Planning Your Surgery

Pre-Surgical Testing

When your physician contacts Albany Medical Center South's Surgery Center to schedule your surgery, a Pre-Surgical Testing appointment will be made 7-14 days before your surgery. You will be notified by your doctor's office or by Albany Medical Center South Admitting Department of the date and time you are to report for your testing. If you have had any current laboratory work, chest X-rays or EKGs, please bring copies with you or have them faxed to us at 262-1273.

Also, please bring all your prescription medications in their original containers, as well as a list of any over-the-counter medications you take, including any herbal dietary supplements, when you come for your pre-surgical appointment. On the day of your appointment, please report to the main lobby of Albany Medical Center South. Our receptionist/volunteer will assist you. Tours of the Hospital are available upon request. Please inform the Hospital receptionist if you would like a tour. Plan on two hours for the Pre-Surgical visit. Your visit will include a stop at the Admitting Office, and an interview by a hospital nurse. Other clinical testing, including a physical exam, or x-rays, will be done as appropriate. For your convenience, we will be happy to do any special laboratory tests your physician may have ordered for you, providing you bring us the prescription order. Fasting for these tests is not required, so please eat your usual meals at the regular times.
24-Hour Companion

Please arrange for an adult to accompany you home and for someone to be with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery. These arrangements should be made before you come for your Pre-Surgical Testing visit. Our social worker/discharge planner will assist you in making arrangements for a companion, transportation and local accommodations, should you need help. If satisfactory arrangements cannot be made, your surgery will have to be postponed. The person who drives you home need not wait for you at the hospital while your surgery is done, but should be available to come for you at the time your treatment is complete. The average length of stay on the day of surgery is five hours from the time of arrival. If you plan to take a taxi home, another responsible adult must accompany you. Your companion for 24 hours after surgery does not have to be the person who drives you home. This companion must be available in the home or apartment where you are staying (not next door or down the street). Your companion must be a responsible adult who is not incapacitated so they can check on you and call appropriate persons should the need arise.
Things to Bring

The following items will be necessary for you to bring with you for your surgery at Albany Medical Center South Clinical Campus.

  • Insurance Identification Cards as well as any insurance forms required by Patient Financial Services for submission of bills for payment.
  • A complete list of any and all medications (including any over-the counter medications and any herbal dietary supplements) you are taking, as well as any prescription medications in their original containers. This will provide us with important and accurate information about your medication. You will receive instructions regarding how, or if, you should take your medications on the day of surgery.
  • Advance Directives: Please advise us if you have a Health Care Proxy or other advance directives. We will require a copy of any such documents. If you are interested in knowing more about advance directives, a social worker will be glad to explain them, and assist you in filling forms out if you wish.

Before Your Surgery 

The night before: Call the hospital, 262-1200, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. the evening before your surgery to confirm the time you are to report. You may be instructed to arrive 30 minutes prior to the time of surgery. If you are scheduled for a time before 8:30 a.m. you will be asked to arrive at 6:15 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. that morning.

Adult Pre-Surgical Food and Drink Instructions:

  • NO Solid food or liquids after Midnight on the night before your surgery.
  • NO Gum, Mints, Candy or Cough Drops after Midnight on the night before surgery. 

If you have been instructed by the interview nurse to take medication(s) the morning of the surgery, do so as directed.

If there is a change in the condition for which you are to have surgery or if you develop a cold, cough or fever, notify your physician. If this occurs on the morning of your surgery, call the Surgery Center Desk at 262-1255. 
The Day of Surgery 

  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • If you wear glasses, bring a case to put them in.
  • Do not wear any make-up, fingernail or toenail polish.
  • You are encouraged to bring something to do during the preparatory period, such as reading materials.
  • Report to the Hospital Reception Desk. You will be escorted to the Surgery Center.
  • Do not bring jewelry, money, credit cards or other valuables with you on the day of surgery. We cannot be responsible for them while you are here.
  • Immediate family may wait in the Surgical Waiting Area.
  • Do not bring children (other than the patient) to the hospital.