Preparing for surgery

As you prepare for surgery at a UCHealth facility, you’ll want to consider your options, complete the necessary pre-procedure documents and evaluations, and carefully follow all instructions to ensure your safety and the success of the procedure.

Some of our facilities offer pediatric surgery tours, so be sure to ask about this service if you’re helping your child prepare for surgery.

Your surgery options

Depending on your diagnosis, you may have several surgery choices at UCHealth, including:

  • Elective (optional). A procedure you choose which may or may not be essential to continued good quality of life. An example would be removing an unsightly wart or mole.
  • Required. A procedure which needs to be done, although not always immediately, to ensure quality of life in the future. An example of a required procedure would be removing kidney stones when medication or other forms of treatment aren’t working.
  • Emergency (urgent). These procedures are performed in response to an urgent medical condition. For example, acute appendicitis requires immediate treatment.

Four phases of surgical care

When facing surgery, you should expect to go through four phases:

  1. Diagnosis. Follows medical tests and evaluations that reveal a condition best treated surgically.
  2. Preoperative management. Begins when surgery is selected and extends to the point when you enter the operating room.
  3. Intraoperative management. Begins when you enter the operating room and ends when you go to the recovery room.
  4. Postoperative management. Begins when you enter the recovery room and extends through follow-up clinical evaluation.

Your pre-procedure appointment

If you’re scheduled for surgery—especially a procedure that requires anesthesia—you’ll need to complete a pre-procedure evaluation to make sure you’re in the best physical condition to undergo the operation. Everything is designed to minimize risk and avoid possible delays or cancellation. During your pre-procedure appointment, your health care provider will:

  • Take your medical history.
  • Perform a physical examination and, if appropriate, an EKG, as well as take samples for basic blood work.
  • Review any tests ordered by your doctor.
  • Discuss what medications you should or should not take before surgery.
  • Order any additional test(s) that can help make sure it’s safe to proceed with surgery.

The surgical specialty and the particular facility where your procedure will be performed may have additional instructions, so be sure to ask if there’s anything else you need to know.

What to bring

To help us complete your pre-procedure evaluation, please bring these items with you to your appointment:

  • Completed pre-surgery screening form, if applicable.
  • Insurance card and co-pay amount, if any. UCHealth accepts most major health insurance plans.
  • Name and contact information for your primary care doctors and any other specialists you see regularly.
  • Medical records related to any of your previous major medical evaluations.
  • A copy of living wills or advance directives
  • Any checklists or other documents from your doctor/doctor’s office.
  • An up-to-date list of your medications—or all original medication containers—and supplements, including:
    • Medication name and dose in milligrams.
    • Number of pills you take at one time and how often you take them each day.
    • Any vitamins, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and herbal supplements, with doses and how often you take them.

In northern Colorado: UCHealth Pre-procedural Impact Clinic

Minimizing patient risk and promoting successful surgical outcomes.

At Medical Center of the Rockies, Poudre Valley Hospital, and Greeley Hospital

Your surgeon might refer you to the Impact Clinic for an in-depth preoperative consult. At this appointment, a nurse practitioner (NP) will gather important information about you and create a plan of care to optimize your health. This is to ensure you are in the best possible condition prior to your surgery, in coordination with your primary care provider (PCP), surgeon, and other specialists who might play a role in your care.

What to bring. If you have an appointment scheduled at the Impact Clinic, here’s what to bring:

  • A current list of your medications with doses, including over the counter medications, supplements, and herbals. If you prefer, you can bring your medications in the original containers.
  • The name and contact information for your PCP and any other specialty providers you see regularly.
  • Any relevant Diagnostic Study reports, such as:
    • an EKG.
    • stress test.
    • echocardiograms.
    • carotid ultrasound.
    • cardiac catheterization.
    • pulmonary function test.
    • recent laboratory results.
    • pacemaker reports.
    • discharge reports for a recent hospitalization, or any other medical records you feel would be important to your care.

After your evaluation. When your evaluation is completed, your Impact Clinic nurse practitioner will share a comprehensive overview of your health status with your surgeon and primary care provider.

Have questions or concerns? Call the Impact Clinic at 970.624.1555.