Before Surgery

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My doctor says I need surgery; now what?
Any surgery that is scheduled ahead of time is considered elective. Emergency surgeries are non-elective because their lifesaving nature requires that action is taken immediately.
If your doctor has informed you that you need surgery, your first step is to contact your insurance company to determine what services and providers are covered. You should then schedule your pre-operative testing.

Is my surgery covered by insurance?
Each insurance plan has different requirements to meet before obtaining approval for a surgical procedure. You must contact a representative from your insurance company to make sure all of our services and providers are covered and that any required referrals and second opinions have been obtained.

What pre-op testing do I need?
Your doctor will require that you undergo diagnostic testing and laboratory procedures before your surgery to make sure that you are in optimal condition for recovery. Depending on your age and medical condition, these may include:
• Blood tests
• Urine tests
• Electrocardiogram
• CAT scan or X-rays
This is when patient education is conducted.

Where and when can I have my pre-op testing completed?
For the most part, pre-op testing can be completed right at Hunterdon Medical Center. You can schedule your pre-op testing up to two weeks before your surgery, although certain blood work must wait until the days immediately before. The Ambulatory Testing Center is located on the hospital’s second floor. You can schedule pre-op testing between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 908-788-6666 to schedule your testing.

What do I need for pre-op testing?
It is important to make sure your insurance plan provides coverage for these tests and that all tests are performed by approved providers. Bring your insurance card, a driver’s license and two other forms of identification to your appointment as well an updated list of medications you are currently taking.

How should I pack for my stay at the hospital?
First, we’ll tell you what not to bring. Please do not bring any prescriptions from home, as your doctors will want to administer and monitor all of your medications. Please leave home any valuables. What you’ll want is to wear loose-fitting clothing and we encourage you to bring a book, magazine or anything that might be a pleasant distraction while you are waiting for surgery.  If you are spending the night, you may want to bring comfortable pajamas, personal toiletries, slippers and a robe.

Do I need to abstain from food or drink before surgery?
Typically, adult surgical patients are advised not to eat solid foods for eight hours prior to surgery arrival time but may have clear liquids up to two hours prior to arrival time.  Our pediatric patients should not have anything to eat or drink past midnight.  However, you may have specific instructions depending on the surgery and medical history. It is best to confer with your surgeon at least a week prior to surgery to find out his or her recommendations.

How do I know what time to be at the hospital the day of my surgery?
A representative from your surgeon’s office will call the night before and confirm what time your operation has been scheduled and what time to report to the hospital – usually 90 minutes before surgery.

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