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  • Why do I need to pre-register on line on the Gateway portal when the doctor’s office already has my medical information? Our computer system unfortunately does not communicate with the doctor’s offices. Hopefully in the future there will be a way for different computer systems to share confidential data.
  • How do I know my medical information is secure in this site? Our on-line registration is through One Medical Passport. To view information about their privacy policy go to  support@onemedicalpassport.com.
  • Why do I need a responsible adult to drive me home and stay with me? After receiving any type of anesthesia or sedation, the law requires that you do not drive as it would be considered “Driving Under the Influence.” If you were to be pulled over by the police you would get a DUI.
  • Why can I not drive myself home after light sedation? Even though you may feel normal after light sedation, you are under the influence of an opioid and or benzodiazepine. These affect your cognitive processes and you would be considered “Under the Influence.”
  • Why is it so important to follow the “Nothing by Mouth” rules? If you have food or fluid in your stomach your gastric juices will be active. During the induction of anesthesia, some patients may have an active gag reflex and potentially your acidic stomach contents could be vomited up and get into your lungs. This is called aspiration, and can be a life- threatening situation.
  • What could happen if I accidentally ate, drank or chewed tobacco during that “nothing by mouth” timeline? As indicated above, you could vomit and the acidic contents could back up into your lungs and cause an aspiration pneumonia.
  • After I register at the front desk, why do other patients get called back before me? There are many factors that could affect the time in which you are called to pre-op. One is that there are usually 5-6 doctors operating at any given time, so even though you may have arrived before another patient, pre-op may have to ready another doctor’s patient as that doctor may be waiting. Also, if your doctor is behind schedule and other doctors are on their timeline, the nurses need to get those other patients prepped. Also, different doctors request their patients to be here 2 hours in advance, while others schedule their patients to be here only one hour in advance. If you have any question about your wait time, please talk to the receptionist.
  • Why do I have to be here so early relative to my scheduled surgery time? This is determined by your surgeon, not Gateway Surgery Center.
  • Why is my surgery delayed? Your doctor may be in a case that is taking longer than scheduled. This then may back up subsequent surgeries.
  • Why is it important to tell you about me teeth/dental issues? During the induction of anesthesia, sometimes a flexible soft tube is inserted into your mouth and helps to keep your airway open during surgery. If you have any loose teeth, temporary crowns, partials, veneers or dentures, the anesthesiologist must know this as the soft tube could dislodge a temporary crown, loose tooth, etc. Sometimes you may be asked to remove your dentures/partials and we will secure them in a denture cup.
  • Why do you ask that I not wear jewelry and remove all piercings? Jewelry can easily get snagged in the linen. Also, if a ring or bracelet is on the operative arm, they could act as a tourniquet and negatively affect circulation to your hand.
  • What do I do if I need work release papers and I bring the papers in on the date of surgery? Most surgeons do not do this type of paperwork on the date of surgery. We would ask that this is done at the pre-op appointment or faxed to the doctor’s office after surgery.
  • When will my family/friends be allowed to be with me in pre-op? If you have special needs or the patient is a minor, family may come back immediately into pre-op. Usually, we ask the family to wait in the waiting room until we have fully prepped the patient and then we invite you to come sit at the patient’s bedside.
  • Why is it so cold in the Center? There are certain infection control standards that we must follow. These standards dictate the temperature and humidity control settings.
  • Why do I need to remove my clothes for very simple procedures? The surgical suite is considered a sterile setting and once again there are Surgical Standards of Care which dictate that no street clothes should be worn in the Operating Room setting.
  • Why does the staff seem to ask the same questions over and over? We have a very comprehensive checklist process that anyone who attends to you must follow. This checklist was in part derived from the World Health Organization peri-operative checklist. It is a very important part of providing you with the highest standard of care.
  • Should I shave my surgical site at home? Never! Studies have demonstrated that there is a higher infection rate amongst shaved sites vs clipped sites. That is why we use surgical clippers and not razors to remove hair.
  • What clothing, shoe wear is appropriate to wear? Easy, loose fitting clothes and tennis shoes (for safe walking). Avoid flip flops and slip on shoes as these are not as stable as a tennis (cross trainer type) shoe.
  • What vital signs are monitored during surgery and recovery? In pre-op, we obtain a blood pressure, 3 Lead EKG, oxygen saturation, heart rate and temperature. The same vitals are monitored during surgery and in the Recovery Room. In the OR and in the Pain Management Procedure Room, your end tidal CO2 is also monitored. If you doctor has requested a 12 Lead EKG based on your heart history, we may do that in pre-op as well.
  • What type of pre-op testing can you do at the Center? Blood Glucose, Hemoglobin, Urine Pregnancy and 12 Lead EKGs. All women of childbearing age between the ages of 10-55(with a functional uterus) will be asked to provide a urine specimen to rule out pregnancy.
  • When does the doctor speak with the family? Most doctors come to the waiting room and speak to you there. Some doctors wait until the patient is more awake in Recovery and will ask for you to be brought to Recovery to speak to both you and the patient. If you leave the Center for any reason and miss the doctor you may not be able to see him/her again and will have to call the office if you want to speak directly to them.
  • When will my family be allowed in Recovery? Once the patient has met our criteria for discharge (anywhere from 30 minutes-1 hour) we will allow family in to help dress the patient and review all discharge instructions. Please understand that some patients awaken more slowly than others and will be in Recovery longer. Generally, if a patient is in Recovery greater than 1.5 hours, the nurse will come speak to you and update you.
  • Why can’t my family be with me right away when I wake up? This is considered an acute, emergence phase of anesthesia and the nurse must be diligently focused on your airway and vital signs. Once you are awake and more alert and have met our criteria for Phase 2 (The Discharge Area), then we will have your family come to be with you.
  • Why do I feel so emotional and/or confused after anesthesia? Everyone awakens differently and the anesthetic agents affect everyone in diverse ways. There will be a nurse at your bedside to re-assure you and re-orient you to your surroundings.
  • Why is it important to have family/friend present to listen to discharge instructions? As above, anesthesia affects your ability to retain information and process it completely. To have an awake, alert adult listen to the instructions ensures that the instructions are understood. Also remember, we give you a copy of all the instructions so that you may review them when you are more awake.
  • Why do I have to be taken to the car by wheelchair? We want to keep you safe as your balance may be “off” after anesthesia. It is our job to get you safely into your vehicle.
  • What should I do if I get home and have any issues such as shortness of breath, chest pain or uncontrolled bleeding? Situations of this magnitude require you to call 911 for immediate help.

Click here to download a printable form of the Frequently Asked Questions