Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about check-in and registration

Do I need to visit the Center before surgery date?

No.  If your surgeon requires any labwork, EKG or x-rays he or she will advise where you will have this done.

Some families may elect to bring their children for a preoperative tour of Tuscaloosa Surgical Center.  If you are interested in doing this, please contact the Surgical Center.

Some patients may choose to come to the Center before their surgery date to complete paperwork or make payments.  This is not required, however if you prefer to take care of these items in advance feel free to contact us about a time to come by.

May I pre-register for my surgery?
To a degree, yes.  The complete registration process the day of surgery is very simple and easy.  It takes less than 5 minutes.  Again, if you prefer to do any registration work or make payments in advance please call us to schedule a time to drop by.

What if I cannot make my appointment?
Please notify the surgeon and the Tuscaloosa Surgical Center at 205-345-5500 as early as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Early notification can help us better accommodate you and other patients.

Will I be contacted before my surgery?
Yes. We call each patient before the surgery to gather information and to answer any of your questions. Preoperative instructions will be given by the nurse who calls you. You can also call the Center directly with any questions.

What must I bring with me on the day of surgery?

  • Your case for eyeglasses or contacts
  • Insurance identification cards, driver’s license, completed billing forms, copayments
  • Medication list
  • Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home
  • Bring a favorite bottle or toy for your child
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing
  • Leave all jewelry and valuables at home

Questions about clothing and food

What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable clothing. Button-down shirts or blouses are best. Wear comfortable shoes. Leave all jewelry at home, including body-piercing jewelry. If you wear contact lenses, you will probably have to remove them for the surgery, so consider bringing your glasses. If you have to wear your contacts, please bring contact solution and contacts case. Please do not wear any make-up as this can hide certain clinical signs. Please remove all body piercings.

Should I bathe and wash my hair before leaving home?
Yes. You can comfortably take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. Please do not use make up, hair spray, nail polish or toiletries. These may interfere with the anesthesia monitoring and possibly hide clinical signs from the anesthesiologist.

Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?
You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. This complication is very serious and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations. This has nothing to do with nausea and vomiting after your surgery as some think.

We have very clear policies as to specific times before surgery when you must refrain from eating and/or drinking. These are all based on safety standards. Please note that the standards have been revised recently. We believe that the fasting time should be as short as possible before your surgery. You will not improve your safety by not eating or drinking longer than necessary; in fact, at times you may complicate things a bit.

Children have different fasting schedules than adults – so please check in the Children and Special Needs Adults section.

Questions about medication

Should I take my usual daily medication?
We generally request that you take your medication before leaving home. Diabetic medications will be individualized. We will usually hold diabetic medicines and manage your sugar at the Center. You should be contacted before your surgery leaving no doubts in your mind as to which medications you should take.

People using inhalers must bring them to the Center on the day of surgery.

Some medications will be stopped for the surgery, particularly diabetes medication and blood thinners.  Your surgeon will discuss the stop date with you.   You should bring these medications with you the day of surgery. Please call us with any questions you may have.

May I continue my herbal medications?
Herbal medications may have harmful effects on the surgery. Many of these remedies may effect your clotting mechanism and interfere with the anesthetic agents. (The list of drugs and their side effects are too great for this site.) We generally request that you stop these medications two weeks before surgery. Please remember to mention these remedies when being asked about medication.

Will I receive sedation before going into the operating room?
We will individualize each patient’s care. Your sedation will be discussed with you prior to surgery.

Questions about transportation

Who may accompany me?
You are welcome to bring one person with you to the Center. That person will be allowed to be in your room with you before surgery and may sit with you after the surgery if you so choose.

When a patient is a child often two parents and/or guardians will accompany him or her to the Center. We will do our best to accommodate everyone, however, one parent and/or guardian will be permitted into the recovery room at a time.

Please refrain from bringing young children to the Center as guests if possible.

May I go into the operating room with my child?

No, for the safety of the patient and the family member, the Surgical Center’s clinical policies prohibit family members in the operating room.

May I drive home?
No.  Any patient receiving anesthesia can not drive until the next day.  A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home.

It is required for all patients to have a ride home and will be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home.  Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk or take public transportation after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.

Questions about anesthesia

May I speak to my anesthesiologist before the surgery?
All patients will be seen by the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery prior to entering the operating room. Sufficient time should be spent to answer any questions you may have. If you need to speak to the anesthesiologist before the day of surgery, you are welcome to call the Center and we will arrange for you speak with an anesthesiologist. We can also arrange a preoperative interview if you desire. You could also email your questions

May I request what type of anesthesia I will receive?
Yes, in certain situations. Some operations can be performed using a choice of different anesthetic types. Your anesthesiologist will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history. Your preference will be discussed so that the most appropriate anesthetic plan is made.

Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?
You and your anesthesiologist will develop an anesthetic care plan.

What are the risks of anesthesia?
All operations and all anesthetics have risks and they are dependent upon many factors including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Most patients operated on in surgery centers are of the healthier group of patients, and in these circumstances serious complications, while they can occur, are fortunately very rare.

Additional questions

 

What should I do if I am not feeling well?
If you are not feeling well, please contact your surgeon immediately. During normal business hours, you can call the Center for advice. There are some surgeries which are safer if delayed when you are sick. We need to know specific details to make the decision. Please do not delay in contacting your surgeon or the Center.

What should I do if I started my menstrual cycle?
This will not affect most surgical procedures. There are a few specific gynecological procedures which may be impacted by menstruation. Call us if you have any questions at 205-345-5500.

What should I do if I believe that I am pregnant?
It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. Only essential surgery is done on pregnant patients. If there is any doubt please contact us immediately.

What if I have special needs?
We will make every effort to accommodate any special need you may have. We strongly encourage you to call the Surgery Center in advance so that we can properly prepare to make you comfortable. Do not hesitate to call and suggest anything that may make your day easier.

Should I bring my special needs equipment?
Yes. Please bring any walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, etc.