The OPS unit is designed to save you the expense and inconvenience of an overnight hospital stay while providing you with personalized care—making your stay with us as pleasant and convenient as possible. The OPS area is located in a modern well-equipped facility. We provide a wide range of surgical and medical services including: ear, nose and throat; family medicine; general surgery; colonoscopy; endoscopy; gerontology; gynecology; imaging; obstetrics; ophthalmology; orthopedics; pediatrics; vascular, thoracic and urology. The hospital’s complete backup system is available to all OPS patients. In the event of an emergency, trained medical professionals and special equipment are available to assist in your care. We realize that many medical procedures can create anxiety. Below we address the most frequently asked questions about outpatient procedures. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 919.690.2144 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Prior to your procedure, you will need to complete the necessary lab tests and an anesthesia interview. Your doctor’s office may schedule these for 2-5 days prior to your procedure, or the morning of your procedure. When you pre-register, please bring identification (driver’s license or Social Security card) and insurance cards, including Medicare/Medicaid documentation. Also bring with you a list of the medications you are taking, and a list of your allergies. We ask that you do not bring children with you, since they may become restless while waiting. An OPS team member will call you the day before your scheduled surgery date and let you know what time you need to arrive. If you have any questions, an OPS nurse will assist you upon arrival.
Brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water or toothpaste.
Call your doctor if you have a cold, fever or flu symptoms the night before your surgery. The procedure may be postponed if your doctor believes this would be best for you. The doctor may ask you to bring some of your medications with you.
Wear loose fitting, easy-to-change clothing to the hospital. If you wish, you may wear a gown and robe or pajamas.
Wear fingernail polish or make-up, especially eye make-up which may cause irritation to your eyes during surgery.
Bring valuables from home, including jewelry, wigs or contact lenses. We hope you can understand that the hospital cannot be responsible for such valuables.
Eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This means no beverages, water, chewing gum, hard candy, etc. If you are unable to follow these instructions, it may become necessary to cancel your surgery for your own safety.
Endoscopy is a special procedure for looking inside the esophagus, stomach or colon with a lighted tube. If you are preparing for this procedure, please follow the same guidelines as for surgical patients. In addition, if you’re scheduled for colonoscopy, follow your doctor’s recommended diet and special instructions so your bowel will be clean enough for viewing.
When you come in the front door of the hospital, tell the receptionist behind the counter why you are here. They will direct you to the registration area. For your own safety, you will not be permitted to drive yourself home. Please bring someone with you to drive you home after your procedure. They may wait for you in the OPS waiting area. If a child is having surgery, two adults are required, one to drive the car and one to care for the child. For waiting family members, the lobby has coffee available, and the cafeteria is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your family needs to leave the facility during your procedure, our outpatient department can provide them with a pager to allow us to notify them when you are in recovery.
Your OPS procedure can last from one to six hours. After the procedure, you will return to the OPS recovery area. You may feel a bit groggy, lightheaded, dizzy, sore or slightly nauseated, depending on the length of time for your procedure, your pain threshold, and what type of anesthesia you were given. Each person responds differently. You will continue to receive nursing care until you are discharged to go home.
Your doctor will provide post-procedure instructions regarding diet, rest and medications. We will provide you with a written summary of these instructions. Your doctor will determine when you are able to go home. You should expect that you may be a little unsteady even though you feel fine, so a responsible person must be available to drive you home after you are discharged and stay with you for 24 hours. Occasionally patients will be admitted to the hospital instead of going home.
If you have any unexpected problems, please call your doctor. A doctor or nurse from OPS may contact you within a few days after your procedure to check your progress and answer any questions you may have.
The telephone number for the Outpatient Services Unit is: 919.690.2144, the Fax number is: 919.690.3429, and it is open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.