Surgery at Mount Nittany Medical Center

Mount Nittany Medical Center’s surgical services department is dedicated to providing the very best care to patients having surgery. We offer a full range of same-day and inpatient services, offering the most advanced technology, equipment and procedures. Our surgical services are led by a top-notch team of physicians and healthcare professionals who are specially trained to care for surgery patients. Our facility and procedures are designed for your comfort and convenience. We do our best to make your time with us as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

Before Surgery PAT Appointment

Pre-Admission Testing and Evaluation

Your physician will schedule you for a pre-anesthesia testing appointment to prepare for your procedure. This appointment will help you to have the best outcome for your surgery. It includes:

  • Meeting with a nurse and anesthesia staff to review your medical history and medicines.
  • Instructions on which medication you should and should not take before surgery.
  • Information and questions answered about your surgery.
  • Complete pre-op testing: Blood/urine testing, electrocardiogram (EKG) and X-rays.
  • On the day of your appointment, you will arrive at the hospital. Please bring the following items with you:
    • Any forms/papers such as consents or orders you may have from your doctor.
    • A current medication list with the name, dose and how often you take your medications.
    • Photo ID and insurance cards.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the pre-admission testing clinic at 814.231.7050 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you are unable to reach staff with urgent calls, please use 814.234.6193.

Planning for Surgery

  • You should complete pre-op testing such as: Blood and urine testing, electrocardiogram (EKG), and X-rays.
  • If crutches are needed, please get them prior to day of surgery.
  • Ask your doctor/pre-admission testing nurse what medicines you should and should not take before and after your surgery. If you take Aspirin, Coumadin or other blood thinners for your heart condition, please contact your doctor for instructions. Please check at least 10 days before your surgery for these instructions.
  • Your spouse, relative, or friend may accompany you to the Medical Center. During your surgery and recovery room time, they may wait in the first floor surgical waiting room, located by the visitor elevators. A volunteer will share information with your family as it becomes available. Complimentary hot beverages, such as coffee and tea, are available. Please ask the receptionist.
  • All minors (under 18 years of age) must have one parent or legal guardian with them at all times.
  • If you are bringing a small child, we encourage you to bring a special toy or blanket with them. We will make every attempt to keep you and your child together as much as possible on the day of surgery.

DO NOT DRIVE AFTER SURGERY for 24 hours

Have a responsible adult with you the day of surgery. This person should stay in the waiting room area. They are responsible for your transportation. A taxicab/bus is not permitted for transportation following surgery unless a responsible adult is with you (NOT the taxi driver or bus driver).

Evening before Surgery

  • Confirm your surgery time by calling 814.234.6108 between 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm the day before your surgery. Please call on Sunday for Monday surgery times. You may use the Medical Center toll-free number at 1.866.757.2317 for long distance calls and ask for the admission office.
  • Bathe or shower the night before or morning of your surgery.
  • Do not shave operative site, use depilatory agents or do anything that might damage the skin at or around the incision site within the 24 hours before your operation. The anesthesiologist may give special instructions for men to trim their facial hair.
  • If given instructions for CHG Antiseptic Skin Preparation, please complete as directed.
  • After midnight before the day of your surgery:
    • Do not eat (including gum/mints)
    • Do not drink (including water)
    • Do not smoke or use chewing tobacco

Note: If you were instructed by your doctor to bowel prep, you may prep as instructed with only the amount of fluids required for the prep.

If there is any change in your physical condition, such as a cough, cold, fever, infection or rash, please notify your doctor before coming to the same day surgery unit. If you are unable to reach your doctor, please call 814.234.6121.

Day of Surgery

  • You will need to be available by phone in case of schedule changes.
  • Bring insurance cards and photo ID the day of surgery.
  • Arrive on time per your instructions.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Do not wear makeup and remove nail polish.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home. Remove your piercings and rings.
  • Do not use fragrance or perfumes.
  • Do not eat or drink anything today before your surgery, including chewing gum, hard candy and any kind of tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes or chewing tobacco).
  • You should take any scheduled prescribed medicines (such as heart and blood pressure) with a sip of water the morning of surgery unless otherwise told by your surgeon or anesthesiologist.
  • If you are a female between the ages of 12-55, you may be asked to give a urine sample when you arrive.
  • If you have diabetes:
    • Please take 1/2 of your morning insulin (Lantus, NPH)
    • Do not take any of your diabetic oral medication that morning.
      • Note: NO Metformin for 48 hours before surgery.
    • If you experience low blood sugar, you may drink 3 oz. of apple juice.
    • Please call if you have questions or concerns.

Check-in and Patient Registration

Enter the Medical Center at the main entrance and stop at the front desk. Your insurance and demographic information will be reviewed and then you will go to the same day surgery unit (SDS) where you will be met by a nurse to prepare for surgery.

Pre-operative Room

  • You will be asked to change into a patient gown and will be given an ID band.
  • A nurse will review your health history, allergies and medicines with you.
  • The anesthesiologist will see you and talk with you about which type of anesthesia is best for your surgery.
  • An intravenous line (IV) is placed in your vein for fluids.
  • Medicine may be given to prepare for your surgery.
  • Dentures, contact lenses, eyeglasses are removed at this time.
  • Instructions will be given by your nurse.

Anesthesia

There are several types of anesthesia. The type used for your surgery will depend on many factors. In most cases, the surgery you are having will determine what kind of anesthesia will be used.

Types of anesthesia:

  • General: Patient is unconscious, meaning they cannot see, hear or feel anything during surgery. General anesthesia can be given as a gas (patient is given a breathing mask or tube) or through a vein (patient is given an intravenous line). It is used in major surgery.
  • Regional: The general area of the body that needs surgery is numb. Patients are awake but may be given medicines that make them drowsy. Regional anesthesia isgiven as an injection.
  • Spinal: The patient is given an injection into the spinal fluid that makes the body numb from the chest to the toes.
  • Epidural: The patient is given an injection into the spine that makes the surgery less painful. A tiny tube (catheter) is also inserted so a constant flow of medicine may be given. This tube can be left in for a few days to give pain medication and then removed.
  • Monitored Anesthesia Care (Deep Sedation): You will receive medicine through your vein. You will be sleepy and most patients do not remember anything from the procedure. This type of anesthesia is not as deep as general anesthesia (If you had your gall bladder removed, for example).
  • Local: The specific area on the body that needs surgery is numb. Local anesthesia is given as an injection and is used for minor surgery. When you meet with your anesthesiologist, he or she will explain the risks and benefits of each type of anesthesia, along with possible side effects. You will be monitored carefully to avoid side effects.

Operating Room

  • You will be taken to the operating room by your nurse and/or anesthesia team.
  • The operating room is cold and brightly lit. Warm blankets are available for your comfort.
  • You will be helped onto a bed and a safety strap will be secured.
  • Heart monitor stickers will be placed on your chest.
  • A clip will be placed on your finger.

Recovery Room

  • Depending on your surgery/anesthesia, you will be in the recovery area until you are fully awake.
  • Monitors for heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level are used in the recovery room for patient’s assessment.
  • Oxygen will be given to help you until you wake easily.
  • You may experience a scratchy or dry throat.
  • You will be asked frequently to breathe deep and cough.
  • If needed, pain medicine will be given.
  • Medicine for nausea (upset stomach) may be given.
  • When you are awake, you will be moved to the discharge area or your hospital room.

Post-op Room, Preparing to Go Home

  • You will be moved on your bed to your room. Family may visit at this time.
  • You will be having your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing monitored.
  • Your pain and nausea will be monitored and you will receive medications as ordered by your doctor.
  • You may have something to drink and crackers to eat here.
  • You may be asked to go to the bathroom (pass urine) before you are discharged home.
  • If you had spinal anesthesia, nurses will be checking with you until your legs return to normal feeling.
  • Your intravenous fluids will be taken out before you leave.
  • You will be helped to dress for going home.
  • Some pain and drowsiness and nausea may continue when you leave to go home.
  • We will try to make you as comfortable as possible.
  • Your discharge instructions will be reviewed with you and your responsible adult.
  • You will be given a copy. Any prescriptions for medicines and other needed items may be given at this time.
  •  You will need to get your prescriptions filled at the pharmacy of your choice. A pharmacy is not available at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

The Foundation’s 21st Annual Golf Tournament raised $150,000 for the new Cancer Center.

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