Welcome to Abbeville General Hospital Surgical Services. Thank you for choosing us for your surgical healthcare needs.
We have created a section of this website to guide you and provide you with peace of mind about your upcoming surgery. Please read this carefully as the instructions will help you move smoothly through each phase of your surgery and recovery.
In order to best meet your pre-admission needs, we would like you to call our Day Surgery / Outpatient Services department (337) 898-6427 and schedule a Pre-Operative Appointment.
The Day of Surgery
All patients scheduled for surgery should report to the Outpatient Surgery/Services area, located on the 1st floor – East Entrance of the Hospital, at least two hours prior to their scheduled surgery or at the time specified to you by the nurse.
This will allow enough time for the admission process. The nurse will examine you and discuss your health and plan of care. Your last-minute questions can be answered at this time.
Other preparations may include:
- Signing the operative and anesthesia permits
- Lab draws, breathing treatments, etc.
- Practicing deep breathing exercises or using a respiratory exerciser
- Discharge education and teaching
Family and Friends
Family and friends may remain with you until you leave the Day Surgery Department for surgery. They are welcome to wait in the Surgical Family Waiting Room, located on the first floor next to the front entrance of the hospital, near the Operating Room while you are in surgery. The nurse will call the Family Waiting Room to notify your contact person when the surgery has begun, and keep them updated on the progress of your surgery. The physician will look for your family and friends in the waiting room after the surgery is complete and the surgeon will speak with your designated contact person after your surgery.
Family in the Surgical Waiting Room can be reached at (337) 898-6569 or 898-6444. A hospital volunteer is also seated at the entrance of the hospital, next to the family waiting room to answer any questions or provide help.
Meeting Your Anesthesiologist
After you are admitted in the Day Surgery Department, or as an inpatient, you will be brought to the surgery department and placed in a holding area. Here, you will have the opportunity to talk with your anesthesiologist and/or a member of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia team. At this time, a short anesthesia pre-op evaluation will be preformed, and anesthesia consent will be obtained. You should tell him or her if you have had problems with any type of anesthetic in the past. Your anesthesiologist will explain the recommended type of anesthesia. You and your surgeon will also be able to discuss any last minute questions you may have before being brought into the operating room.
It is very important that you bring all documents given to you by your surgeon’s office, to Day Surgery/Outpatient including: all physicians orders, consents, lab work, x-rays and any other documents.
Bring all medications you take with you so that the hospital staff can identify the medication name, dosage and frequency you take it. Also include any non-prescription drugs that you may be taking including aspirin, vitamins and herbal supplements. This information will help speed up your pre-admission process.
Be sure to provide your physician with information regarding all other physicians you are seeing and any past surgery or major illness you have had. Ask your physician if you should stop any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication prior to your surgery. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and Aspirin tend to decrease blood-clotting abilities. Follow your physician’s instructions for stopping these and herbal medications prior to surgery.
Patients who smoke are at a higher risk of developing infections and are advised to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. To prepare your lungs for anesthesia and to decrease your post-operative surgical risks, we encourage you to talk to a healthcare professional about ways to quit prior to surgery.
When you speak with the admitting nurse prior to surgery, you will be instructed in some home preparation for surgery:
- Wear comfortable clothes. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
- Do not wear makeup or mascara and avoid powders, deodorant, lotions and creams before surgery. No nail polish, hair pins, or jewelry.
- You may wear glasses, dentures, and hearing aids before and after surgery. They may need to be removed before going into the operating room. Contact lenses worn before surgery must be removed before entering the operating room.
- Please bring a case for your hearing aids, glasses, and/or contacts.
- Bring any devices you will need after surgery such as crutches or canes.
- If you have an implantable device, such as a pacemaker or AICD, please bring the device information card.
- You may brush your teeth the day of the surgery, but do not swallow any water. Do not chew gum or take breath mints or hard candy after midnight the night before your surgery.
- Shower with the instructed soap, as ordered by your physician, the night before or the morning of your surgery. This helps prevent infections and it will be more comfortable for you if you are not able to bathe for a few days.
- Medications that you are currently taking, what medications you should take the morning of your procedure and which medications should be stopped.
- Arrange transportation home. You must have a responsible adult drive you home or accompany you in a taxi.
Arrange for someone to be with you the rest of the day. Have someone else assume the care of those people who are dependent upon you until you fully recover.
Your physician may give you additional instructions regarding diet, enemas or skin preparation. Follow these instructions carefully.
It is very important that you follow the instructions your physician and the nurse have given you about eating, drinking liquids and taking your medications. If you do not follow these restrictions, your surgery may have to be postponed.
If you develop a cold, persistent cough, sore throat, fever, or any other illness within two days of surgery, or have ongoing symptoms from any new episode since your preoperative visit, your surgeon needs to be notified.
Throughout Your Stay – Your Health Care Team
Physicians – The cooperative effort between physicians and other members of your health care team ensures you receive the best possible care. As your care progresses, your physician may consult other physicians.
Nurses – Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) plan, deliver and coordinate your bedside care. Nurses work with you and your physician and surgeon to make sure your care needs are met.
Nursing Assistants – Nursing assistants have received training in basic nursing tasks such as personal care and blood pressure monitoring. They assist RNs and LPNs in caring for you.
Case Managers – Case managers are registered nurses who assist in planning and arranging for ongoing care during and following your hospital stay.
Social Workers – A social worker is available to meet a variety of needs, including help with discharge planning and community resource referrals. Social workers can also assist you with long-term care planning and offer support and counseling to patients dealing with a new diagnosis or health-related issues.
Others – You may meet various laboratory, radiology and support personnel all dedicated to providing you with quality care. All hospital personnel wear a name tag, and we encourage you to ask who they are and what they do.
Before Your Surgery
If you have not called to schedule a pre-operative appointment, you may be contacted by an admitting representative and by a nurse from the Abbeville General Hospital Pre-Admission Department approximately two to four days prior to your surgery. The admitting representative will:
- Ask for your birth date, insurance numbers and other finance-related questions.
You may also be contacted by a nurse from the Day Surgery/Outpatient Department to do the following:
- Schedule a date for any necessary diagnostic tests (e.g., lab, chest x-ray, EKG or any other tests), unless the surgeon has already made arrangements. Your diagnostic tests will be completed on a separate visit prior to your surgery, if at all possible.
- Obtain a health history and ask health-related questions regarding your medications, allergies and previous illnesses and surgeries.
- Give instructions, provide information about the admission process and answer any other questions you may have.
It is very important that you follow the instructions your physician and the day surgery nurse have given you about eating, drinking liquids, taking your medications and smoking before surgery. When you have anesthesia, eating even small amounts of liquids or solids beforehand can cause serious complications. If you do not follow these instructions, your surgery may have to be postponed.
If you have not been contacted by the hospital by the day before your surgery date, please call the Day Surgery/Outpatient Department at (337) 898-6427.
After Surgery Services
Once your surgery is complete, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU/Recovery Room) for observation by nurses specifically trained in caring for patients after anesthesia and surgery, ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible. Once a physician determines that patients are ready for discharge from PACU, they will return to the Day Surgery unit or Inpatient room for further recovery. Most patients remain in the Recovery Room for about an hour before being moved back to their Day Surgery or inpatient room. Your family and friends may see you when you are in your room after leaving recovery. During this time, the nurse will review home care instructions and answer any questions the patient and caregiver may have. The length of time patients stay after surgery depends on the procedure, the anesthesia used, and the patient’s response to both.
Your nurses and doctors want to make your surgery as pain-free as they can. The key to getting the best pain relief is communicating with your healthcare team. The amount or type of pain you feel may not be the same as others feel – even those who have had the same operation.
Both drug and non-drug treatments can be successful in helping to prevent and control pain. You and your doctors and nurses will decide which ones are right for you. Many people combine two or more methods to get greater relief.
Activity stimulates circulation, re-awakens all of your body systems and promotes normal body function. Nurses will assist you with turning in bed, getting out of bed and walking as soon as you are allowed to do so. You will be encouraged to do these activities as soon as possible. In general, the more you can do for yourself safely, the sooner you can go home.
Lung expansion is very important following surgery. You will be asked to cough and breathe deeply often after surgery, and continue doing these exercises for a few days to assist in preventing potential complications from anesthesia and from the surgery.
Your physician will decide when you are able to resume eating and drinking. Your diet will advance from liquids to solids as your bowel activity improves. If you have any allergies or food intolerances, please inform the nurse who calls you prior to surgery, or your nurse on admission.
We encourage your family to ask questions and participate in your care. This will help them feel more comfortable assisting you once you are home.
Preparing to Go Home
The length of your hospital stay will depend upon your type of surgery. With recent changes in medicine and health insurance, many patients are able to go home sooner after surgery. The doctor and your health care team will plan your discharge with you.
When you are ready to leave, your physician or nurse will give specific instructions on how to care for yourself at home and who to call if you have problems. You may need someone to assist you at home for a period of time. We encourage your family to ask questions and participate in your care. This will help them feel more comfortable assisting you once you are home.
To ensure your safety, you will not be allowed to leave the hospital alone or to drive yourself home following sedation or anesthesia. Please make sure you have someone available to bring you home when you are ready for discharge. All patients are discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair.
If you feel you will need help at home other than from your family members, let your nurse know. Members from your health care team are available to answer questions about home care support and to help make arrangements for assistance from community services.
After You Are Home
Do not drive a car, operate machinery, cook, drink alcoholic beverages or make important decisions up to 24 hours after your surgery. The anesthesia and other medications stay in your system and make it unsafe for you to perform these activities. The day surgery nurse will call you after your return home to follow up on your recovery.