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Surgical Services

Surgical ServicesValley General Hospital’s highly trained professional surgical teams are comprised of surgeon specialists, anesthesiologists, registered first nurse assistants, and PA first assistants, registered nurses, and surgical technologists. They provide our patients with high quality care in this ambulatory and inpatient setting.

Click on the following links to view some frequently asked questions for before, day of and after surgery, as well as types of anesthesia, our outpatient and pain management services and resources to help find a surgeon.

Click here to view the information in our Planning for Your Surgery brochure. To speak with our Pre-procedure Coordinator, please call 360-794-1491.

Before Surgery

Will I come to the hospital for an appointment before me surgery?
You will be given a phone number by your surgeon to schedule a pre-operative visit. This visit helps the hospital fully prepare you and the hospital before your surgery. You may be asked to have lab work done, an EKG or other diagnostic tests before your surgery at the hospital.

Can I eat and drink before surgery?
Do not eat any food or drink any fluids after midnight the night before surgery unless otherwise directed by the pre-procedure nurse or your physician.

Can I smoke up to the day before my surgery?
If you smoke, if possible, do not smoke for multiple days before surgery. If informational resources are needed to help you accomplish this, Valley General Hospital can provide you with such help. For further resources, view American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.

How will I get home after my surgery?
Be sure to arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home after the surgery. Patients are not allowed to drive themselves or walk home. Patients may take a taxicab or bus if they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

Why will my nurse ask my name and DOB every time s/he administers medication or does a treatment?
Throughout your hospital stay in order to keep our patients safe, and in addition, to abide by patient safety regulations, patients will be asked by a nurse their full name and date of birth before medications will be administered.

Day of Surgery

What do I wear while I am at the hospital?
Wear loose and comfortable clothing to the hospital the day of surgery. Valley General will provide you with a gown, but patients are more than welcome to bring a robe from home to wear as well.

Can I bring personal items if I am being admitted as an inpatient?
Inpatients may bring any personal hygiene products that they might need after their surgery.

What do I need to bring the day of my surgery?
Patients should bring their insurance card as well as a photo identification card. Do not bring wallets, purses or jewelry of any kind to the hospital.

Will I talk to someone about my surgery before it begins?
Right before surgery, our patients receive individualized information from their pre-operative nurse, anesthesiologist and/or their surgeon. Depending on the type of surgery you are having, your surgeon or nurse may write on your skin at the area of your surgery to confirm that it is the correct site.

Can my family come and see me at the hospital before and after my surgery?
Family will be included as much as possible. To abide by HIPAA regulations patients are asked to sign a release of information form for family members to receive status updates. This is to protect a patient’s right to privacy. Patients are also asked by their surgeon to sign an informed consent for surgery.

Also, family members may be asked to stay in the OR waiting room while the nurse is preparing you for surgery (unless you are a minor). When you are prepared for surgery, a member may then wait with you.

After Surgery

How long after surgery does it take for the anesthesia to go away?
Post-operative recovery from anesthesia is usually 60 – 90 minutes depending on the patient’s health before surgery as well as the type of surgery and anesthetic that was performed. Once a patient’s vital signs are stable and they are awake and alert enough, they are moved to the next level of care.

Will I speak with my surgeon after my surgery?
Patients usually see their surgeons in the recovery area immediately after surgery. Some patients will not remember this because of anesthesia. Your surgeon will speak with family or friends if you have designated whom we can share information with. Patients are given a date to see their physician for follow-up care, or asked to schedule a visit within a given number of days. Upon discharge, patients also receive individualized instructions for their recovery by their nurse. This will include instructions on when to see their doctor. If home health is required, Valley General Social Services will assist with arrangements. If you are an inpatient, your surgeon will see you before you are discharged.

Inpatient Care

The Medical/Surgical Department at Valley General Hospital has 23 private rooms, each having a view of a landscaped courtyard or the hospital grounds. Acute inpatient care is provided by your surgeon, nursing staff and a team of internal medicine physicians in consultation with the patient’s primary care physician.

A multidisciplinary team meets throughout the week to address the patient’s needs to coordinate care from a team approach. The team may consist of nursing, social services, dietary, respiratory, rehabilitation, pharmacy and chaplain services.

Types of Anesthesia

General – Complete absence of sensation and consciousness induced by drugs given intravenously (in a vein) or inhaled.

Local – This type of anesthesia is specific to one area of the body. For example: finger surgery or removal of a small screw/pin.

Regional – This type of anesthesia is used when a block effect is desired. For example: an epidural, or an entire arm or foot. Spinal anesthesia may be used to numb you from the chest down.

Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) – This type of care is when an anesthesiologist provides sedation as needed and monitors the patient’s vital signs throughout a procedure.

Before surgery the anesthesiologist will discuss the effects of anesthesia with the patient.

Outpatient

Valley General Hospital offers outpatient surgical services. Outpatient services require a patient to be admitted to the hospital for less than 24 hours. Valley General’s ACU (Ambulatory Care Unit) is open from 6 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Types of outpatient procedures include:

  • Arthroscopy (knee & shoulder)
  • Biopsies
  • Blood transfusions
  • IV therapy and injections
  • Colonscopy (colon)
  • CT scan/myelogram
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Ear tubes
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Gastroscopy/colonoscopy
  • Hernia repair
  • Laparoscopy (abdomen)
  • Outpatient antibiotic infusion
  • Sinusoscopy (nose)
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Vein ligation
  • Discography
  • Lithotripsy (ultrasound)
  • Phlebotomy (veins)
  • Indwelling venous catheter care