To ensure that you receive the best care at Bryn Mawr Hospital we
encourage you to take an active role in your surgical procedure through
the Speak Up Program. The goal of the Speak Up Program is to help you,
the patient, become more informed and involved in your healthcare.
Preparing for Surgery
Ask your doctor:
Are there any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications or
herbal remedies that I should NOT take before my surgery?
Can I eat or drink before my surgery?
Should I trim my nails and remove nail polish or artificial
If you have any other questions, write them down and address them with
Ask someone you trust to:
Take you to and from the surgery facility.
Be with you at the hospital or surgery facility.
Assist with your care and help provide support.
Before you leave home:
Shower and wash your hair. Do not wear makeup, perfume, powder
or body lotion.
Remove jewelry and piercings and leave them at home. Do not
bring valuables or money to the surgery facility.
Wear comfortable clothing.
At the Surgery Facility
The staff will review your Informed Consent form. Read it carefully. It
Your agreement to have the surgery
The kind of surgery you will have
The risks of your surgery
That you talked to your doctor about the surgery and asked
Make sure that everything on this form is correct. Make sure all of your
questions have been answered. If you do not understand something on the
form, speak up.
For your safety the staff may ask you the same question many
times, for example:
Who are you?
What kind of surgery are you having?
What part of your body is being operated on?
They will also double-check the records from your doctor’s office.
Before Your Surgery
When appropriate, the operable site on your body will be marked
by your physician. Not all surgeries are marked. Make sure they
mark only the correct part and nowhere else. This helps to avoid
mistakes. Collaborate with your surgeon concerning the correct
marking of the surgical site.
Marking usually happens when you are awake. Sometimes you cannot
be awake for the marking. Whenever appropriate and possible, a
family member or companion is encouraged to be involved in the
Your neck, upper back or lower back will be marked if you are
having spine surgery. The surgeon will confirm the exact place
on your spine by X-ray.
The staff in the operating room or surgical team (surgeon,
anesthesiologist, RN, surgical technician) will conduct a “time-out” to
confirm the correct surgery, correct body part and correct side.
The staff in the operating room work as a team to provide the safest
possible patient care. They are your advocates while you are having
After Your Surgery
Tell your nurse or doctor about any pain or discomfort you are
experiencing. Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a
scale of 1 to 10 so that it can be treated appropriately. It is
important to us to help relieve your pain (or help you reach a
state of comfort).
Ask questions about medicines that are given to you, especially
new ones. What are they? What are they used for? Are there any
side effects? Tell your caregivers about any allergies you have.
If you have more questions about a medicine, talk to your doctor
or nurse before taking it.
Find out about any intravenous (IV) fluids that you are given.
These are liquids that drip from a plastic bag into your vein.
If you experience any discomfort at the IV site, notify your
Ask your doctor when you can resume activities like work,
exercise and travel.
Discharge instructions will be discussed with you prior to
leaving the hospital.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.