At Somerset Medical Center, we understand that you may have questions or concerns as you prepare for surgery. These emotions are normal, and we can lessen these concerns by helping you to be:
- Knowledgeable about your surgery
- Confident in the care you will receive
- Physically and emotionally comfortable during you stay
When it comes to your medical care and recovery, you are the most important member of your health care team. By working together, we can efficiently and effectively help you reach your wellness goals.
If you are having a surgical procedure or if your doctor has ordered pre-admission or laboratory tests, please call the Pre-Admission Testing Department at 908-685-2878, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 pm. Any tests should be done seven to 10 days before your procedure. Bring your insurance information, driver's license, claim forms, referrals and paperwork from your doctor's office to your appointment.
Preparing for Surgery
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you take a shower using products containing chlorhexidine on the two days before surgery. These products are available in most drugstores and this simple step helps decrease the number of bacteria carried on the skin. In addition, you should:
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Stop smoking 30 days prior to surgery
- Avoid shaving near the operative site
Day of Surgery
Please report to the registration area in the main lobby when you arrive at the hospital. Your caregivers will explain hospital routines and discuss any procedures that will be performed before surgery. You may receive care from doctors who are outside service providers to Somerset Medical Center. These doctors include anesthesiologists, radiologists and pathologists. These independent doctors charge separately for their services. Bills received from these doctors are in addition to the bill you will receive from Somerset Medical Center.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you wish to see a member of the clergy before your surgery, let your nurse know.
You will be instructed in deep breathing, coughing and leg movement techniques to use following surgery. The expansion of your lungs will help prevent complications; and leg movement will help maintain good circulation. Together these exercises will help shorten your hospital stay.
Other Special Preparations
Before your procedure, we suggest you:
- Discuss all your medications with your doctor, especially if you take blood thinners, aspirin, heart or blood pressure or diabetes medications.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your procedure. This includes water and hard candy or gum.
- Bring any paperwork or X-rays your doctor has given you.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You will not need personal items, such as nightclothes or toiletries.
- All watches, jewelry and piercings are to be removed at home.
- Avoid wearing makeup or dark-colored nail polish.
- Leave contact lenses at home.
- You may wear glasses, hearing aides and dentures, but they will need to be removed before your procedure.
- Money and valuables should be left at home except what you may need to register and pay your co-pay costs.
- If you develop a cold, fever or other illness before your procedure, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
- Be sure to arrange for an adult driver over the age of 18 to bring you home at the time of discharge. County transportation and taxi service are not acceptable. Your drivermust report for instructions before youwill be released to go home.
- Arrival time to the hospital is as directed by your doctor. It is usually about 1½to 2 hours prior to the surgery time.
If you have more questions prior to your admission or after your discharge, please call:
Pre-Admission Testing: 908-685-2878
Same Day Center: 908-685-2861
Patient Financial Services: 908-685-2833
Financial Counseling: 908-203-5992
Care Management: 908-685-2953
Patient Advocate: 908-685-2430
Post Anesthesia Care Unit
If given anesthesia for your procedure, you will be carefully monitored in our Post Anesthesia Care Unit (Recovery Room). As you awaken from anesthesia, you will be asked to begin deep breathing exercises. The length of your stay depends upon the procedure and type of anesthesia or sedation used.
If you tell us that you are experiencing pain or discomfort, we will help you be as comfortable as possible.
Your family may wait for you in the surgical waiting room located on the third floor. Your doctor will inform them when your procedure has been completed. You may visit in the Same Day Center, however, no children under the age of 13 are allowed. If you are admitted to the hospital, visiting hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Your doctor will provide post-surgery instructions regarding your care. In some cases, you may be referred for rehabilitative therapy to help speed your recovery. Our case managers and social workers are available toworkwith you to plan your discharge.
You will be released from our Same Day Surgery area only with your doctor's approval. If your condition changes, you may be admitted to the hospital. Upon discharge, you will be given instructions about the care youmay require at home. You may receive a follow-up call after discharge to ensure that your recovery is proceeding as expected.