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Preparing For Surgery at Luminis Health

Having surgery at Luminis Health? Let the healing begin.

We're here to help you prepare for surgery, whether it's a quick outpatient procedure or you'll be staying with us overnight. We'll support you the whole way, so you can get back to living the life you love.

Your doctor will give you instructions that are specific to the type of surgery you're having. But we've got answers to your general questions, from where to park to what to pack.

Where Does Surgery Happen?

At Luminis Health, we perform surgery at both of our two main hospitals, as well as at two outpatient surgery centers.

We perform both outpatient and inpatient surgery on this medical center campus. Make sure you know the name of the pavilion where your surgery will be.

Hospital Pavilion South parking is in Garage A. Hospital Pavilion North and Edwards Pavilion parking is in Garage C.

  • Address: 2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401
  • Edwards Surgical Pavilion: 443-481-5700
  • South Pavilion Surgical Waiting Room: 443-481-1800

Visit the hospital's location page.

We perform both outpatient and inpatient surgery on this medical center campus. Surgeries happen at the Outpatient and Surgical Services Pavilion.

  • Address: 8118 Good Luck Road, Lanham, MD 20706
  • Phone: 301-552-8118

Visit the hospital's location page.

This outpatient surgery center provides orthopedic procedures, including total joint replacement and spine care.

  • Address: 904 Commence Road, Annapolis, MD 21401


This outpatient surgery center offers orthopedic and gynecological procedures.

  • 8109 Ritchie Hwy, Pasadena, MD 21122


Surgery Terms

We're here to answer your questions honestly, ease your concerns and champion your good health. Part of being transparent is explaining the language we use.

Some of these terms are probably familiar, but you may not understand them completely. Browse to learn more and always ask your provider to explain unfamiliar terms.

Health care instructions that outline your specific choices regarding the use of life-sustaining equipment, pain medications, hydration and nutrition. If you're admitted to the hospital, we'll ask if you have an advance directive. Learn more about setting up advance directives

A document that outlines your surgical procedure. You must sign a consent form to give the surgeon and anesthesiologist permission to perform the procedure.

Short for electrocardiogram—a test that evaluates your heart's electrical signals to look for heart conditions.

Medication you receive through an intravenous line (IV) or anesthetic gas that ensures you won't feel, see or hear anything during your procedure.

Liquids that you receive during surgery. They go directly into your vein, delivering important nutrients that keep you hydrated.

Short for Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. This is where you'll stay as you wake up from anesthesia. When you're ready, we'll transfer you from the PACU to an outpatient or inpatient bed.

An appointment with a provider who will take a medical history and conduct a physical exam to make sure you're healthy enough for surgery. You may also have lab work or other tests, and consult with an anesthesiologist.

Also called regional anesthesia, this is medication that we inject safely into your spine. These medications create numbness below your chest so that you don't feel pain. With this type of anesthesia, your legs will continue to be numb and immobile for several hours after surgery.

Essential signs of life such as your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiratory rate. We measure these to make sure you're stable before, during and after surgery.

Your Surgical Care Team

A team of experienced and compassionate health care professionals will take care of you before, during and after surgery.

In addition to nurses and doctors, these are some of the most common members of the care team for patients who have surgery.

This is a nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) who may examine you, assist with the surgical procedure, monitor your recovery and provide care.

This is the doctor responsible for providing anesthesia during your procedure. They monitor your vital signs and make sure you stay asleep (or comfortable, if awake) during your surgery.

This is the advanced practice nurse specially trained to provide life support measures and to keep you comfortable during your operation.

An expert with special training in working with children and families in the hospital setting. They help children cope during procedures or hospital stays.

A pharmacist who makes sure the medications your doctor orders for you while you're in the hospital are safe. They watch for harmful interactions or dangerous side effects.

A person who can explain and offer suggestions to improve your diet and nutrition.

A doctor who specializes in taking care of people who are inpatients in a hospital.

An expert in helping people regain the skills they need for everyday living, like bathing, shaving and household activities.

The caregiver who assists you with morning care, taking showers and other care needs.

An expert in movement who helps evaluate your progress, provides hands-on care and prescribes exercise or other rehabilitation services.

A person with special training in homecare needs and issues surrounding leaving the hospital.

Your Surgery Checklists

Your care team will walk you through your surgical plan, including the preoperative assessment, preparation for your procedure and what to expect during recovery. We'll always make sure you have specific instructions regarding your procedure.

However, these general checklists may be helpful, especially for those who like to plan ahead.

  • Complete your paperwork. In addition to forms the hospital needs, remember to fill out any disability or family leave forms your employer needs.
  • Contact your insurance company. Make sure to learn about any pre-authorizations needed or co-pays you're responsible for.
  • Line up a caregiver. You usually need a responsible adult to drive you home after your procedure. Many procedures also require that you have specific help at home.
  • Schedule any testing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about any pre-admission testing you need, such as labs or imaging. 
  • Set up care for others. Secure childcare, pet care, plant care, or care for anyone or anything that needs tending to while you're in the hospital or recovering.

  • Your insurance card.
  • Your photo ID (such as a driver's license).
  • Proof of your Covid vaccination (such as an app or CDC card)
  • Your living will and power of attorney (if you have them).
  • A list of medications you're currently taking.
  • Any medical devices your doctor has directed you to bring (such as a CPAP machine or insulin pump).
  • Any lab results your doctor directed you to bring.
  • Eyeglass case and/or contact lens case and solution.
  • Hearing aids or dentures (they can't be worn during surgery).
  • Comfort items for spending the night (such as reading material, slippers, change of clothes to wear home)
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Cell phone or tablets (and chargers if necessary) to keep in touch with family members during your stay.
  • Do not bring any valuables.

These are general instructions. You should always follow the specific instructions your nurse gives you.

  • Don't smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol 24 hours before your procedure.
  • Don't eat after midnight prior to your surgery. This includes gum, mints and candy.
  • Don't drink anything after midnight except clear liquids. General guidelines allow for 20 ounces of clear liquids (only water, clear Gatorade, clear tea and apple juice) between midnight and 2 hours prior to leaving your house for the hospital.
  • Do not drink coffee the morning of the procedure.
  • Take your medications the morning of the procedure as your nurse has directed.

Financial assistance: See what financial help is available within Luminis Health.

Medical records. Learn how to request your medical records 

Advanced directives. Learn how to set up advance directives, such as living wills and Medical Power of Attorney. 

MyChart account. With MyChart, you can access test results, update health information, manage appointments and prescriptions, and pay your bill. 

Where to stay. If you need to travel to us for surgery, consider staying at Hackerman-Patz House. It offers affordable accommodations for you and your family, so you can rest, relax and regain strength while staying close to the hospital.

Know your rights. As a patient, you have certain rights. Read the list of patients' rights.

What to Expect on Surgery Day

You've got this. We'll be with you every step of the way.

  • Follow any instructions the nurse has given you about preparing that morning.
  • Remember to leave jewelry, cash and other valuables at home. Take out any piercings and avoid wearing makeup or lotion.
  • Grab your things and head to the hospital or surgery center. We'll be waiting for you.

  • Each surgery site has a slightly different registration process. But our registration specialists will help you through it. We'll make sure that you and your caregiver know where to wait.
  • When it's time, we'll take you to the preoperative area to get you prepped for surgery. The surgical nurse will start an IV, which carries fluids and medications.
  • Your anesthesiologist will also be there to review your health information and answer any questions. Depending on the type of procedure, you may have already discussed anesthesia with the anesthesiologist. Any final decisions happen now.
  • Once you're prepped for surgery, your caregiver is allowed to wait with you.

  • Your team will complete all safety checks, and move you to the operating room. The OR nurse will help position you safely on the operating table and give you a warm blanket.
  • Your care team will attach devices, such as a blood pressure cuff and EKG to monitor your vital signs. At this point, you'll be ready for anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist will monitor your vital functions, including heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing.
  • During your procedure, your nurse may provide updates to your family or caregivers through the patient advocate in the surgical services waiting area.

  • After surgery, we'll take you to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), where specially trained nurses watch you closely. You'll stay here as you wake up from anesthesia.
  • Different surgery centers may have different guidelines for PACU visitation. It can also vary according to the procedure. We'll make sure to give you a form with specific PACU visitation policy guidelines when you register.
  • How long you spend in the PACU depends on the type of surgery or procedure you had and the type of anesthesia you received. When you're ready, we'll transfer you from the PACU to an outpatient or inpatient bed.

Recovery and Discharge After Surgery

Your only job now is to rest, heal and recover. We'll be there to manage your medications and, depending on your procedure, start physical therapy.

We'll make sure you have clear, detailed care instructions before you leave us. We want you to feel confident you have the information to stay safe and healthy

No matter the time, please tell us if you're in pain. Managing your pain helps you rest and heal, which makes your stay better. We will partner with you to manage your pain and do everything we can to give you a safe and comfortable recovery.

There are many kinds of pain medication available, and we may need to try different combinations. We can give you medication as needed or on a preset schedule. Your nurse will help you decide what's best for you and your situation.

If you are staying overnight, a nurse will work with you on managing your pain while you sleep

We want you to get back home as quickly as you're able. Patients who return to a comfortable environment and get back to their normal daily routine recover faster.

Your surgeon and medical team determine when you're able to leave the hospital. You must be medically stable and meet all your goals.

We must know you can safely perform specific tasks before we discharge you. We also want to make sure:

  • Your pain is tolerable.
  • Any nausea or vomiting is under control.
  • Your lab values are normal.
  • Your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen) are stable.
  • There is a safe discharge plan in place.

Your nurse will discuss your medications and home care instructions with you and your caregiver prior to discharge.

Everyone recovers at different rates, but it can take 6 to 8 weeks to return to a normal routine. Take things slowly and rest when you get tired.

Make sure to follow all of your surgeon's care instructions. And never be afraid to call the doctor to ask questions or if something doesn't feel right.

As your recover, keep these things in mind:

  • Plan to have help. Simple tasks like cooking, dog-walking and laundry may be difficult to do when you're healing. Have a plan for who will help with what.
  • Be as active as you can. Activity promotes healing. While you need clearance to resume full activities, try to walk around three to four times per day. Between activities, rest with your legs elevated at heart level.
  • Focus on good nutrition. Drink plenty of water and eat small, more frequent meals if appetite is a challenge. If you're nauseous, ask your doctor for anti-nausea medications to take with food.
  • Get your follow-up care. The frequency of your follow-up visits depends on the type of surgery and how well you're doing. Make sure to utilize any therapy your doctor prescribed. See physical therapy options at Luminis Health.