Thank you for choosing Somerset Hospital Department of Surgery to meet your surgical and healthcare needs. Our team of highly skilled professionals are dedicated to providing excellence in surgical care. Our goal is to provide a comfortable, caring, and safe environment to ensure the best possible outcome during your visit.
The Department of Surgery consists of several units:
Same Day Surgery (Outpatient Surgery)
Endoscopy Suite (EGD, Colonoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy, Feeding Tube Placement)
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
Scheduling Your Procedure
Your surgeon’s office will schedule you for your procedure. Your surgeon may order a number of tests to make sure it is safe for you to have surgery. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions as to when you should have your testing done. Your surgeon may also want you to see a specialist prior to your surgery or order an anesthesia consultation for you. Anesthesia consultations are scheduled in advance of your surgery and are performed in the Same Day Surgery Department.
Your surgeon will discuss any issues or concerns with you prior to you being scheduled for a procedure. The thought of having surgery can be very overwhelming. Write down any questions that you want to go over with your surgeon at your appointment so that you can get all the information that you need prior to your surgery.
A pre-testing nurse from the Same Day Surgery Department will call you in the days prior to your surgery to collect all of your health information. This will include your past medical history, surgical history, allergies and medications. The nurse will ask specific questions about your health history as it is important that we collect your entire health history prior to you having your procedure. Please make sure your medication list is up to date as the nurse will need to know exactly what medications you are taking along with the dosages and the frequency that you take those medications. The pre-testing phone interview will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes depending the length of your health history. If necessary, you may be asked to come into the hospital for your pre-testing interview. At the conclusion of your pre-testing interview, the nurse will provide instructions for your procedure, let you know what medications to take the day of surgery and answer any questions that you have.
Day Before Surgery
Our department will call you the day before your surgery/procedure between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM to notify you of your arrival time to the hospital. If your procedure is on Monday, we will call you on the Friday before your procedure. If you cannot be reached at your home number on Friday, be sure to call us on Friday for your time.
Reminders for Surgery
- Nothing to eat, drink or smoke after midnight before
your procedure or the morning of surgery
- No gum, lozenges or candy
- No alcohol for 24 hours prior to surgery
- No jewelry, nail polish, make-up, hair spray, contact lenses
- Wear loose comfortable clothing
- Leave valuables at home
- You need to have someone over the age of 18 drive you home,
and have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after
surgery if you are having general anesthesia
- Do not plan other activities the day of surgery
- Please arrive at the hospital at your scheduled time. Do not arrive
too early in order to avoid excessive waiting
What to Bring with You
If you are having an outpatient procedure, the only thing that you will need to bring with you is your driver. Please leave all valuables at home. Wi-Fi is available for guests choosing to bring an electronic device to use while they wait during your procedure.
If you are being admitted following your procedure, you may choose to bring extra items such as a robe, slippers, undergarments or your own toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, etc). These will be transferred to your inpatient room once you are admitted following your procedure.
Arrival to the Hospital
Upon your arrival to the hospital for your procedure, we ask that all patients enter the main entrance of the hospital off of Church Street. Valet parking is available at the main entrance. Wheelchairs are also available at the main entrance.
Directions to the Waiting Area
Upon entering the hospital, go straight down the hall; take the silver elevators on the right to the second floor. The Same Day Surgery waiting area is to the left. Check in with the person sitting at the desk, and then one of our patient care technicians will come out to greet you and take you back to your room. Family/Visitors may wait in the waiting room or patient’s room as directed by the nurse. Because of the need for a quiet, calm environment, we ask that there be only two visitors per patient room at any given time. Other visitors may wait in the waiting room. Coffee and vending machines are available in the waiting area for visitors.
What to Expect for Outpatient Procedures
Upon admission to our department for your procedure, your nurse will ask you a series of health related questions. It may seem that these questions are the same questions that you answered during your pre-testing interview. This is done purposely so that we can ensure that all of the information that we need has been obtained ensuring the safest and best outcome for your surgery. If you are having anesthesia, the nurse will insert an IV prior to your procedure. For our pediatric patients, this is done after the patient is already asleep. Our anesthesiologist will see you prior to your surgery and also ask a series of health related questions. He or she will determine what anesthesia medications are right for you during and after your procedure and answer any questions that you have related to your anesthesia care. The Anesthesiologist may determine a need for additional testing prior to your procedure to ensure that it is safe for you to have the procedure. Your surgeon will also see you prior to surgery to make sure that all of your questions have been answered. He or she may mark your surgical site with a marking pen and this is done to ensure that the surgery is performed on the correct area. After all of your questions have been answered, a nurse and nurse anesthetist will take you over for your procedure. Your family will be asked to wait in your Same Day or GI Lab room until your procedure is finished as the surgeon will want to speak with them immediately following your procedure. For pediatric patients, we ask that one parent/guardian remain in the facility at all times.
What to Expect for Inpatient Procedures
If you are having a procedure performed during your inpatient hospital stay, your surgeon will discuss your procedure with you prior to the procedure being performed and answer any questions that you have. Members of the surgical team will bring you down to the Department of Surgery where an Anesthesiologist will see you and ask you about your health history to determine the medications that will work best for you during your procedure. When it is time for your procedure, a registered nurse and certified nurse anesthetist will come get you. Your family may stay with you up until the point that you are taken back for your procedure. They will then be asked to wait in the waiting room until your procedure is finished. The surgeon will meet with your family following the completion of your procedure. He or she will check on you the day following your procedure and will explain the outcome and answer any questions that you or your family have.
During Your Procedure/Surgery
Your surgeon will notify you and your family ahead of time of how long your procedure is expected to take. You likely will not remember much about your surgery due to the anesthesia. Our team of registered nurses, operating room technicians, certified nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists are highly trained to keep you safe during your procedure.
After Your Procedure
Depending on the type of anesthesia that you have for your procedure, you may need to go to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), also known as Recovery Room. Your care in this area is under the direction of the Anesthesiologist. The nurses are highly trained and focused on your safety as you awaken. Our goal is for you to be as pain-free as possible as you wake up. The nurses will frequently ask you about pain and other possible side effects of anesthesia. Your surgeon will let you and your family know how the procedure went. Once you have awoken from the anesthesia and the anesthesiologist approves, you will be taken back to your regular room. You may still be sleepy for a while after the surgery and this is normal. Some patients do not need to go to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and will go directly back to their outpatient room where they are monitored by our registered nursing staff until it is felt they are well enough to be discharged. Most patients having outpatient surgery can expect to be under our care for a minimum of five hours from admission to discharge; endoscopy (EGD, colonoscopy) patients can expect to be at our facility for approximately 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When should I expect to hear from a nurse regarding my pre-surgical testing?
A nurse will contact you in the days prior to your surgery to get your full medical history and go over your allergies and medication list. Please make sure that your medication list is up to date. Our nurses ask very specific questions regarding your health history so that we can provide the best care possible during your stay with us for your procedure.
2. What time will my surgery be?
A nurse will contact you the day before your surgery to give you your arrival time. Due to the need to accommodate emergency and special needs cases, our schedule cannot be released any sooner than the day before surgery.
3. What should I bring with me on the day of surgery?
If you are having outpatient surgery, please bring only the items that the pre-admission nurse instructions you to bring. Please leave valuables at home. You will need a driver to take you home following your procedure and will need someone to stay with you for 24 hours if you are having general anesthesia.
If you are being admitted following your procedure, you may want to bring extra items such as a robe, undergarments or your own toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, etc.) from home. Please leave valuables at home.
4. How long should I expect to be at the hospital for my outpatient surgical procedure?
There are many variables but you can expect to be in the hospital for a minimum of five hours from admission to discharge for outpatient surgery.
5. How long should I expect to be at the hospital for my endoscopic procedure? (EGD, Colonoscopy)
Patients coming in for an EGD or colonoscopy can expect to be in the hospital for approximately 2.5-3 hours.
6. Can my loved ones stay with me before and after my procedure?
Your loved ones will be able to stay with you before your procedure and when you return to your room following your procedure. We do ask that visitors be limited to two visitors per patient room.
Thank you for choosing our Somerset Hospital Department of Surgery.
Same Day Surgery (814) 443.5236
GI Lab (814) 443.5747
Director of Surgical Services: Bob King, VP, CNO