Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) are facilities where surgeries that do not require hospital admission are performed. They provide a cost-effective and convenient environment that is less stressful than the large hospital environment.
  • The Surgery Center staff will call you the day before your surgery to tell you the time to be at The Surgery Center. If you have not received a call from the staff by 2:00 pm on the day prior to your surgery, please telephone The Surgery Center (510) 547-2244 extension 126 and ask about your surgery.
  • Unless instructed otherwise by a Surgery Center pre-operative nurse do not drink or eat anything after midnight except small sips of water to take your usual medications. You may brush your teeth, but remember not to swallow anything. Failure to follow these instructions can significantly increase your anesthesia risk and may result in the cancellation of your surgery. The concern is the possibility of gastric (stomach) contents ending up in the lung resulting in a life threatening lung injury (aspiration pneumonia)
    In addition, please follow any other specific instructions your surgeon or our staff have given you.
  • Please call The Surgery Center and your physician as soon as possible. Our number is (510) 547-2244. If you call after hours, an answering message will instruct you in leaving a message.
  • The Business Office staff at The Surgery Center as well as your physician's office will be able to help you answer some of your questions regarding coverage. Please contact your insurance carrier regarding your specific benefits.
  • Please bring all insurance information and your photo ID with you. Also, wear comfortable clothes that are easy to put on and off. For example, shirts that button up the front or loose fitting slacks. Please leave all valuables and jewelry at home. Try to plan ahead, depending on the type of surgery you are having. Please bring any paperwork given to you by your surgeon that he/she requested you have on your day of surgery. If you have any copayment or deductible due, payment will be expected on the day of the surgery. Please bring a form of payment. We accept all major credit cards, cash or money orders. Personal checks are not accepted.
  • No, any individual that requires sedation for their surgical procedure must be accompanied home by a responsible adult. This is a safety issue that is strictly adhered to for your benefit. You can not take a taxi.
  • Visitors in the Recovery Room are at the discretion of the nursing staff. The nursing staff will be happy to give the family members waiting outside the recovery area periodic updates on the patient's condition.
  • Patients with OSA requiring C-PAP and morbidly obese patients with Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35 have an increased risk of post-operative complications. Therefore, they may not be candidates for procedures at The Surgery Center. The medical director or the attending anesthesiologist must first provide clearance before patients will be admitted for surgery.

Additional Information

Pain Management

In PACU/Recovery Room you will be asked to rate your pain

This helps us objectively evaluate how much discomfort you are having. The scale that we most often use is the 0-10 scale. 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain possible.

  • No Pain
    • 0
  • Minimal Pain
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Moderate Pain
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Worst Pain Possible
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
At Home
  • Some patients have concerns about taking care of themselves when they go home. Please discuss these or any concerns you may have with your nurse during your preoperative interview.
  • A nurse form the recovery room will attempt to call you the day after your procedure to see how you are doing and answer any of your questions.
  • If you need to speak with a nurse, you may call The Surgery Center at (510) 547-2244. A nurse is available Monday through Friday.
  • Your surgeon is available to you as well. You can reach him/her at their office or they can be paged through their answering service.
  • Patients are often comfortable when leaving The Surgery Center and do not think they need anything as strong as a prescription pain pill.
  • Many surgeons use local anesthesia at the wound site so that you will be fairly comfortable until the local anesthesia wears off, which sometimes does not occur until later in the day or even into the next day.
  • It is much easier to keep your pain under control by taking medication early than to alleviate it with more medication once you become uncomfortable.  We recommend that you fill your prescription as soon as possible.
  • It is often helpful to fill your prescription before your day of surgery.  Please bring your insurance card with you.
  • It is much easier to control your pain when you take your pain medication as prescribed.
  • On the day of surgery and continuing into the following day, many patients will need to take their pain medication every 4 to 6 hours.
    • As your discomfort lessens you may change taking your prescription narcotic medication to a Tylenol or ibuprofen like drug as ordered in your discharge instructions.
    • As long as you are taking narcotic type medication you should not drive, drink or do anything that requires coordination or judgment activity.
  • If the pain medication prescribed for you is not effective in alleviating the discomfort, you should contact your surgeon.
  • Please follow the advice of your surgeon if ice and/or elevation to the surgical area are recommended.
  • If this happens, you may take a stool softener (such as Colace), or a gentle laxative (such as Milk of Magnesia).
  • You don’t need a prescription for these medications.
  • This includes medicine like Percocet, Tylenol #3, and Vicodin.
The Operating Room

Your peri-operative team consists of surgeon and their assistants, anesthesiologist, nurses and a surgical technician.

You will be prepared for your surgery in the pre-operative holding area.  Your anesthesia will be administered in the operating room.

You will be accompanied by your nurse into the operating room.  Almost all patients will walk into the operating room. Once in the room the nurse will assist you in getting onto the operating room bed.

The operating room team will assist you in getting comfortably positioned on the operating room bed. If you have back problems or difficulty lying flat, please let the nursing staff  know so we can take extra care with positioning you for your surgery.

The operating room temperature is kept low for several reasons: the maintenance of our equipment, the sterility of our supplies, for the comfort of your surgical team who are required to wear long sterile gowns and work under hot lights.  We provide you with warm blankets as soon as you are settled in the operating room.

Family members are not allowed in to the operating room for safety and sterility reasons.  If your family member does not speak English or has communication difficulties, an interpreter will be provided who has been trained to assist the operating room staff. 

Recovery Room

The PACU, (post anesthesia care unit or recovery room), is the name of the room where you will recover from your surgery and anesthesia. An experienced post anesthesia care nurse will be there to care for you during this time. Your anesthesiologist will direct that care and be available as necessary to assist in the management of your post operative pain or any other issues that arise.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Post Anesthesia Care Unit

  • During your recovery you will be placed on a heart monitor that continuously monitors your pulse and blood pressure.
  • A finger cover is placed on your finger.  It tells us how much oxygen is in your blood and how well you are breathing.
  • Your temperature will be taken.
  • When you first wake up you be receiving oxygen. This is most frequently administered via small prongs that fit in the nose or some patients may have an oxygen mask covering your mouth and nose. It is important to keep it on until your nurse removes it.
  • If you have an incision or bandage, your nurse will be checking the area for any bleeding.
  • When you are awake and ready for oral fluids, you will start drinking small sips of liquids.
  • You may feel sleepy, dizzy and/or forgetful from the medications given to you during your operation.  These feeling will improve as time passes.
  • You may have some discomfort after your surgery.  The nurses will give you medication to make you feel better.
  • If you had a spinal anesthetic or a nerve block to an extremity, the extremity will feel numb and heavy and you may not be able to move it.  This is not cause for worry.  The normal feeling and movement will return with time as the medication wears off.
  • The average recovery time is usually between 30 to 90 minutes.  This depends on the type or surgery, type of anesthesia, and the individual since each person is unique in their response to surgery and anesthesia.
  • You can be discharged to go home when you are reasonably comfortable, awake and alert, pain is manageable and you have minimal nausea.
  • Before you are discharged home, the nurse caring for you will review your discharge instructions with you and the responsible adult taking you home.
  • All of your questions will be answered before you go home
  • Our phone number will be given to you to call if you have questions.
  • Always feel free to call your surgeon for any questions or problems.
  • If you do not know your surgeon’s number, please call The Surgery Center at (510) 547-2244.
Wound Care

At the time of discharge you will receive specific instructions about how to care for your wound. This information will be on your surgeon’s discharge instruction sheet which isreviewed with you in the recovery room on the day of surgery. The following is additional information that you may find helpful for taking care of your wound.

  • You should check the dressing for any drainage. A small amount of clear or light
    red staining is normal. If the dressing becomes soaked with bright red blood you should
    call your surgeon.
  • Mild swelling along the incision is normal. If you should experience any increase in
    swelling, pain and/or firmness around the surgical area, call your surgeon.
  • You may remove your dressing when directed by your surgeon. Most patients will
    remove their dressing within one to three days of surgery. You will find information
    about your dressing in your discharge instruction sheet.

** Always wash your hands first with soap and water**

  • Remove the outer dressing.
  • DO NOT REMOVE the steri-strips (the thin paper strips that are
    on your incision) they will fall off on their own.
  • Some patients find it easier to remove the dressing in the
    shower where the tape comes off more easily.
  • The dressing should remain dry until you are allowed to shower.
    Baths should not be taken until your surgeon has said that you may
    do so. The wound should be gently washed with plain soap and water.
    Pat incision dry.
  • Maintain good nutrition; eat a well balanced diet.
  • Do not smoke
  • Watch the incision for signs and symptoms of infection.
  • Keep your incision dry.
  • Do not use deodorants, powders, lotions or sprays on/or near the incision.
  • Do not use any ointments on you incision unless you were told otherwise.
  • Do not expose incision to sun.  Once incision is fully healed use sunscreen over the incision.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions.

** If you have any of these signs or symptoms call your surgeon**

  • Redness around the incision that is spreading.  (It is normal for the area around the incision to be slightly red.)
  • Increased warmth and swelling around the incision.
  • Increased tenderness and pain
  • Foul smelling drainage
  • Temperature of 101 degrees or higher and/or chills