Preparing for Surgery FAQs

Patients coming to the University of Maryland Medical Center for surgery or an endoscopic procedure often have questions about what to expect. Click on the commonly asked questions below to find answers that may help prepare you for your procedure.

How do I prepare for a surgical procedure?

Several days before surgery, most patients are referred to the Medical Center's PREP Center for a thorough check-up. This check-up involves taking your vital signs, collecting blood work and performing any additional tests that may be needed to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure and also for anesthesia. We encourage patients to come to the Medical Center for their PREP work so we can be sure we have all your medical records easily accessible.

Where will my procedure be performed?

The day before your operation or procedure, you will receive a phone call letting you know where and when to come to the hospital. You should write down this important information so you remember the exact details.

What will happen once I arrive at the Medical Center?

On the day of your procedure, you will check in at the Medical Center. You will change your clothes and prepare for what comes next. This can include placing an IV or performing other tests just prior to the procedure. Do not bring valuables and lots of personal items to the hospital. Typically, one family member can wait with you. Other friends and family will be asked to go to a waiting area.

Is it necessary to repeat my information to each health care professional with whom I interact?

You will be asked many times to say your name and birth date. You may get tired of answering the same questions over and over again. We do this for safety reasons.

What will happen in the operating room?

Before you are brought into the operating room, you will meet your OR nurse and the anesthesia team. Often, patients are given a sedative to help relax and then they are taken into the OR. Many people never remember being taken into the OR and often just recall waking up in recovery.

Will my family be kept informed during my operation?

In most cases, following the procedure, the physician will meet with family members to discuss how the case went. During long surgeries, families are typically given regular updates from the OR.

What will happen once my surgery is complete?

After the procedure, you will either be admitted to the hospital or discharged with specific instructions.

Can I see my family immediately after surgery?

When you wake up in recovery after surgery, our top priority is to make sure we control any pain you may have. When the time is right, we will let family come see you.

Who should I speak to if I have other questions regarding my operation?

Feel free to ask questions of any health care professional at any point. Here at the Medical Center, we are committed to making sure you have a positive experience.

For more information about the Department of Surgery or to contact one of our surgeons, call the University Physicians Consultation and Referral Service at 1-800-492-5538 (patients) or 1-800-373-4111 (physicians).