What to Bring with You on the Day of Surgery

  • Insurance forms and cards. Bring all cards at time of admission and registration.
  • Home medication card. Please bring your completed home medication card. This list should include the name of the medication, dose, reason for taking and how it is taken.
  • Advance directives. Please provide copies of your advance directives. If you do not have an advance directive for health care, one of our spiritual care colleagues can help complete these documents at the time of admission. Please note, these individuals cannot assist with advance directives or power of attorney processing for personal property.
  • Clothing and belongings. Wear loose and comfortable clothing and leave all jewelry and valuables at home. Someone to drive you home. Due to the anesthesia you will receive you MUST have a responsible adult drive or accompany you home. St. John’s will reschedule your procedure if we cannot verify you have a ride or someone to accompany you home following your surgery.

Before Surgery

  • Arrive at the time specified by your surgeon’s office. This will allow for any pre-operative testing and preparation to be completed prior to surgery.
  • You will be asked the same questions by multiple people throughout the pre-anesthesia process. This allows us to verify important information critical to the care we provide.
  • An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in the hand or arm.
  • Any medications brought from home will be sent home with family or designee.
  • You will be asked to remove all hair pins, hearing aids, piercings, contact lenses, glasses, jewelry, dentures and partials. If a family member or designee is unavailable to take your valuables (jewelry, electronic devices, money, medications) the items will be inventoried and placed in a safe place prior to surgery.
  • Per hospital policy, St. John’s is not responsible for any lost, misplaced or stolen items.


  • You will be wheeled into the operating room on a bed or stretcher.

  • The team members will have surgical masks on their faces to keep the operating room a clean environment.

  • The room will probably be cool. Warm blankets will be provided once you are on the operating table.

  • Medication may also be given through your IV to make you more comfortable.

  • The actual length of your surgery will depend on the procedure being done. Your surgeon will go over this with you when scheduling your surgery.

  • When you are in surgery, your family can see where you are in the surgical process by viewing an electronic communication board in the waiting room.

  • A waiting room attendant will visit your family members and companions while you are in surgery to provide assistance or answer any questions they may have.

After Surgery

  • You will be taken to the recovery unit, or post anethesia care unit (PACU), after surgery where you will be monitored very closely until you wake up.
  • A nurse will check your blood pressure, temperature and pulse often during this time.
  • You will remain in the recovery unit for anywhere from 30 minutes to four or more hours for monitoring.
  • The post-operative care team will assess your pain and nausea and provide medications as necessary.
  • A team member will call your family or designee to let them know you are in the recovery unit and will update them periodically.
  • To help maintain a safe, secure and confidential environment, it may not be possible to see your family or your designee in the recovery unit. However, caregivers for pediatric patients or those will special needs or disability considerations may be allowed in the recovery room.