Outpatient Surgery Guide


9 a.m.-noon, Monday through Friday

Outpatient surgery at Christian Hospital Surgery Center combines the high-quality, cost-efficient medical care you need with the personal attention and convenience you deserve.

We are pleased to offer this service to you, and we pledge to do everything we can to make your brief stay with us as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

As you prepare for surgery, take a few minutes to review this information. We hope it answers some of your questions about what to expect during your stay with us.

What Is Outpatient Surgery?

Outpatient surgery goes by many names -- ambulatory surgery, same-day surgery and one-day surgery. In most cases, though, the meaning is the same. Outpatient surgery is designed as a service in which a patient arrives at the hospital, has surgery, recovers and goes home all in one day, without an overnight stay.

As a result, you enjoy several advantages. All of our resources including sophisticated equipment and an experience, caring staff are here to carry out your procedure and to oversee your safe recovery. You are able to work surgery into your busy routine with minimal disruption, and you can recover comfortably in the familiar surroundings of home. And because an overnight stay is not required, you receive first-rate care at a lower cost.

We Will Be Calling You

Clear, open communication is the key to a smooth outpatient surgical procedure. An admitting representative will call you several days before surgery to obtain information that will help us process your paperwork in advance.

You also will receive a call from one of our outpatient surgery nurses to help you prepare for surgery and to answer any questions you have. She will need complete information regarding your medical history and any medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter.

If you are working the day before surgery, call the Outpatient Surgery Department at 314.653.5369 between 5 a.m.-5 p.m. for instructions.

The day after your surgery, we will call you at home to see how you are doing.

Don't feel bashful about asking any questions or expressing concerns during any of the calls—that is our chief reason for calling. No question or concern is too small or insignificant. Let us know what's on your mind.

Pre-admission Testing for the Surgical Patient

In your best interest, the hospital provides pre-admission testing, a one-stop service Monday through Friday. When you report to the hospital to have your tests, your insurance papers will be ready for your signature. You will meet a registered nurse who will arrange for the laboratory tests and any other tests your doctor has ordered. The nurse also will ask you several questions regarding your health history and provide you with pre-surgical instructions. Please bring a list of all medications you are taking.

The advantages of pre-admission testing:

  • You will not have to come in early the day of your surgery
  • Your lab test will have been interpreted and forwarded to your doctor
  • Patients check in at the Surgery Center registration area
  • You can help ensure that the arrangements you have made for your hospital visit will not change

On the Day of Your Surgery

When you arrive for outpatient surgery, you will go through an easy-to-follow procedure that minimizes confusion.

A Surgery Center registrar will have you sign the necessary paperwork if it hasn't already been prepared during pre-admission testing.

After you complete final registration, you may have a seat, and a nurse will call you momentarily and escort you to the pre-op area. You will be asked about your current and past health, and be prepared for surgery.

Consent Forms

Before surgery, we will ask you to sign a form indicating that you have not had anything to eat or drink since midnight and that you give the hospital your permission to carry out the procedure. Adult patients give their own written consents; parents or guardians must be present to give permission for patients under 18. If you have power of attorney, be sure to bring the paperwork stating this.


Your surgical preparation also includes a visit from an anesthesiologist who will ask you questions about your general health, medical problems (especially heart and breathing problems), prior anesthetics and all medications you are taking. Please have this information available.

As a pre-treatment before general anesthesia, you are likely to be given medications orally or intravenously in the outpatient surgery holding area. The purpose of these medications is to decrease the acidity of your stomach contents and reduce your nausea.


Patients who have anesthesia will go to the acute recovery room immediately after surgery. Specially trained registered nurses will care for you there. After you are awake in acute recovery, you will be taken back to your ambulatory room for outpatient surgery. An experienced registered nurse will continue your care, and your family may wait with you there.

Rest assured that regardless of the type of anesthesia you receive, you will stay at the hospital until your condition is stable and the anesthesiologist has decided it is safe for you to leave.

After Recovery

When you are ready to leave, your friend or relative will be asked to bring the car to the outpatient entrance. Surgical services personnel will take you to the car. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, so please have someone available to drive you home.

We strongly urge you to avoid tasks that require skill, coordination or judgment—such as driving, operating machinery or making important decisions—for 24 hours. Also we recommend that you have an adult stay with you overnight.

Relatives and Friends

A special waiting area has been reserved for your family accompanying you to the Surgery Center. The waiting area is at the Surgery Center entrance.

After your surgery, your physician will visit the waiting area to talk to your family about your condition. A nurse will notify your family when you are taken to the recovery room, and again when your family can see you. Please remind your family to remain in the waiting area, or to leave word at the desk if they must leave. This will keep communication lines open and prevent unnecessary delays when you are ready to leave.

Because your surgical preparation, procedure and recovery may take several hours, we encourage your visitors to bring books, needlepoint, crossword puzzles or other pastimes to ease their waiting. A television is available.

Your visitors may wait with you after you are awake and in the outpatient recovery area. Please try to limit the number of people who accompany you to one or two. If possible, do not bring children with you.

You Will Need a Ride

You will want to make arrangements for going home prior to leaving the hospital. To ensure your safety, we will release you only when a relative or friend arrives to pick you up and see you home safely. (Taxicabs are unacceptable substitutes.)

If your driver does not plan to wait at the Hospital during your surgery, please give your nurse a number where he or she can be reached.

Free Parking

Several parking spaces are reserved for your exclusive use.

Just for Kids

Each member of the outpatient surgical team is especially sensitive to the needs of youngsters facing surgery. To help relieve some of their fears and anxieties, we avoid using needles whenever possible and minimize separation time. After surgery, we reunite children and parents as soon as the young patient is alert.

Prior to Your Outpatient Procedure

Don't leave home before reviewing this checklist. It contains important instructions that will help to ensure safe, problem-free surgery.

  • Food and Drink -- Remember not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery, not even water. Failure to follow this rule will cause your surgery to be canceled
  • Bathing -- Take a morning bath or shower before you come to the hospital
  • Prescriptions -- If you are currently taking medications of any kind, bring the bottles or containers with you so that we can identify them; take any blood-pressure, heart or lung with a sip of water early in the morning before leaving home
  • Clothing -- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that you can put on with ease after surgery; don't forget slip-on shoes for your feet
  • Jewelry or Other Valuables -- Christian Hospital cannot accept responsibility for items lost or damaged during your visit; therefore, we encourage you to leave valuables at home
  • Checkbook, Credit Cards, Large Amounts of Cash -- If you need these items to pay your bill, please leave them with a relative or friend
  • A.M. Tests -- If a urine test is on your preadmission testing agenda, do not forget to bring an early morning specimen with you
  • Transportation -- For your safety, a ride home must be pre-arranged
  • Insurance Information -- Be ready to present your insurance ID card or any forms required by your carrier

You can call the Surgery Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon, 314.653.5369.