What to Expect
From the moment you arrive at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, we do all we can to put you at ease and make your visit more comfortable.
To pre-register for your surgery, please call 636.916.9334 as soon as your procedure is scheduled. We'll review this information with you, as well as answer any questions you may have related to:
- When to stop medications, food and drinks prior to surgery
- How to prepare yourself and your home for surgery
- Infection prevention
While in the pre-/post-op area, you will be registered at the bedside. A family member is encouraged to stay with the patient before and after surgery.
Your comfort and safety is our priority. When you come to the preoperative area, the nursing staff will greet you, provide warm blankets and attach warm air to your gown with a hose to keep you comfortable. Research shows that pre-warmed patients have better postoperative healing.
Before you go to surgery, a nurse will insert an IV and the anesthesia staff will talk with you about your health history. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions about the anesthesia that will be used in your procedure. Your doctor will see you, too, so you can ask any additional questions.
To ensure our patients receive the best care, we implement several safety initiatives before every procedure. These include:
- Site Marking Verification. This confirms we’re performing the procedure on the correct site and side of your body.
- Antibiotic Timing and Selection. If necessary, you will receive an antibiotic that is specified by research for your procedure and timed for the optimal effect.
- Hand-Washing Protocol. This ensures the entire surgical team has thoroughly washed their hands before beginning the procedure to further protect you. All your caregivers clean their hands, or foam in and out, before and after they come to your bedside.
- Medication Reconciliation. This confirms the prescribed medications don’t interfere with any medications you may be currently taking. We also provide a summary of what you can continue taking at home safely after surgery. A nurse and physician review the Medication Reconciliation.
- Two Patient Identifiers. This ensures the surgical team performs the right procedure on the right patient by matching up two unique identifiers, such as your name and date of birth.
- Reverify Health Information. This step double checks your health background for accuracy.
- Infection Prevention. This important step limits every avenue of infection to protect your health during and after surgery. We follow national guidelines and best practice protocols to ensure your safety.
- Presurgical checklist. This is a final review of all safety steps before surgery begins. The checklist contains important steps in preparing you safely for surgery. Two nurses verify the checklist before taking you in the operating room.
Once your surgery begins, your family or friend will be escorted to the surgery waiting room. They will be frequently updated on your progress during surgery. To pass the time, a flat screen TV and wireless Internet access is available. Coffee, vending machines and restrooms are located just outside the surgery waiting room. Guest relations representatives are available to answer any questions.
After surgery, you’ll be taken to the recovery area. Your family will be notified immediately that you’re there. The recovery stage usually lasts about 30 to 60 minutes as you wake up from the anesthesia and our attentive staff monitors your vital signs.
A family member or friend is encouraged to be at your bedside during this recovery phase. He or she will be a vital communication link with your physician. After recovery, you’ll either receive a “Transition to Home” instruction sheet or you’ll be transitioned to a patient room. Physical and occupational therapy may be provided to ensure your best recovery.