menubarKalispell Regional Healthcare

Kalispell Regional Healthcare

Preparing for Surgery

Flathead Outpatient Center

Before Surgery

  • Once your surgery has been scheduled, you will receive a phone call from a nurse to review your medical history for our anesthesia purposes.
  • The nurse and anesthesiologist will instruct you on the use of your medications prior to surgery.
  • The anesthesiologist will call you the day before your surgery to answer any questions or concerns. If you are unavailable the doctor will leave a message with pertinent information.
  • If you have any questions, please ask during the preoperative phone call or your preoperative appointment, or feel free to call us anytime at (406) 257-6700.
  • Medical records including diagnostic lab results, X-rays and electrocardiograms specific to your medical history may be ordered.
  • Please call us at (406) 257-6700 if you have ever had a history of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or if you develop a cold, sore throat, fever or other illness within 48 hours of your surgery date.
  • Flathead Outpatient Center opens promptly by 6:30 a.m.
  • Please make arrangements to have a responsible adult (18 or older) available to help care for you for the 24 hours following surgery. The adult must come with you to receive discharge instructions and drive you home. A taxi is not considered responsible transportation, as the taxi driver cannot sign discharge instructions. You should not drive for 24 hours after surgery or while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • Call us the business day before your surgery between 3 and 5 p.m. to find out your surgery arrival time. Surgery times vary and each surgery can go faster or take longer than expected. Please make sure your phone number is up-to-date so we can reach you if your arrival time needs to be adjusted.
Medications

What to Eat and Drink

  • No food or drink after midnight. This includes water, gum, candy, breath mints, and smoking and chewing tobacco. These items can increase the risk of aspirating fluids into the lungs and create nausea after surgery.
  • Some exceptions may be allowed at the discretion of your anesthesiologist.
  • Please advise your surgeon and surgery center staff if you are diabetic or have unstable blood sugar levels.

What to Wear and Bring

  • Please shower and brush your teeth the morning of surgery.
  • Do not wear makeup, creams, lotions or nail polish the day of surgery. Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home. If you are unable to remove a ring, especially on the same arm as surgery, please consult a jeweler for removal prior to surgery.
  • Be prepared to remove contacts before surgery. Wearing your glasses the day of surgery might be easier.
  • Dentures must be removed for most surgeries. We have denture cups available during admission. You may put your dentures back in as soon as you are awake after surgery.
  • Bring your sling, brace or post-op boot/shoe to surgery. If you have crutches you can leave them in your vehicle unless you would like a staff member to adjust them to fit.
  • If you do not have assistive devices, we will provide them on the day of surgery and your insurance will be billed. Crutches are also available for rent at several area locations. Please ask your nurse for more information.
  • If you will be traveling after surgery, please bring comfort items for the vehicle. Pillows and blankets will provide comfort after surgery.
  • Appropriate clothing includes loose, stretchy items such as sweatpants or pajamas. If you are having surgery on your upper body, consider a short-sleeved baggy shirt or something that zips/buttons. For some surgeries women may be able to wear a sports bra or a bra that doesn’t have any metal. Male patients should not wear long baggy boxers if they are having knee surgery.
  • Each admission bay and waiting area is supplied with a TV and reading materials. Our facility is equipped with free Wi-Fi and the receptionist will be happy to provide you with the password. If you are accompanied by small children, please bring items to entertain them.

Traveling From Out of the Area

  • Many area hotels offer discounts for surgical patients. You may also want to prepare your room with extra pillows, etc. A ground floor room that is easily accessible is best.
  • You may want to stock up on light snacks for after surgery.
  • If you will be traveling after surgery, please bring comfort items for the vehicle. Pillows and blankets will provide comfort after surgery.
  • If you are traveling out of the area it is advised that you pick up your prescriptions nearby in case of emergency.
  • Please bring your regular prescription medications in the event you decide to stay in the area after surgery.
  • If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, please make sure that you bring it with you.

Preparing Small Children for Surgery

  • Pajamas are best!
  • Bring comfort items such as blankets, stuffed animals and books.
  • Children are often tearful after surgery because of the funny feeling they get from anesthesia. We will bring you back to be with your child as soon as he or she wakes up.
  • Bring extra diapers, wipes, sippy cups, etc.

After Surgery

  • Visitors are welcome; however, there may be limitations on space or for those with contagious illnesses.
  • You will be transported to your private vehicle via wheelchair. Just before it is time for you to be discharged, we will ask your driver to move the vehicle directly under the awning near the sliding front doors at the main entrance.
  • You will be going home the same day of your surgery unless otherwise discussed.
  • You will receive a copy of all discharge instructions.
  • We will call you the business day after your surgery to check on your progress.
  • If you need anything, please call our 24-hour number, (406) 752-7900.