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Sibley Memorial Hospital

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Preparing for Surgery

There are several steps common to all surgeries taking place at Sibley. To prepare for your surgery, you should:

1. Complete Preregistration and Precertification

  • Call 202-537-4190 to begin the process.
  • All patients need to be in contact with the Admissions Department to preregister. Admissions will need to verify your coverage or receive precertification for hospital services from your insurance company. Your surgeon’s office will coordinate with your insurance provider to obtain certification.
  • Financial assistance is available; counselors can assist with self pay, Medicaid, uninsured and underinsured patients. For assistance, call 202-537-4160 or 202-537-4161

2. Call the Pre-surgical Testing Center (PSTC) for an interview.

  • All patients having surgery at Sibley must have a telephone interview with a R.N. from PSTC by calling 202-537-4437.
  • The purpose of this interview is to obtain your medical and surgical history and a current list of medications and dosages. An anesthesiologist will review this information prior to your surgery. The nurse will also review your presurgical instructions and answer any questions that you may have.
  • All patients having anesthesia for surgery must have a history and physical done within 30 days of their surgery date. Sibley provides this service for no additional charge; schedule an appointment at 202-537-4955.
  • Your surgeon may order additional preoperative testing such as labs, EKGs, or chest X-rays. You can schedule these with your regular doctor, or make an appointment to have everything done at PSTC by calling 202-537-4955.
    • If having testing performed at PSTC, remember to bring the preoperative orders given to you by your surgeon to the appointment.
    • If you have these tests done with your regular doctor, please ask them to fax the results to Sibley at 202-364-7639.
  • If your surgeon orders a lab test called a "Type and Screen" or a "Type and Cross Match", these tests must be done at Sibley PSTC within 7 days of your surgery date. They cannot be drawn at your doctors office or an independent lab.
  • Please schedule the nursing interview and any needed pre-surgical tests as early as possible to allow the Anesthesia Department to review your information.

3. If you have a pacemaker and/or defibrillator, complete the Pacemaker/ICD Preoperative Information Sheet and take it with you to your cardiologist appointment

  • Download the PDF file, print it and fill it out.
  • You should fax this completed form to 202-364-7639 and bring a copy on the day of surgery.

4. Review your medications, vitamins, and supplements with your doctor.

  • Some medications, supplements and vitamins may need to be stopped up to 2 weeks prior to your surgery.
  • Please clarify with your surgeon when you should stop blood thinners, aspirin and other NSAIDs (such as Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, and Naprosyn).
  • If you are a diabetic, you will need to consult with your physician on how to adjust your medications prior to surgery.
  • Swallow pills you are required to take the morning of surgery with only sips of water.

5. Arrange for transportation for the day of surgery

  • All patients receiving anesthesia will need to arrange for a ride home after surgery. You must arrange for a responsible adult to take you home. It cannot be a taxi driver, but you may take a taxi with a responsible adult accompanying you.
  • We also recommend that you arrange for an adult to stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • If you are unable to arrange for a ride on your own, you may schedule a ride from Potomac Home Support. There is a fee for this service. Contact Potomac Home Support at 301-896-6990 to make arrangements.

6. Review your preoperative instructions

  • As a general rule, do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before or the day of your surgery. You may not have water, candy or gum. This helps reduce the chance of vomiting and/or inhaling items into your lungs during your surgery.
  • Always follow the instructions provided to you by your surgeon.
  • We recommend all patients that are having surgery involving an incision through the skin take 3 showers with a surgical scrub called Hibiclens (chlorhexidine gluconate). Download the Preoperative Bathing Instructions guide for more information.
  • Joint replacement surgeries should follow the cleansing process as instructed by orthopaedic nurse navigator. If you have questions, please call her at 202-537-4144.

7. If you have an Advanced Directive, Living Will, or Power of Attorney document, please bring it with you to the hospital.