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Before Your Surgery

Our Goal Is to Make Your Surgical Experience as Comfortable and Positive as Possible.

We want to provide you with reliable information to help ease any anxiety and give you a sense of control. In addition, BCH takes surgical site infection seriously so we’ve included several important guidelines to consider before, during and after your surgery that should help prevent infection.

If you have questions about your scheduled surgery, please call 303-415-7202.

The Following Is a Step-by-Step Guide to Your Surgery at BCH:

Step #1- Surgery Is Scheduled

You and your doctor have decided that you need to have surgery. During this doctor visit, you’ll discuss your diagnosis, treatment options and recovery. You should also use this time to discuss other health problems, such as diabetes, in order to prevent complications. Note: If you are a smoker, we strongly encourage you to quit as patients who smoke are two times as likely to have poor wound healing and develop an infection at the surgical site.

During this visit, you and your physician will sign the “Informed Consent Form” for a surgical procedure. Pre-authorization for surgery may have to be obtained from your insurance company.

The specific day and time for your surgery will be scheduled while at your doctor’s office.

Step #2- Pre-Registration Phone Call

A representative from Foothills Hospital will call you up to two weeks in advance of your surgery. The purpose of this pre-registration phone call is to obtain necessary personal information such as your correct name, address, phone numbers and insurance information.

The direct number for pre-registration for Foothills Hospital is 303-415-5170.

Step #3- Pre-Anesthesia Testing

Your surgeon’s office will schedule you for surgery. Once you are on the surgery schedule, a pre-anesthesia staff member will contact you to review your medical history and provide all of the instructions you need before the day of your procedure.

Pre-Anesthesia Testing calls to patients are made with the closest date of surgery first and occur between Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. BCH has a goal of completing this process one week or more prior to your procedure.

If you have not heard from Pre-registration within 14 days of your surgery, please call 303-415-5170 and select option #4 when prompted.

What happens during my Pre-Anesthesia Testing phone appointment?

The nurse will review your medical history, allergies and all medications and supplements you are taking. In addition, the nurse will go over instructions for the day of surgery, including when to stop eating and drinking fluids. This is a good time to ask any questions you have about your surgery and recovery.

During this phone call, the nurses will determine if any bloodwork or testing is needed. They will set up a separate appointment with you if testing is needed.

What should I have ready for the phone call?

  • A current list of medications
  • Information about previous surgeries
  • Something to write down instructions that you will be given. The PAT staff can also email you the instructions.

Remember to call your surgeon’s office if you develop a cold, sore throat, fever or any other illness that occurs within 24 hours of your surgery.

Step #4- Preparations Before Surgery

In order to help prevent infection, please follow these guidelines:

  • Shower the three days leading up to surgery with a plain or antimicrobial soap.
  • Lather soap over your entire body including your face, and rinse.
  • Wash your hair the day before your surgery.
  • Dry off with a clean towel.
  • It is very important to avoid shaving near where you will have surgery for three days before your surgery. Shaving with a razor can irritate your skin and make it easier to get an infection.
  • Brush your teeth twice every day; any toothpaste is okay.

You need to fast before your surgery, which means:

  • No food after midnight the night before your surgery
  • No gum, breath mints or chewing tobacco after midnight
  • Fasting limits on clear liquids and water will have been explained by the Pre-Surgery Testing Nurse
  • You may brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water

PLEASE call your surgeon’s office if you develop a cold, sore throat, fever or any other illnesses within 24 hours of your surgery.

What to bring with you to the hospital:

  • Your insurance card
  • Your Foothills Hospital surgery packet
  • Do not bring any valuables--remove rings, earrings and all jewelry
  • A list of all your medications, allergies and supplements that you are taking
  • Copies of CPR/Advanced Directives/Living Will
  • Crutches, canes or walkers if you will need them after surgery
  • Personal music (mp3 player/CDs) if you would like to listen to music during your stay
  • Children may wish to bring a favorite doll or toy, bottle or sippy cup

One-day surgery patient:

As a one-day surgery patient, you will most likely go home from the hospital the same day. If you receive a general anesthetic or IV medication, you are required to have someone else drive you home. It is strongly suggested that you not drive the remainder of the day. It is advisable to have someone with you your first day and night home from the hospital.

If you need to remain in the hospital overnight:

You need only bring essentials like a robe, slippers, and toiletries. Leave them in your car and have a family member or friend bring them to your room later.

Step #5- Day of Surgery

You will have been given an assigned time to check in by your Pre-Surgery Testing nurse. Check-in takes place at Foothills Hospital Registration located on the first floor, next to the Emergency Room entrance. You will begin the process at one of the registration kiosks.

Once you’ve completed check-in, you will go to the pre-operative (pre-op) area. Your nurse will ask and repeat very important questions in order to verify your health information, such as the type and location of your surgery; any allergies you may have; and when you last ate or drank. You may be asked these questions several times in order to confirm your information. This is required by the hospital in order to provide you with the highest quality of care.

You will meet with your anesthesiologist and discuss the plans for your anesthesia.

Your surgeon may also stop by. This is a good time for any last minute concerns or questions you or your family/friends may have.

In order to help prevent infection:

  • Let the nurse know if you have any skin breakdown or skin issues.
  • Iodine swabs will be applied twice to the inside of each of your nostrils. Let your provider know ahead of time if you are allergic to iodine.
  • Clippers may be used for hair removal (not a razor).
  • Your surgical site will be cleaned with a special soap that kills germs before surgery.
  • If needed, antibiotics will be given in your IV before your surgery begins.

Your healthcare providers also take important steps to ensure the surgical site is clean:

  • They clean their hands and arms up to the elbows with an antiseptic soap just before the surgery.
  • They wear hair covers, masks, gowns, and gloves during surgery to keep the surgery area clean.
  • In the operating room, they will clean your skin at the surgery site with a special soap that kills germs.

Step #6- Going to Surgery

When it is time for your surgery, an operating room nurse will complete a final pre-operative assessment. You will then be taken to the operating room (OR).

Your family/friends will be escorted to the Surgery Waiting Room where the surgeon will be able to find them when your surgery is completed.

Following surgery, if you are staying overnight, you will be transported to your hospital room where your family/friends will be able to meet you.

If you are an outpatient, your discharge instructions will be reviewed with your family/friends responsible for seeing you safely home.

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Important Information

Boulder Community Health is following current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that call for patients and visitors to continue wearing masks at Foothills Hospital and all BCH patient-care facilities.

People 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. For updated Vaccine Clinic hours and general vaccine info, please visit our vaccine page.