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Preparing for Outpatient Surgery

The first step of preparing for outpatient surgery is to pre-register with the hospital. You can do this by:

  1. Completing registration with an admitting representative over the phone or in-person at the hospital.
  2. Completing a preoperative visit with a surgery department nurse.

You will likely receive a call from the hospital about preregistration. If you do not, call the admitting department 760-339-7100 between 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you have questions about your upcoming procedure, call 760-339-7260 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you do not pre-register, you will be asked to register with the hospital at the date of your preoperative interview. When you arrive at the hospital, tell the information desk that you have arrived at check-in for outpatient surgery.

ECRMC asks that outpatient surgery patients bring the following with them:

  • Information packet (this will be provided to you by your physician)
  • Advanced directive questionnaire
  • Any medications you are currently taking
  • Insurance card (or any other needed insurance information)
  • Any other papers that have been provided to you by your physician
  • Reading glasses (if needed)

Some elective surgeries may require pre-authorization from an insurance provider. Your physician will often contact the provider once the patient chooses surgery—however, in the unlikely event that coverage is denied, the surgery will be canceled, and you will be notified by the hospital.

Before your outpatient surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery. A light dinner is recommended that evening.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours before your surgery.
  • Speak with your doctor about any of your prescribed medications and whether or not they can be taken the day(s) before and of your surgery. If you can, take your medication with small sips of water.
  • If you begin to feel ill before your surgery (cold symptoms, flu, etc.) alert your physician as your surgery may need to be rescheduled.

The Day of Surgery

ECRMC recommends calling the Outpatient Center at 760-339-7260 the day before your surgery to verify the date and time of your procedure. Remember also to plan to be at the Outpatient Center for a while (up to four hours or more than needed in the actual operating room). There is an Outpatient Surgery Department parking lot in front of the main entrance of the hospital, just across from the handicapped parking area.

Things to remember on the day of your surgery:

  • Bathe or shower the day of your surgery
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to arrive in/leave with
  • You may bring a robe or slippers for comfort
  • Valuables should be left at home
  • Refrain from wearing makeup, nail polish, or false lashes
  • If you wear dentures or contact lenses, tell a nurse

Doctors will consult with family members or other accompanying individuals following your surgery to update them on your status. Visitors are not allowed in the recovery room, but anyone accompanying outpatient surgery patients will receive frequent updates on their status.

After Your Surgery

El Centro Regional Medical Center prepares all patients with what to expect after their surgery. If you have specific questions or concerns about what to expect after your outpatient surgery, ask your physician or the admittance nurse during your preoperative interview. Call760-339-7260 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with any additional questions.

Follow these guidelines and any further instructions provided by your medical team:

  • A nurse will explain any special instructions you need before going home. It is critical to your recovery that you follow these instructions and any instructions provided by your doctor.
  • Eat lightly, if you can, and refrain from alcoholic beverages the day of and after surgery.
  • Don't take any medications that have been prescribed or approved by your doctor the day of surgery, and, if necessary, the days that follow.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery the day of your surgery. Be sure that you have a trusted loved one ready to drive you home when your surgery is complete.
  • Also, make sure that someone is around you for 12-24 hours following your surgery in case of dizziness or other side-effects. Patients should be prepared to rest the day of their surgery and the day after.
  • If you have questions about your recovery or your doctor's instructions, please ask your nurse or doctor. El Centro Regional Medical Center wants patients to feel informed and confident about their recovery—no question is too small for the staff to answer.