What to expect
Thank you for choosing our Medical Center for your surgery or other health care needs. We are proud to serve members of our community with high-quality, compassionate, and personalized care.
Our goal is to make your upcoming visit as safe and pleasant as possible. If you’re having surgery, please take a few moments to learn more about our process, as it is important for your health and safety.
To help you get ready for your surgery, we’ve prepared a printable version of our pre-surgery instructions.
The week before your surgery
- A nurse will call you for important pre-admission information. The nurse will ask about your health, medical history, any medications and the dosages you are taking, and review any medications that can be taken the day of your surgery. All patients must also have a test for COVID-19 completed prior to surgery. MedStar Health has several testing locations, and the nurse will assist you in determining which location may be most convenient for you and when to have your test completed. If you need any additional anesthesia testing completed, an additional appointment will be scheduled.
Your doctor may order pre-surgery admission tests, such as blood work or an EKG. You must complete the tests at least four days prior to your procedure or your procedure may be delayed. Your insurance company determines which facility you will use for any pre-surgery tests. Please contact your insurance company or your primary care physician if you are unsure of the testing location. Request that the testing facility fax your results to us at 301-774-8868 upon completion, at least three full days before your surgery or procedure.
Please call Pre-Anesthesia Testing at 301-774-8690
if a nurse has not been able to reach you 48 hours before your scheduled surgery. They are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If the voicemail answers, leave your name, telephone number, date of surgery, and a good time to reach you.
The day before your surgery
- Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure, unless instructed otherwise by your surgeon or nurse, or your procedure may be rescheduled for your medical safety. Restrictions include water, hard candy, chewing gum, and throat lozenges.
- Arrange for a responsible adult (18 years or older) to accompany you the day of your surgery if your outpatient procedure requires sedation or anesthesia. You may only take a taxi, ride-hailing service, or public transportation home if a responsible adult will be with you. Your procedure will be rescheduled if no one is available to accompany you.
Day of your surgery
- Bathe or shower the morning of your surgery to minimize the chance of infection. Do not shave the operative area. Do not apply lotion, powder, perfume, make-up, oil, or deodorant.
- Wear clean, comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and low-heeled shoes. Remove all body piercings and leave valuables, such as jewelry and cash, at home.
- Wear your glasses or bring a contact case to store your contact lenses.
- Wear or bring your dentures and dental adhesive. Do NOT apply adhesive.
- Follow instructions regarding any medications that you normally take in the morning from your doctor and the pre-operative nurse.
- Do not administer any insulin or take any oral diabetic medicines the day of surgery unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
- Review any medications you should be taking as instructed by your doctor.
- If you are having a joint replacement surgery, bathe with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) that can be purchased at most local pharmacies.
- Bring a list of names and the dosage of all medications you use. Note the last time you took your medications. Bring a list of any medications that have caused you to have an allergic reaction. Also bring any prescribed medical equipment, such as a CPAP or inhalers.
- Do NOT smoke before your surgery. Smoking may interfere with the anesthetic and often causes an upset stomach during recovery.
At MedStar Montgomery
Where to go Main Lobby > Registration > Surgical Waiting Area > Pre-Operative Area
- Two hours prior to your procedure, report to the hospital Main Lobby information desk on the first floor.
- A volunteer will direct you to the Registration, where you will need to provide your insurance card, any copayment, and photo identification. You’ll also be asked whether you have an advanced directive. We are required by law to inform you of your right to present a living will and/or durable power of attorney.
- Next, you and your family or friends will go to the Surgical Waiting area, down the hall on the first floor. The surgeon will come to this area to speak with your family or friends after surgery.
- A pre-operative nurse will take you to the surgical preparation, or pre-op area. An intravenous (IV) line will be started, unless you are receiving local anesthesia only. An anesthesiologist will discuss the type of sedation you will receive.
- Two visitors may be with you in the pre-op area before surgery and two in the outpatient area after surgery.
Following your surgical procedure
You will either go to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or the Second Stage Recovery Unit (Ambulatory Care Unit) prior to being discharged. The time spent in these areas will vary, depending on your needs. When your condition permits and it’s safe for your family to join you, the nurse will call the surgical waiting area and the volunteer will bring your family back at that time.
As part of our continuous effort to improve each patient's experience, we have implemented a formal survey process in which patients are randomly selected to participate.
After you are discharged from the hospital, you may receive a call to participate in our patient experience survey. We would greatly appreciate any comments you have to share. Your feedback is important to us and helps us improve the patient experience.
- Participation in this survey is voluntary. It will involve answering questions about your patient experience and will take approximately six to seven minutes.
- The information you provide is confidential and will be kept secure. We assure that your clinical or diagnostic information will not be shared with anyone.