have to reschedule your procedure.
MEDICATION NEEDS  Certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications should be stopped prior to surgery. Please discuss all medication use with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions.

ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION  Unless your surgeon has indicated you will be staying overnight at the hospital following surgery, you will need someone to drive you home. 

The Day Before Surgery

CONFIRMATION CALL  We will call you to confirm the time you should arrive at the hospital. Please provide us with a telephone number where we can reach you or leave a message between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can contact us at (847) 933-6700. Patients are typically requested to arrive about two hours before their surgery is scheduled to begin.
NO FOOD OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT  An empty stomach will minimize nausea, vomiting and other possible side effects sometimes associated with anesthesia.

MEDICATION USE  Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you are cleared to take medicines after midnight, you should only drink the water necessary to take the medication.

The Day of Surgery

  • Remember, DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT. Follow your surgeon’s instructions about taking prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Dress in comfortable clothes and leave your jewelry and other valuables at home.
  • Bring your insurance card and a photo I.D.
  • Bring a complete list, including dosages, of your prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Arrive two hours before your procedure is scheduled, unless you’ve been given other instructions.

When you arrive at the hospital, you may be dropped off at the main hospital entrance or park in the lot adjacent to the main hospital entrance.

Go directly to the Ambulatory Surgery Reception desk. Our staff will help you register and complete all necessary paperwork. Once completed, you will change into a hospital gown, get an identification bracelet and have an opportunity to ask any last-minute questions.

PATIENT IDENTIFICATION  For your protection, you will be asked your name and the type of surgery you are having many times by many people. This isn’t because we’ve forgotten. It is simply one of the ways we ensure all care providers accurately identify every person they encounter.

Surgical Procedure Times

Every person and every procedure is unique. Sometimes procedures take longer than anticipated or an emergency requires a change in the schedule. These situations can cause scheduling delays. If you must wait, we ask for your understanding and patience. We will keep you posted and we will approach your care with the same dedication, focus and commitment we give all our patients.

Time to Begin
When it is time for your surgery, you will be transported to the Pre-Op area. Your family and friends should go to the surgical reception area on the second floor of the hospital.

In Pre-Op, you will meet your anesthesiologist. He or she will explain the type of anesthesia you will be given and answer any questions. From Pre-Op, you will be moved to a surgery suite.

Once your procedure is completed, you will be moved to a recovery area and your surgeon will go out to the surgical reception area to speak with your family members.
RECOVERY  As the anesthesia wears off, you will wake up in our recovery area. Here, our nurses will tend to your needs and treat your pain. When you are fully awake, you will be transported to the ambulatory surgery area to be discharged and your family will be notified. If you are staying in the hospital overnight, you will be taken to your assigned room.

Before you are discharged, you will receive detailed instructions about how to care for yourself at home and when to follow up with your surgeon.

Once You are Home
If you are not admitted to the hospital, a Rush North Shore Medical Center nurse will call you within a few days of your surgery. If, however, you have any questions or concerns, please contact your surgeon or the ambulatory surgery staff. To talk to a nurse in ambulatory surgery, please call (847) 933-6500 between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

We hope this information helps you to understand what to expect before, during and after surgery. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about something, please do not hesitate to talk to any of the staff members involved in your care.

Presurgical Services (847) 933-6700
Pre-Surgery Admissions (847) 933-6762
Ambulatory Surgery (847) 933-6500