What to Expect

Preparing For Your Hospital Stay

Here are a few of the things you will need to bring with you to the hospital for your surgery:

  • Personal hygiene products like toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant etc.
  • Loose fitting clothes for when you go back home
  • Glasses, hearing aide(s) with cases for each
  • Wheeled walker – label it with your name and phone number.
  • Do not bring:

    • Anything valuable
    • Electric equipment
    • Medications unless your surgeon asks

    Things to do before your hospital stay:

    • Take a shower or bath before your surgery; your surgeon/anesthesia clinic may give you an antibacterial soap or other medical wash to cut chances of getting an infection.
    • Use fresh bed sheets at home in the days prior to the surgery to reduce the risk of getting an infection
    • Do not shave the area of the surgery; clipping may be done at the hospital if necessary.
      You may receive the following phone call before your admission:
      • Surgical pre-admissions team may call to discuss your health history and medications.
      • The operating room department will call you the afternoon before to provide you with information for day of surgery. If you have not heard from the clinic, you can call them at 210-358-7755.
               Additionally, it is important to remember:
        • Not to eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before the surgery
        • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and low heeled shoes
        • Leave jewelry and valuables at home
        • Bring valid form of photo identification and health insurance card
        • Bring an adult with you



    Your Hospital Stay

    Check-in for surgery

    The day before surgery (Friday for a Monday surgery), you will receive a call to let you know the time you are to report to surgery.
    You will be asked to report either to the 2nd or the 3rd floor of the Sky Tower at University Hospital
    Please arrive at the given time and leave enough time for parking and to find your way to the surgery center.  You will check-in at the registration desk on whichever floor you were asked to report. Once the staff completes the check-in process, you can wait in the waiting area for a preoperative nurse to take you back to the surgical area.

    Hospital admission

    After surgery, you will be in the recovery room for 1-3 hours during which time the nurses will take care of you carefully before you are ready to go back to your room. The nursing team will be checking your blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen level, pain, and surgical site among other things. Your physical therapy can also sometimes begin at this point.

    After the recovery room, you will be moved into your private room on the 10th floor of the Sky Tower at the University Hospital, where the nursing team will make every effort to get you comfortable. Your family is welcome to visit you once the nursing team has had a chance to settle you in your room.

    You will receive care from an expert team of physicians, nurses, and therapists among others. Some of the care includes:

    • Checking your vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, respirations, and pulse) and surgical site frequently
    • IV fluid and antibiotics
    • An Incentive Spirometer to help prevent pneumonia and improve air movement in your lungs
    • Leg compression device to prevent blood clots
    • Help returning to regular diet
    • Help managing your medication schedule
    •  Assistance to use the restroom
    • Training with physical therapist to prepare you for home

    We want your family to be present during the above and learn different aspects of your care.

    Taking care of pain:

    This is a major surgery and is always painful. The main goal of controlling pain after surgery is to provide as much comfort to you as possible while recovering. Total absence of pain is not possible. The pain scale below will be used to judge your pain:

      The use of too many narcotics or opioid pain medication frequently causes problems like dizziness, constipation, difficulty urinating, nausea and vomiting. This can slow down your recovery. Try to use the other medicines your doctor has prescribed.  Other things that can be done to reduce pain include:

    •   Ice packs – 15 mins on and 40 mins off
    •   Relaxation exercises
    •   Breathing exercises
    •   Body position
    •   Music