Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps I go through to actually get into the OR?
Prior to entering the operating room you are taken to “Same Day Surgery.” In Same Day Surgery you will meet with the anesthesiologists who will be responsible for managing your anesthesia during surgery. You will also meet the Circulating Nurse in Same Day Surgery. The Circulating Nurse, is the nurse running the operating room you will be going into. You will also meet one or more members of Dr. Heddings team and usually Dr. Heddings. In Same Day Surgery any further paperwork that needs to be completed is done, any further labs that need to be checked are performed, and your surgical site is marked by Dr. Heddings or Erin his Nurse Practitioner.
From Same Day Surgery you will go to the actual operating room itself where the surgery is performed.
Once your surgery is complete you are taken to PACU. PACU stands for Post Anesthesia Care Unit. It is here that you initially recover from surgery. Your length of stay in PACU may be less than an hour to several depending on several factors including intensity of surgery, bed availability in the hospital if you need to be admitted, etc. From PACU you can be discharged home, or you may be admitted to the hospital.
One exception to this rule is for patients that are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Patients in the ICU are taken directly from their ICU room to the OR, and they return directly to their room after the OR.
How do I find out what time I need to arrive for surgery?
If you are an outpatient, I typically give you an estimated arrival time the same day I schedule your surgery. This estimated arrival time could change based upon other cases that may come in the day or night before. For this reason my office calls you the day before to confirm your arrival time. If you have questions regarding your arrival time you can contact my nurse, Tonya via telephone at (913) 945-6909.
If you are an inpatient in the Hospital you can ask your Nurse what time your surgery is scheduled for. The official schedule for the Operating Room is posted around 3:00 P.M. the day prior to surgery, and it is after this time that your nurse will be able to give you your best estimate regarding the time of your surgery.
Of note, if a surgery cancels, Dr. Heddings will typically attempt to move one of his inpatients up into the canceled spot. This lessens the time that all of Dr. Heddings patients have to wait without eating.
Where do I check-in for surgery?
If you are not admitted to the hospital you check-in for surgery at the “Admissions Office.” The Admissions Office is located on the ground floor just after the Information Desk. You simply enter the main hospital through the sliding doors, walk past the Information desk, and shortly after, on the left you will see an area labeled “Admissions.” Walk into Admissions and go to the Admissions desk, inform them that you are having surgery with Dr. Heddings.
If you are an inpatient and are hence staying in the hospital the day before surgery, you simply wait in your room until you are taken down to the OR for your surgery.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Unless told otherwise, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. There is one exception to this rule. It is ok to take your pain medications with sips of water after midnight prior to surgery. If you are on other medications ask Dr. Heddings, or one of his staff if any of these should be taken prior to surgery.
Will I have any memories of, or pain during the actual surgery?
No, most likely you will not remember anything after waiting in the pre-op room. We have highly trained anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists who will ensure that you are properly sedated during your procedure, for this reason, it is very important that you communicate honestly with your anesthesia provider and answer all their questions.
Why do I have to wait so long for my surgery to start?
As noted in the first question, each surgery time varies, and if your surgery is following another you may find you have to wait longer than you anticipated. Dr. Heddings always takes the necessary time with each patient, and your understanding of this and your patience is greatly appreciated.
How long will it be before I can shower after surgery?
You will receive detailed bathing instructions based on the type of injury and the type of dressing you have after your surgery. It is very important to keep your dressings clean and dry; this is imperative to the healing process. It is also important to your health and healing that you maintain appropriate hygiene, therefore it is always recommended that you bathe regularly.
Will my arm/leg require a cast after surgery?
This depends on your injury and the type of surgery you have. Most likely you will not be in a full cast, however you may have a splint that helps keep the effected limb stabilized until the fracture has healed. There will be a dressing over the limb whether you have a splint or not, and it will include an ace bandage. Also, some patients require an orthopedic device that helps to stabilize the injury but can be removed, and may or may not allow you to move the limb, i.e.: a brace, boot, or sling.
How long will surgery last?
There is no standard answer to this question; in fact, everyone’s surgery time will vary. We will do our best to give you a time estimate on the day of your surgery. Your family should also know that you may take up to an hour or more recovering after the surgery is finished, and they will not be able to see you until after you leave the recovery room.