Preparing for your visit

You should follow all pre-surgery instructions as explained by your doctor. Here are some additional items to help you prepare for your procedure:

Preoperative tests


You must obtain a medical history and physical from your primary care physician within 30 days before your procedure.

Your physician may require some testing before your surgery, such as X-rays, lab work or an EKG. Outpatient tests can be scheduled by your surgeon’s office if your insurance permits, or you may call the outpatient scheduler at 410-521-8383. Please call no later than one week before your surgery to arrange a time to complete your preoperative tests.

Please note that the results of any tests and reports not completed at Northwest Hospital must be faxed at least three days before surgery to the SurgiCenter at 410-701-4465.

Preoperative interview


A nurse will call you two or three days in advance of your scheduled procedure to confirm your appointment, review your medical history and remind you of instructions you must follow prior to surgery. You are encouraged to ask any questions you have during this conversation. If you miss the initial call, a brief message will be left asking you to return the call. If you do not receive a phone call before your scheduled procedure, call 410-701-4388.

You should tell the preoperative nurse (as well as your doctor) about any allergies you have, especially if you’re allergic to latex, rubber or certain medications. If you have diabetes, you can ask the nurse about specific instructions for halting medications, particularly if you are taking metformin.

What to discuss with the surgeon


Be sure to tell your surgeon if you develop a fever or cold or come down with the flu before your operation. Depending on your condition, the surgeon may decide to reschedule the procedure.

If you are currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, including diet pills and herbal products, ask your surgeon which medications you should take on the day of surgery and if any should be stopped prior to your procedure. Also ask your primary care doctor about instructions for taking medications around the time of a surgical procedure, especially if you are being treated for diabetes.

If your surgeon tells you that you will need crutches following your procedure, particularly if you are having leg or foot surgery, please be familiar with their proper use and bring them with you to the SurgiCenter.

Getting to your surgery


If your surgery involves general anesthesia or another type of sedation, you will need to arrange for a responsible adult driver to transport you to and from the SurgiCenter. For your safety, we recommend that you not drive a motor vehicle or leave unaccompanied upon being discharged.

The day before your surgery


Take a bath or shower the night before your procedure. Unless instructed otherwise, do not eat, drink (even water), chew gum or smoke after midnight. Continue to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding your medications. If you need to take a medication after midnight, do so with a very small sip of water.

The day of your surgery


Unless instructed otherwise, you must arrive at the SurgiCenter an hour before your procedure. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. If you require corrective lenses, wear your glasses. Do not wear jewelry (including body piercings), contact lenses, makeup, nail polish, perfume, lotion or powder. We ask that you leave valuables at home. The anesthesiologist will discuss with you the type of anesthesia you will be administered and can answer any questions you have.

Be sure to bring:

  • A photo ID and both your medical and prescription insurance cards
  • A form of payment for your prescription medications (we accept cash and credit cards as well as FSA cards)
If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian so that he or she can sign a consent form prior to your surgery. We ask that your family members remain at the SurgiCenter during your procedure if possible. They will be able to track your progress on a status board during your visit. After your procedure, your surgeon will meet with them in our waiting area and give them a full update.

After your surgery


Prior to your release from the SurgiCenter, we will review your postoperative instructions with you and give you a copy of the instructions to take home. Please follow these instructions as they will aid you in your recovery. It is recommended that a responsible adult stay with you for the first 24 hours upon your return home. For your safety, do not drive, attempt to make important decisions or drink alcohol for 24 hours after surgery.

The following business day after your surgery, a registered nurse will call you at home to check on your recovery.

For Your Convenience


A retail pharmacy and gift shop is located near the main lobby of the hospital. The Old Court Café is also located near the main lobby. Free wireless internet service is available for your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The outpatient pharmacy offers free delivery of your prescription medications to your bedside. You will receive your medications before you are discharged.

Electronic Patient Portal


The My LifeBridge Health patient portal is the most convenient and secure way to access your up-to-date medical information and stay in touch with your LifeBridge Health care team. This free service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and accessible through any computer, tablet or smart phone.