You will be asked to sign an informed consent form which verifies that you and your doctor have discussed your surgery, the expectation you have of each other, and the risks associated with surgery.
The staff responsible for your care will verify who you are, what kind of surgery you are having, and the part of your body where the surgery is to be performed. You will be asked these questions many times. Staff will also double-check the information you give them against the documents provided by your doctor’s office, including x-rays. You may find repeating this information irritating, but it is being done for your safety.
Before going to the pre-operative area, you must remove any hairpins, jewelry, dentures, contact lenses and glasses. The staff will take care of these items and return them to you after the procedure.
Depending on the type of surgery you are having, the doctor who will perform your surgery or another member of your health care team will mark the correct location on your body. Called “site marking,” this is a critical step in ensuring your safety and preventing errors.
If at all possible, the mark will be made before you are sedated. In some instances, you will need to be sedated before the mark can be made. If this happens, a family member or friend may be asked to oversee the marking of the correct surgical site. If a family member or friend is not available, another member of the health care team will make sure that the correct site is marked.
Make sure that only the location where your procedure is to be performed is marked. It can be confusing if other sites are marked.
Ask your doctor if he or she plans to take a “time out” with the surgical team just before the beginning of your surgery. During the time out, the members of the health care team assure themselves that they are performing the correct procedure at the correct site, on the correct person.