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What to Expect

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Planning For Surgery

For planned surgery, your doctor's office will schedule your surgery and direct you to contact the Lowell General Hospital Central Scheduling Department as soon as possible after your surgery is scheduled 978-937-6023.

Depending on your health history and planned surgery, you may require a visit to our pre-screening department for testing and an interview with a nurse and an anesthesiologist.

You also may need some pre-operative blood tests, EKG and/or Chest X-Ray. This is determined by your physician. If you receive an appointment for prescreening, these tests will be performed during this visit. If your surgeon says you require pre-operative testing but it is determined that you do not need a prescreening appointment, you may come to the Patient Service Center at your convenience to have these tests done. You do not require an appointment for this. It is important that you have these tests done as soon as possible (the test results are valid for up to one month before surgery.)

You will receive a pre-operative telephone call from a nurse the evening before your surgery. There are instances when surgery times must be adjusted. The nurses will inform you of the time of surgery and the time you need to arrive. If you did not have a prescreening appointment, the nurse may take this opportunity to do a short health assessment.

Please know that our department is open Monday through Friday from 6:00am-8:00pm. You can reach us with questions at 978-937-6265.

It is very important to know that you cannot drive yourself home after surgery. Please arrange for transportation. You may only leave by taxi if you have an escort to accompany you home. Arrangements must be in place before surgery so the nurses can telephone your ride to come and get you when you are ready for discharge. If you are unable to arrange for a ride home, please contact your surgeon so he/she can reschedule your surgery.

Read our Getting Ready for Surgery Guide

Helpful Forms

For your convenience, you may download and complete the following form before your prescreening appointment. If you are unsure of a response or how to complete the form, you may leave it blank and complete it that day with our staff. A nurse will review your form with you in person when you arrive for your pre-screening. It is very important that you bring a complete updated list of all medications you are taking to all pre-screening appointments.

Arriving for Surgery

When you arrive for surgery, you will check in at the Surgical Day Care Unit located on the Lower Level of the Dahod Building, adjacent to the Operating Suites.

Please do not bring valuables or money with you. It is very important that you leave all jewelry (including any body piercing) at home. Please wear comfortable clothes.

After signing in, you will be given hospital garments required for your procedure and shown to a private changing area where you will also be provided with a locker to leave your belongings.

Your assigned nurse will review all important information with you and answer any questions you may have. As well as, explain where family may wait to speak with the surgeon after your procedure.

The pre-op holding room is where you'll have your IV started and you will receive medication to help you relax. This is where you will meet your assigned anesthesiologist and he/she will review any and all important information with you. The nursing staff will answer your questions, calm your fears and help you get comfortable before moving into the Operating Room.

During Surgery

You are encouraged to have a family member or friend accompany you to the hospital on the day of your surgery. He or she may remain in the waiting area for your return or they may visit other areas of the hospital while you are in surgery. Upon your approval in advance, the staff in the Surgical Day Care Unit will provide your designated companion with information related to progress in the OR.

After Surgery

Once your surgery is complete, you will recover in the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit). Here you will have nursing care to ensure a smooth recovery from anesthesia. All nurses in the PACU (recovery room) are ACLS and PALS certified. They are highly skilled and trained specialty and critical care nurses whose main focus in is to ensure pain control and your comfort. You will remain in this area until you are safely and comfortably alert and ready to return to the Surgical Day Care Unit or you are transported to the inpatient surgical unit (MP-3) for post-surgical nursing care. It is important that you and your loved ones are aware that, except under very special circumstances, no visitors are allowed in PACU.

When you return to the Surgical Day Care Unit, your companion may join you and assist you if desired. You will be provided with discharge papers and any information you will need to follow when you return home. You must have someone drive you home. No surgical patient will be allowed to drive him or herself or to take public transportation.

If you have any questions upon your return home, please contact us at 978-937-6265 (M-F 6am to 8pm) and we will be happy to assist you.

You should expect a phone call the day after you return home. This is to answer any questions or concerns you have and to be sure you have everything in order for your post-surgical care.

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