Your Guide to Surgery

Don't Forget....

To Bring: 
  • License
  • Insurance Card
  • Copy of Health Care Proxy or Advance Directive
  • Legal Guardianship Paperwork, if applicable
  • List of Medications with Dose and Frequency
  • List of Allergies
  • Wear Comfy Clothes
  • Glasses (No Contacts) 
Leave at Home: 
  • Jewelry (including wedding bands)
  • Credit Cards
  • Large Amounts of Cash
  • Anything You Believe to be Valuable 

We believe that you, as a patient, are an important part of your own health care. 

We’re here to help you in that role. To prepare you better for your surgery, please click through the links below for detailed information about what to expect. 

If your child is having surgery at Anna Jaques, please explore our Children section.

Key Phone Numbers and Links

Important Phone Numbers:
  • HOSPITAL MAIN LINE: (978) 463-1000
  • PRE-ADMISSION TESTING: (978) 463-1107

Quick Links:


Your surgery has been scheduled at our facility, Anna Jaques Hospital.  You will be contacted with your pre-admission testing date/time.  The surgeon will indicate if you are required to have a phone or in-person interview for the pre-admission testing. 

Please pre-register by calling our Access Department at (978) 834-8210.  Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00-5:00pm. 

When you have a pre-surgical appointment scheduled, one of the registered nurses will call you at the scheduled time.  Further evaluations or tests may be required based on the answers you give.  Our office hours are MONDAY – FRIDAY 7:00-4:30PM

  • This phone call will help us prepare for your anesthesia and surgery.  It’s important that the questions asked you answer to the best of your knowledge.

  • It is very important that we have an accurate phone number to reach you. If you are rarely at home, a cell phone number is acceptable. 

Please call to register at least two days prior to your scheduled surgery.

Pre-Admission Testing

This visit is a pre-screening process that will help us take care of you more efficiently and safely. This process usually takes 1 to 2 hours.

Important things to bring with you on that day would include:

  1. Valid Photo ID or Passport
  2. A list if all your medication with doses and frequency
  3. A list of allergies and the reactions
  4. Advanced Directive and/or Health Care Proxy and/or guardianship paperwork
  5. If the patient is a minor (under the age of 18) or a person who is unable to care for themselves, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the patient.
  6. Current insurance card(s)
  • The purpose of these interviews is to allow us to become familiar with you and your medical/surgical history.  We will verify medications you currently take, and schedule any tests you need based upon your history and health.

  • Diabetic patients will receive special instructions for management of blood sugar and medications.  Please click HERE to view these instructions. <CARB DRINK/DIABETIC PROTOCOL HYPERLINK HERE>

    We will inform you of the time until which you may drink clear liquids (i.e., water, black coffee or tea).  You will receive a list of acceptable clear liquids for reference.  Click HERE for a printable list of clear liquids.  If the registered nurse or surgeon tells you to take your medications, you may do so with a small sip of water.

The Night Before Surgery

On the evening prior to surgery, please eat a light meal and avoid alcohol consumption.   A nurse may instruct you to bathe with Hibiclense soap the evening before and morning of surgery. This helps to decrease the bacteria that lives on your skin.   Click HERE for instructions on how to use this pre-surgical cleanser.

Please make arrangements for someone to pick you up after your procedure and drive you home. Due to the effects of anesthesia and the pain medications you will receive, it will inhibit your ability to drive a car safely.

Day of Surgery

When you arrive at AJH, there is complimentary valet parking available during the hours of 8:00-4:00pm.  If we ask you to arrive before this time, feel free to park in the main parking lot.  Proceed up the covered walkway to the interior atrium.  Pre-admission testing and Surgical Services is located immediately to your left.

  • For us to take better care of you, it is important that you do not wear makeup, deodorant, perfume, or skin lotions.  We also ask that you remove nail polish.  These items can mask underlying health problems.

  • For your safety during surgery, all jewelry must be removed (including wedding bands). Please do not wear jewelry to the hospital; leave it at home. Any type of body piercing/jewelry, must be removed.  Plastic “Spacers” can be found at any Body Piercing Parlors for those whom want to maintain the patency of their body piercing. In most cases, contact lenses must be removed (even “extended wear”).   Please bring your lens case and any necessary solutions with you. 

  • We are concerned about privacy for all surgical day care patients.  We request that you limit yourself to one support person (family, friend), should you feel the need to have someone with you preoperatively.  If you have children, please make the necessary arrangements for them to be cared for while you are in the hospital.

  • It is important that we have your family members contact information so that we may get in touch with them regarding your care.

  • You may not leave the hospital unless an adult accompanies you. We will contact the person who will be driving you home when you are ready for discharge.

  •  If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please bring them to the attention of the nursing staff, anesthesiologist and/or surgeon.

    If you are of child bearing age, a pregnancy test is administered as part of your pre-operative assessment.

    Your safety is important to us.
  • You will be asked the same questions several times by different people. This is our way of verifying very important information. Please understand that this is our way to ensure the highest quality of safety for our patients.
  • Some information that is verified several times includes: allergies, operative site (part of body being operated on), name and date of birth.
  • A locker will be provided for your belongings, but please leave money, jewelry, and other valuables at home. Anna Jaques cannot be responsible for lost/stolen items. 
  • You may wish to bring a book to read or IPAD to use if for some reason there is a delay in the scheduled time of surgery.  For children having procedures at Anna Jaques, portable DVD players are available for use.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to put on and remove. Elastic waist pants and sweat suits are examples of appropriate clothing.

If surgery involves hand/arm or leg/foot, please wear clothing loose enough to fit over a large dressing.

A top that zips or buttons up the front may be easier to put on after your procedure.

  • After checking in at the Surgical desk, you will be asked to wait in the surgical waiting area. If you have brought a support person with you, they may accompany you.

  • A nurse will come out to bring you in and start your preparation. The nurse will conduct an assessment, start your IV, and prepare any necessary medications.

  • Our surgical team will introduce themselves to you in the pre-operative area.

    Each patient is an individual with individual needs.

    Please be aware that surgery time is approximate and subject to change based upon numerous variables. If the procedure before yours is cancelled or runs late for any reason, there could be a time change.  If there is a change in the schedule, last minute cancellation, or an unexpected delay, you will be notified as soon as possible. It is important to keep your phone nearby until you arrive at the hospital in case we need to get in touch with you.

In the Recovery Room

  • During your recovery period, you will be receiving fluids through your IV, until you can take fluids by mouth. The nursing staff will be monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, along with making you as comfortable as possible.
  • The type of procedure, the method of anesthesia, and your own body’s response determines the length of time you will need to stay in recovery.
  • When you are fully awake and your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing have returned to normal, the nursing staff will start to prepare you for discharge, or admission to the hospital, if applicable.
  • If you are being discharged to home, you will be taken to the Surgical Day Care unit (SDC) to prepare for this.
  • If you are being admitted to the hospital, the recovery room nurse will meet with the unit nurse to discuss your surgery, progress and doctor’s orders. You will then be transferred to your room.
  • The nursing staff in the recovery room will be evaluating your post-operative pain level throughout your time spent in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. Some pain is to be expected because of the invasiveness of your procedure, however, we strive to make you as comfortable as possible.

  • To accurately interpret your pain level, we use a numerical scale of zero to ten, with zero (0) meaning no pain and ten (10) meaning the worst pain you have ever experienced. Your pain management is very important to us, so please do not hesitate to let your nurse know if we are not managing your pain effectively.

Going Home

Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home. Once at home, you may still be drowsy and may still have discomfort.  We recommend you to have a support person to stay with you for your first 24 hours after discharge.

You will receive discharge instructions depicting your diet, activity level, and pain medication administration schedule (as well as potential side effects).  It is very important that you follow your discharge instructions in order to have a quick and smooth recovery.

If you have any questions related to your discharge instructions, they can be clarified by calling your surgeon’s office.

  • You will be given written post-op instructions.

  • During the first few days after surgery, these instructions will help you take care of yourself as well as help your family take care of you.

  • Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor.

  • You should not drink alcohol, drive or make important decisions for 24 hours.

It is recommended that you have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.

Children's Surgery Guide

Get ready for your stay at AJH!

Learn More Children's Surgery Guide