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After Surgery


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 informed about how you are doing. Your family can ask the receptionist to call for updates on your progress. Once your surgery is over, the physician will come to the waiting area to talk to your family.

Following surgery you will be taken to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) where you will remain for one to two hours. The PACU nurse will closely monitor you as you wake up from the anesthesia and pain control will be established.

Please remember that the effects of the anesthesia medications go away very slowly. You may 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 following surgery. You must have a responsible adult with you for 24 hours.

It is important that you follow the instructions regarding how to care for yourself when you are discharged. You will be given written instructions which your nurse will review with you. Please feel free to ask questions at this time.

Preventing Surgical Site Infections

Good handwashing techniques and cleanliness have been proven to help prevent surgical site infections.

Wash your hands for 10-15 seconds:

  • Before and after changing your surgical site dressing
  • Before and after eating
  • After using the bathroom
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • After handling a pet
  • After preparing or handling uncooked foods
  • After changing a diaper

Do not use lotions, creams, or ointments on your incision unless instructed to do so by your surgeon.

Shower or bathe as instructed by your surgeon.

Wear clean clothing.

Use clean, fresh towels and do not share with others.

Sleep on clean, fresh sheets and bedding.

Please encourage family members who may be sick or have an infection to wait to visit you until they are recovered.

Patient Financial Services

Lakeland Health is a not-for-profit organization that provides emergency and acute care for patients regardless of their ability to pay. For all non-emergent and elective treatments, tests and procedures, we request that you make arrangements for payment before or at the time of service.

We strive to keep our charges as low as possible and seek to collect a sufficient amount of money to maintain stable medical services in the community. To that end, Lakeland Health has established reasonable guidelines for payment which are designed to be as fair as possible.

Please be aware that you might receive additional invoices for services from your surgeon, anesthesiologist and family doctor, among others for your surgical procedure at Lakeland Health.

Billing Policy

It is important that you contact your insurance company to determine and initiate any precertification requirements. We will file your insurance claim with your primary and secondary insurance companies or managed care organizations. We will also assist you by sending requested information to your insurer. However, the responsibility remains yours to ensure that Lakeland Hospitals are paid for services rendered to you. You are ultimately responsible for any unpaid balances.

If your insurance company or managed care organization does not remit payment within 30 days, we may request that you contact your insurer to determine why payment has not been made. If an error has been made in identifying your insurance carrier, please notify us immediately.

Payment Policy

Payment in full is required at the time of service for all uninsured patients and those with co-pays, coinsurance, or who have not met their annual deductible on elective admissions and non-emergency outpatient services. Balances not paid by insurance are your responsibility.

In meeting your financial obligations for the care provided at Lakeland Health, we ask that you work with us on any bills you are having difficulty paying. You will find our staff understanding and eager to help you.

Financial Counselors

Financial Counselors are available at each of Lakeland’s main campuses and can discuss payment resources to help you. Please call:

Center for Outpatient Services, St. Joseph and/or
Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph

(269) 983-8320 Last name beginning A to G
(269) 985-4589 Last name beginning H to O
(269) 983-8241 Last name beginning P to Z

Lakeland Hospital, Niles (269) 687-1417

Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet (269) 463-2250

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