Preparing for Surgery

Thank you for choosing MedStar Montgomery Medical Center for your surgery or procedure. Our goal is to make your upcoming visit as safe and pleasant as possible. Please take a few moments to learn more about the surgical process as it is important for your health and safety.

One Week Before Your Surgery

  • A nurse will call you for important pre-admission information. The nurse will ask about your health, medical history, any medications you are taking and the dosages, and review any medications that can be taken the day of your surgery. Feel free to ask any questions you may have regarding your surgery.
  • Your doctor may order pre-surgery admission tests, such as blood work or an EKG. You must complete these tests at least four days prior to your procedure or your procedure may be delayed. Your insurance company determines which facility you will use for these tests. Please contact your insurance company or your primary care physician if you are unsure of the testing location. Request that the testing facility fax your results to us at 301-774-8868 upon completion, at least three full days before your surgery or procedure. Be sure to tell your physician and the hospital staff if you are, or could be, pregnant.
  • If a nurse has not been able to reach you and it is 48 hours before your scheduled surgery, please call Pre-Op Screening at 301-774-8665 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If the voicemail answers please leave your name, telephone number, date of your surgery/procedure, and a good time we can reach you (let us know if we may call you at work).

The Day Before Your Surgery

  • Follow your doctor’s and the MedStar Montgomery Medical Center pre-operative nurse’s instructions regarding any medication(s) that you normally take in the morning.
  • Do not eat or drink within eight hours of your procedure, otherwise your procedure may be rescheduled for your medical safety. This includes water, hard candy, chewing gum, and throat lozenges.
  • If your outpatient procedure requires sedation or anesthesia, a responsible adult (18 years or older) must accompany you the day of your surgery. You may only take a taxi home if a responsible person (at least 18 years of age) will be in the taxi with you. If there is no one available to accompany you, your procedure will be rescheduled.

The Day of Your Surgery

  • Do not administer any insulin or take any oral diabetic medicines the day of surgery unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Review any medications you should be taking as instructed by your doctor.
  • Bathe or shower the morning of your surgery to minimize the chance of infection. However, do not shave the operative area. Do not apply lotion, powder, perfume, make-up, oil, or deodorant.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and low-heeled shoes.
  • Leave valuables, such as jewelry and large sums of money, at home. Be sure to remove all body piercings.
  • Wear your glasses or bring a contact case to store your contact lenses.
  • Wear or bring your hearing aid and a case to store it in.
  • Wear or bring your dentures and dental adhesive. Do NOT apply adhesive.
  • Bring a list of names and the dosage of all medications you use. Note the last time you took your medication(s).
  • Bring a list of any medications that have caused you to have an allergic reaction.
  • Do NOT smoke before your surgery. Smoking may interfere with the anesthetic and often causes an upset stomach during recovery.
  • Please report to the Information Desk, located in the main lobby on the first floor, 90 minutes prior to your surgery/procedure.
  • The volunteer will direct you to the admitting office. Admitting will ask for your insurance card, any co-payment and photo identification (ID).
  • When you are admitted, you will be asked whether you have an advanced directive. We are required by law to inform you of your right to present a living will and/or durable power of attorney.
  • After registering in Admissions, you and your family or friends will go to the surgical waiting area (located on the first floor). Volunteers are available to assist you and your family and friends, if needed. The surgeon will come to this area to speak with your family or friends after surgery.
  • A pre-operative nurse will take you to the surgical preparation area. An intravenous (IV) line will be started, unless you are receiving local anesthesia only. An anesthesiologist will discuss the type of sedation you will receive.
  • Two visitors can be with you in the pre-op area before surgery and two in the outpatient area after surgery.

Following Your Surgical Procedure

You will either go to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or the Second Stage Recovery Unit (Ambulatory Care Unit) prior to being discharged. The time spent in these areas will vary, depending on your needs. When your condition permits and it’s safe for your family to join you, the nurse will call the surgical waiting area and the volunteer will bring your family back at that time.

Helpful Contacts

Special payment arrangements need to be coordinated with a financial counselor before admission. To speak to a financial counselor, call 410-933-2424.

If you would like more information on advance directives prior to your admission, please call 301-774-8998.

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