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Specialty Services: Neurosurgery, Vascular Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Cancer Surgery, Laparoscopic Procedures, Cardiovascular Procedures, Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology

Over 4,000 surgeries are performed a year at the CalvertHealth Surgery Center. We have over 30 surgeons on active staff encompassing many different medical specialties. They are assisted by a special team of nurses and technicians who are experienced, highly trained professionals with extensive knowledge in surgical care.

At CalvertHealth, quality, service, comfort, and compassion are the focus of our surgical team. The Surgery Center has six state-of-the-art operating rooms and a digital state-of-the-art cystoscopy suite. While laparoscopic surgery has been in place at CalvertHealth for several years, our operating rooms now incorporate laser technology for prostate, vascular, and kidney stone procedures. This means patients spend less time in the Medical Center and recover faster.

The overall design of our surgery center - including a dedicated parking lot near the Medical Center's front entrance - facilitates a positive, comfortable patient experience. Additionally, Pre-Admission Testing, Same Day Surgery, and the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) are close to the operating rooms - enabling staff to collaborate regarding a patient's care without leaving the area.

Pre-Admission Testing

If your doctor's office did not schedule your Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) appointment, please call 410-535-8343 or 301-855-1012, ext. 8343 to make one. Pre-Admission Testing is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Your surgery may require you to come to the Medical Center ahead of time for diagnostic tests, if not already completed by your primary care physician. You will also have a detailed medical history taken by a registered nurse in Pre-Admission Testing.

At this time, you will receive pre-operative instructions and learn what to expect the day of your surgery. You will have time to ask questions and to speak with an anesthesia staff member, if desired. This appointment may be scheduled a week or more before surgery. Please be aware that due to some HMO restrictions, you may be required to go elsewhere for your diagnostic testing-labs, EKG, etc.

If you are having same day surgery and your diagnostic work is complete, it may be possible for the PAT nurse to interview you by phone. Please call Pre-Admission Testing to determine if you meet that criteria.

A phone interview is not an option for patients who have a complicated medical history, the hearing impaired or those who will be staying overnight after their surgery. These patients require detailed written instructions from Pre-Admission Testing.

We prefer to see children at the Medical Center prior to surgery to demonstrate the equipment that may be used during surgery and allay any fears. Children and their parents may tour the Same Day Surgery area if desired.

Please bring a list of the prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you currently take. In lieu of a list, you may bring your medication bottles. Also bring surgical orders from your doctor, a requirement for Pre-Admission Testing. If you do not have surgical orders when you come for PAT, your appointment will be delayed until orders are received from your doctor's office.

Bring your insurance cards and your photo ID. Any co-pay or deductible are expected at the time of pre-admission registration. If unable to pay, please make arrangements with our Billing Department prior to your PAT appt. For more information, call 410-535-8248.

Please use the front parking lot reserved for surgical patients and enter the main lobby.

The "OR Registration" desk is located to the right of the waiting area.

To protect patient confidentiality, you will be given a pager which will vibrate when you are called; patient names are not called in the waiting area.

Preoperative Instructions

General Guidelines

  • If you develop a cold, sore throat, fever, or any other illness prior to your procedure date, notify your surgeon immediately.
  • Same day surgery patients need to arrange for a responsible adult, age 18 years old or older, to drive you home and stay with you a minimum of 24 hours once you arrive home. If this has not been arranged it may result in possible cancellation of your surgery.
  • If you have young children, please make arrangements for their care while you are at the Medical Center
  • Plan to bring your glasses, hearing aids, dentures, or other assistive devices with you if you rely on them. Once you go into surgery these devices will be given to your family.
Medications and Supplements

  • Blood thinners: Medications such as Coumadin, Heparin, Aspirin, Plavix, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) affect the body’s blood clotting capabilities. These medications are usually stopped 3-7 days prior to surgery. Please contact your physician regarding a stop date for these medications. Diabetics: if you take insulin or an oral hypoglycemic, contact your doctor for instructions on how to manage your diabetes for the night before and the morning of surgery
  • Inhalers: you may use your inhaler the morning of surgery and please bring it with you on the day of surgery
  • Vitamins and Supplements: due to interactions with anesthesia, the anesthesiologist requests you STOP all herbals, supplements, and vitamins 7 days prior to your surgery.
  • You must stop all weight loss medication, Ex: Phentermine, at least 2 weeks prior to surgery
Day Before Surgery

  • The day before your surgery you should eat a normal meal for dinner and drink plenty of fluids, 6-8 glasses of water or juice, unless you are on a fluid restriction or your surgeon has specified otherwise.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke for 24 hours prior to your procedure.
  • In an attempt to prevent infection, shower the night before and the morning of surgery. If your surgeon has not provided specific bathing instructions please follow the instructions included in this document.
Day of Surgery

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day of surgery unless otherwise instructed by your physician or the nurse from Surgical Services. This includes hard candy, mints, gum, or sips of water, unless otherwise instructed. Brush your teeth but please swish and spit out the water, do not swallow.
  • Perform thorough oral hygiene by brushing teeth with a new tooth brush (if possible).
  • Remove all jewelry, make up, finger/toe polish, and body piercings prior to arrival at the Medical Center and leave all valuables at home.
  • Do not bring any valuables with you to the Medical Center including credit cards, money in excess of $5.00, or large bags or purses.
  • Bring your Medicare, all applicable insurance cards, and a photo ID with you.
  • Do not wear contact lenses. If you wear eyeglasses remember to bring a case to store them in while you are in surgery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and low-heeled, closed toe shoes.
  • Bring reading materials, tapes, CD’s etc to help pass the time. Wi-Fi is available in the Medical Center.
  • Be sure to give any personal items to family or friends to hold while you are in surgery.
  • Pediatric patients may bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help ease their anxiety. A special bottle or sippy cup may also be appropriate for after surgery. Please bring a change of underwear
  • Patients staying overnight may bring a bag of items needed for the Medical Center stay such as toiletry items, slippers, robe, and a change of clothes for your discharge. Please leave your bag in the car and have your visitors bring it to you when your post-op room is assigned.
Make arrangements for someone to care for you at home. Case Managers are available to help you locate resources if needed.

Patient Role in Prevention of Surgical Infections
Good hand washing is the best defense in preventing infection!

  • After your surgery, make sure everyone on your health care team cleans their hands with soap and water or hand rub before taking care of you.
  • Ask family and friends who visit you not to touch the surgical wound or bandages. Instruct them to clean their hands thoroughly before and after visiting you.
  • Ask your doctor to explain why you are continuing to receive antibiotics if you are still receiving them for more than 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Learn about taking care of your wound and know who to contact if you have questions or problems before leaving the Medical Center.
  • Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound at home.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you have any signs of infection such as redness or increased pain at the surgical site, drainage, body aches or fever.
  • Remember- If you do not see your visitors or members of your health care team clean their hands, please ask them to do so!
Pain Management

  • Pain is a common experience after surgery and it our goal at CalvertHealth Medical Center to make you as comfortable as possible to aid in your recovery. Pain management is important because it allows you to be comfortable during your healing process, get rest, and with less pain you are able to move more easily and return to your normal level of activity faster. After your procedure, clinical staff will ask you to use a numeric pain intensity scale to rate your pain by asking “If 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst possible pain, please give me a number that indicates the amount of pain you are having now.” Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this scale so we are able to communicate effectively and manage your pain post procedure. Because everyone has a different tolerance for pain, the nurse will also ask you what your pain goal is.

Day of Your Surgery

Day of Surgery

Please use the parking lot designated for surgical patients in front of the Medical Center's main entrance. Proceed through the front door to the registration area located to the right of the lobby. Please notify the registration desk that you have arrived or sign the registration board if no one is at the desk. You may be asked to have a seat and wait until the nursing staff is available to greet and escort you to the Same Day Surgery (SDS) area. One family member will be permitted to come with you to this area after your assessment has been completed, with the exception of children under 18. Two adults may accompany children.

Once inside Same Day Surgery, a physical assessment will be completed, surgical and anesthesia consents will be signed, and pre and post-op expectations will be discussed. Typically this is when your IV will be started and any pre-op medications will be given. Your surgeon, OR personnel, and anesthesia staff will be available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have regarding your surgery. Your surgeon will mark the surgical site if there is a choice of left or right. The SDS, OR, and Anesthesia staff will confirm the correct surgical procedure with you during your pre-op evaluation.

Your personal belongings will be placed in a special bag and labeled. This bag will be placed in a designated area in Same Day Surgery if you are going home. However, if you are being admitted, it should remain with a family member. Once you are ready for surgery, the nursing staff will keep you informed of any changes or delays in your scheduled operating room time. The operating room nurse will greet you, do a brief interview, and then transport you to the surgical suite. At this time your family member will be shown where to wait.

After Surgery - Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

Once the surgery is completed, the surgeon will talk with family members in the surgical consult room. To protect patient confidentiality, names will not be called in the waiting area. Each family will be given a card with an assigned number that is specific to their loved one who is having surgery. This number will be called when the physician is ready to speak with the family after surgery. There is also an electronic tracking board in the Same Day Surgery waiting area that will display the progress of patients as they move through the different departments of Surgical Services. The assigned numbers are used on this tracking board as well.

The surgical patient will remain in the recovery room until discharge criteria for the Post Anesthesia Care Unit have been met. This recovery time varies from patient to patient and from surgery to surgery but is customarily between one and two hours.

To maintain patient privacy and to facilitate patient care, visitors are not permitted in PACU. Pediatric patients may have one parent at a time visit in PACU.

After the discharge criteria have been met, if the patient is going to be spending the night in the Medical Center, the patient will be transported upstairs to their room. The registration desk will keep family members apprised of room assignments so that they can go to their loved one's room once they have been transported.

If the patient is having outpatient surgery, they may go straight from the Operating Room to the Same Day Surgery Unit. This is called the "fast track" process. Fast track patients remain in Same Day Surgery for evaluation. Once post-operative Same Day Surgery patients meet final discharge criteria they will have their IV removed, get dressed, and be escorted to the front entrance. All Same Day Surgery patients (and a family member) will receive discharge instructions for home care and follow-up care with their physician.

All patients who have anesthesia or sedation must have a responsible adult available to drive them home upon discharge. It is recommended that the person wait with you at the Medical Center until you are ready for discharge. It is also recommended that all patients arrange for someone to help care for them at home.

REMEMBER: In order to ensure the best outcome and prevent postoperative infections, always wash your hands before and after caring for your dressing. Ensure that anyone who visits you washes their hands before and after visiting you.

Choosing Your Anesthesia

Choosing anesthesia that is right for you will be done after the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist has conferred with your surgeon, reviewed your medical history, and talked to you. Don't hesitate to ask questions. Explore all the options with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Anesthesia is used to minimize the pain and anxiety of surgery. There are several kinds of anesthesia that are used to make surgery safer and more comfortable. There is general anesthesia in which the whole body is anesthetized, regional anesthesia in which certain areas of the body are anesthetized, and monitored anesthesia care (MAC) which is routinely called sedation or twilight.

General
General anesthesia is used for major surgical procedures requiring prolonged unconsciousness. While unconscious, a machine will carefully control your breathing and monitor your vital signs. As you regain consciousness you may experience a period of confusion, feel some pain or soreness in your throat, and nausea. These side effects may persist for a few days. Medication may be needed to control the pain.

Regional
In regional anesthesia, a specific area of the body is anesthetized. The types of regional anesthesia are: spinal, epidural, nerve blocks, and local anesthetic.

Spinal
The anesthetic agent is injected into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord (sub-arachnoid space). Pain impulses are blocked before they reach the brain.

Epidural
Similar to the spinal but the anesthetic agent is injected into a slightly different space (epidural space). This type is commonly used to relieve the pain of childbirth or to control pain for several days after certain kinds of surgery (usually abdominal).

Nerve Blocks
Nerve blocks are often used for surgical procedures of the shoulder, arm, hand, and leg. The anesthetic agent is placed around the nerve supplying the area of surgery. Sometimes the surgeon will perform these blocks.

Local Anesthetic

This is where the anesthetic agent is injected directly to the area needing surgery. The surgeon may perform a "local" block. Anesthesia personnel are usually not present for these procedures.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)
Monitored Anesthesia Care is conscious sedation, allowing you to feel calm and comfortable and drift in and out of light sleep. It is sometimes called "twilight sleep." MAC is often used by the anesthesiologist to supplement local and regional anesthesia.

FAQs

How long will my surgery last?
Depending upon the type of surgery you are having, the actual surgical time will vary. This specific question should be discussed with your surgeon.

Why do I have to come in so early?
Because of the nature of surgery, actual surgical times may vary. In addition, the Same Day Surgery nurses are required to do a physical assessment prior to any surgical procedure. Occasionally, abnormal lab tests done preoperatively need to be repeated.

If I go to my doctor's office for a pre-op, why do I have to go to the Medical Center for one also?
The doctor may do a history and physical at the time of your office visit, but the nursing staff must also do an assessment at the Medical Center before surgery. The anesthesia staff reviews this history prior to the day of surgery and evaluates your diagnostic tests as well.

Why must I answer the same questions over and over again?
It is a check and balance system used to enhance patient safety and ensure a positive outcome for your surgery.