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Your surgery is scheduled… Now what?


Having a surgical procedure done can be stressful, but knowing what to expect can help eliminate some of the fear. The video below offers a glimpse into Mercer Health’s state-of-the-art surgical center that opened in October 2018.

Arriving at the Hospital

You will be instructed to arrive at the hospital 1-2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. You will enter the Sanderell Family West Wing and register at the west registration desk. From there, you’ll head up to the third floor surgery center waiting room.

Pre-Operative Care

Your admitting nurse will call you back and bring you into a pre/post-op room. You are permitted to have two visitors with you. Your nurse will complete your admission assessment, start an IV and answer any questions you may have about your procedure.

Your anesthesiologist, the doctor who will keep you asleep and monitor your vital signs during your procedure, will come into your pre-op room to talk to you before your surgery. You may be given general anesthesia, IV sedation, regional anesthesia or local anesthesia. Your nurse will give you pre-surgery medication into your IV and you may start to feel relaxed and drowsy.

During Your Surgery

When it’s time for you procedure, operating room staff will come to your pre-op room to get you. When you reach the operating room, you’ll be moved onto an operating table. Your vitals will be monitored during your procedure – you’ll wear a heart monitor, an automatic blood pressure cuff and a clip on your finger to measure your oxygen levels.

At this time, you’ll receive the anesthesia that will put you to sleep. After you are asleep, a tube may be placed in your mouth to help you breathe.

If spinal anesthesia is planned for you procedure, the nurses will help you into a sitting position. The anesthesiologist will numb the skin on your back so he can inject medication into your spine. You will not be able to feel or move anything below your waistline – the feeling will return gradually after surgery.


When you wake up, you will be in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), which we also call a recovery room. A nurse will be with you continuing to monitor your blood pressure, pulse, breathing, pain level and incision or dressing.

Once you are fully awake, you’ll return to the pre/post-op room where you started.

If you need to stay overnight, you’ll be taken to an inpatient room on the second floor. If you are ready for discharge, your nurse will go over your care instructions, medications and follow-up appointment.