Lakeland Health Care

Preparation for Surgery

Patient and Visitor Info | Visiting Hours | Patient Financial Services | Outpatient Surgery Guide | Pharmacy Services

Before Surgery |  A Week or Before Surgery | During and Following Surgery | Who to Call | Billing Information

Thank you for choosing Lakeland for your surgery. Our physicians, nurses and staff are dedicated to excellent medicine and compassionate care for you and your family. We understand that many patients and their families are apprehensive about surgery. We hope the information in this brochure will be helpful to you as you prepare for your surgery, the day of your surgery, and during your recovery.

At Lakeland HealthCare, it is our mission to provide high-quality, high-value compassionate healthcare services. As a part of this mission, we work to continuously improve the quality of the service we provide. We benchmark our care against national standards to assess how we are performing, to make sure we are providing our patients with the best possible healthcare services.

Lakeland HealthCare is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, a non-profit organization that accredits health care programs and organizations.

As a healthcare leader, we are proud to offer leading edge technologies. This means that you do not have to travel to seek high-quality care and cutting-edge technology. Lakeland currently offers the newest imaging technologies, including PET/CT scanning, 64 slice CT scanning, and advanced MRI in a totally digital environment, including breast MRI.

Lakeland HealthCare has more than 4,000 employees who provide clinical and supportive services at several locations throughout southwest Michigan. We work with over 400 primary and specialty care physicians to provide high-quality healthcare services close to home.

Preparing for Your Surgery
We want to make your surgery experience as comfortable. If you have any questions about your specifific surgery, be sure to talk with your physician. We’ll do everything we can to address any concerns you may have about your surgical care. Don’t hesitate to call us.

  • If you will be having surgery at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph call our Pre-Admission Testing Department at 269-983-8280 or 1-800-469-2029 , between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • If you are having surgery at the Lakeland Community Hospital, Niles, call the Surgery Department at 269-687-1474 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • If you are having surgery at the Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services, call the Surgery Department between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at: 269-556-2814

You may be having:

  • Short-stay surgery, which means you will be staying as a patient in the hospital overnight.
  • Outpatient surgery or an endoscopy procedure, which means you will stay at the hospital or outpatient center for a few hours following your surgery, but will go home the same day.
  • Inpatient surgery, which means you will stay as a patient at the hospital for a few days following surgery.

To help you, we’ve prepared a list of important information about your surgery. As you scan the list, jot down any questions you have for your caregivers.

Register: Please call the Pre-Registration department to register for your surgery at least 24 hours prior to your surgery by calling 269-983-3910 or 269-687-1812.

Preoperative tests: Any tests your physician has ordered for you (blood work, EKG or X-rays) MUST be completed at least five days before your surgery, and no more than 30 days before surgery. Otherwise, your surgery may be delayed or canceled. Preoperative lab and X-ray tests may be done at the following Lakeland locations:

  • Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services, 3900 Hollywood Road, St. Joseph, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday
  • Lakeland Hospital, Niles, 31 N. St. Joseph Avenue, Niles, 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Before having surgery, you’ll need to register with the admissions office at the hospital or outpatient center where your surgery will be performed. If you choose to have your preoperative tests done at a Lakeland site, they will automatically register you with admissions. If you choose a non-Lakeland lab or do not require tests, be sure to register with admissions any day prior to the surgery.

When you register, please bring a photo identification, your insurance card(s), policy numbers and mailing address of your insurance company.

Children under 18 years of age or incapacitated adults must be accompanied to testing and registration by a parent or legal guardian. Legal guardians must bring with them the legal documents showing guardianship rights.

Illness: If you develop a cold, fever or other illness of any kind before your surgery, call your surgeon. He or she may want to reschedule your surgery for a time when you are feeling better.

Food: The evening before your surgery you should eat a light dinner consisting of foods that are easily digested. Avoid fried foods; bread or rolls with nut or seeds; rich or highly seasoned sauces; raw fruits or vegetables; and desserts made with nuts, coconut or uncooked dried fruit.

You may eat and drink fluids until midnight on the day before your surgery. After midnight, do not eat food in any form. During the three hours before surgery, you may have no food or fluids. However, you may verify medications allowed to be taken with a sip (6 ounces maximum) of water.

If your infant or child younger than three years of age is having surgery, please limit their food and fluids as instructed below:

  • Six hours before surgery, you may give formula or milk other than breast milk.
  • Four hours before surgery, you may give breast milk
  • Two hours before surgery, you may give clear liquids. Do not give anything after this point.

Patients who have any of the following conditions should have no foods or fluid six hours before surgery:

  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • A history of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), acid indigestion, or hiatal hernia

If you make a mistake and eat or drink, please tell us. For your safety, your surgery may be rescheduled.

About medication: Discuss with your physician any medications you are taking and determine which medications you may safely take on the day before surgery. This includes prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, including aspirin.

General anesthesia: If your surgery requires an intravenous (IV) anesthetic, plan to have someone with you for 24 hours following surgery. Make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from the hospital. Someone must drive you home or accompany you home on public transportation.

Local anesthesia: If your surgery requires local anesthesia, ask your surgeon for instructions about eating and drinking on the day of surgery. If no instructions are given, do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. Verify with your surgeon which, if any, of your regular medications you may take the day of surgery. If you are having local anesthetic only, you may drive yourself home (if you are not restricted by the type of surgery done). If you have a local anesthetic with IV sedation, you may NOT drive yourself home. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and low-heeled shoes.

  • Do not wear makeup or nail polish.
  • Bathe or shower before coming to the hospital.
  • Brush your teeth. Do not swallow.
  • Bring a case or container for contact lenses or glasses.
  • Do not take any medications—prescription or nonprescription—on the day of your surgery without your physician’s specifi c permission. If you take heart or blood pressure medications, you will be instructed which medications to take with a sip of water on the morning of surgery.
  • Bring a list of all your medications, including vitamins, taken on a regular basis, both prescription and nonprescription. If you have any allergies to medications, foods, or environmental allergens (bandages, bee stings, smoke, etc.) bring a list of these as well.
  • Leave money, credit cards and all valuables—including jewelry and your wallet—at home.
  • For children who will be having surgery, please bring a stuffed animal, doll, blanket or pacifier if needed. Please plan to arrive at your scheduled time. Time has been allotted for you to complete the admitting process, as well as any preoperative preparations. If you are going to be late, or unable to complete your scheduled appointment, please call us as soon as possible:
    • If you are having surgery at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, please call 269-983-8131.
    • If you are having an endoscopy procedure at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, please call 269-556-2814.
    • If you are having surgery at Lakeland Hospital, Niles, please call 269-687-1432.
    • If you are having an endoscopy procedure at Lakeland Hospital, Niles, please call 269-687-1452.
    • If you are having surgery at the Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services, please call 269-556-2814.
  • If your surgery is at Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, park in the Napier Avenue visitors’ parking lot and enter the hospital through the main entrance doors. Go directly to admitting, even if you have preregistered. After check-in, a member of our admitting staff will direct you to the surgery department.

    If your surgery is at Lakeland Hospital, Niles, park in the river parking lot and enter through the riverside entrance. Go directly to the information desk, even if you have preregistered. After check-in, you will be directed to the surgery department.

    For those accompanying minors: if you are not the natural parent, you must bring with you on the day of surgery your must bring with you on the day of surgery your legal documents showing your guardianship rights. Only the natural parent or legal guardian may sign the surgical consent forms for minors or incapacitated adults. Surgery cannot be conducted without proper consent. If you have any questions, please call the surgery department.

    • For Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., call: 269-983-8131
    • For Lakeland Hospital, Niles, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., call: 269-687-1474 or 269-687-1432
    • For the Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., call: 269-556-2814

    Once you have checked in and it is time for you to prepare for surgery, a surgery staff member will help you change into a hospital gown. A nurse will talk with you. Your surgery preparation may include various preoperative procedures, instructions and questions regarding your medical history. Some of the questions may be repeated by different staff members. For your safety, these questions are repeated for verification of the information. We want to provide you with the best, safest care possible.

    Your blood pressure, pulse, temperature and breathing rate will be taken and any necessary blood testing will be done.

    You may have visitors before surgery. When it is time for your surgery, your visitors may wait for you in the waiting room.

    When you are taken to the operating room, a nurse will greet you and check your hospital identification bracelet. You will be asked again about allergies and the type of surgery you are scheduled to have.

    All the staff members in the operating room wear special clothing, caps and masks. The operating room has bright lights and is quite cool. The special equipment, supplies and instruments have already been prepared by surgery staff members. The staff will explain what will happen to you during surgery.

    During surgery, your vital signs will be watched closely. Patches containing leads for monitoring your heart will be placed on your chest. A small clip (pulse oximeter) is placed on your finger to monitor your pulse and the amount of oxygen in your blood.

    Your surgery may take more or less time than your physician estimated. If your surgery takes longer, it does not mean that anything is wrong. Your family will be told how you are doing. Once your surgery is over, the physician or an assistant will come to the waiting area to talk with your family.

    After your surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will stay for about an hour.

    A nurse will closely monitor you as you wake up from the anesthesia, checking your vital signs frequently.

    If you have pain, ask your nurse to give you pain medication.

    Your family is not allowed to visit you in the recovery area. Once you are awake and your vital signs are normal, you will be taken to outpatient recovery or to your hospital room. Your family will be able to visit you there.

    If you have had outpatient surgery or an endoscopy procedure, you will be discharged from outpatient recovery as soon as your physician believes that you are ready and are not experiencing any complications from the surgery or anesthesia.

    Please remember that the effects of the anesthesia medications go away very slowly. Do not plan on doing anything important the day of or day after your surgery. You will feel drowsy for hours after your surgery. For these reasons, you MUST NOT drive a car, work with machinery, or sign any important papers for at least 24 hours.

    It is important that you follow the written instructions given to you when you are discharged.

    If you have questions specific to your health or surgery, please call your physician.

    If you have questions about surgery-day procedures, questions about schedules and admissions or other concerns, please feel free to contact a member of the Lakeland surgery team at the location where your surgery is scheduled.

    Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services
    Ambulatory Surgery, 269-556-2804

    Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph
    Perioperative Services and Endoscopy, 269-983-8655
    Perioperative Services, 269-983-8571
    Operating Room, 269-983-8198

    Lakeland Hospital, Niles
    Perioperative Services and Endoscopy, 269-687-1636 ext. 1636
    or 269-687-1402

    Lakeland is here to meet your healthcare needs and assist you in making payment arrangements for our services. Please read this information carefully and feel free to ask any questions.

    Lakeland provides emergency care regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

    For all non-emergency and elective treatments, tests and procedures, payment arrangements need to be made before or at the time of service.

    Medicare: If you are a Medicare patient, we ask that you pay the Medicare deductible at the time of service only if you have not yet met the deductible and have no Medicare supplemental insurance. As a courtesy to you, Lakeland will bill Medicare and any supplemental insurance.

    Insurance Claims: Insurance coverage often has limitations and does not pay in full. We ask you to pay a deposit toward balances such as deductibles, co-pays or other insurance benefit limitations. As a courtesy to you, Lakeland will bill your insurance company for the services you receive.

    It is important that you contact your insurance company to discuss with them any pre-certification requirements they have regarding your procedure.

    Payment is expected from your insurance company within 30 days. If payment is not received within this time frame or your insurance company denies the claim, Lakeland bills you directly. Lakeland also bills for any remaining balance after the insurance payment is applied to the account.

    If you don’t have medical insurance: We request payment at the time of service or that you make payment arrangements with us prior to your surgery. If you are unable to pay for non-emergent services and do not have insurance, the service or treatment may be deferred until acceptable payment arrangements can be made. If you have any questions about your account balance, please call our patient accounts customer service department between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-800-420-1472.

    Bills for other professional services: You may also receive separate bills from one or more physician’s offices. These bills may cover such physician services as anesthesia, pathology and/or professional interpretation of tests and X-rays. Your physician’s office can answer any questions you have about their bills.

    Payment Options:
    For your convenience, we accept:

    • Cash, personal check, traveler’s check or money order
    • Visa, MasterCard or Discover
    • Monthly payment options such as:
      • Bank loan program: An attractive way to pay large medical expenses over an extended period of time at an affordable, fixed-interest rate. Loans are available on balances of $500 or more.
      • Lakeland payment center: An additional option for payment of large balances over an extended period of time with an annual interest rate of 12 percent.
    • Click here to pay online.


    For more information, call the financial counselors at the location you will be having surgery.

    • Lakeland Hospital, Niles 269-687-1417
    • Lakeland Hospital, St. Joseph or Lakeland Center for Outpatient  or Outpatient
      • Patients whose last names begin with A-G, 269-983-8320
      • Patients whose last names begin with H-O, 269-985-4589
      • Patients whose last names begin with P-Z, 269-983-8241


    Patients & Visitors

    For Patients
    Maps & Directions
    For Visitors
    Phone Numbers

    Online Tools

    For Visitors
    For Physicians
    For Associates
    Find Education
    Laboratory Test Catalog
    Community Health
    Needs Assessment
    Pay Your Bill Online
    Refer a Patient
    View the Nursery

    Quality & Safety

    Awards & Recognition
    It's Okay to Ask
    Quality Care
    Connect with us on:
                      Bookmark and Share






        Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph  
        Lakeland Hospital, Niles  
        Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet  
        Center for Outpatient Services, St. Joseph  

    Your generosity can make a difference in the lives of others.
    Donate now.

    © 2014   Lakeland HealthCare   1234 Napier Avenue   St. Joseph, Michigan 49085   1-800-968-0115
    Contact Us   |   Notice of Patient Privacy Practices   |   Sitemap