Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where does my surgery occur?

A. Your surgery will be performed in our new, state-of-the-art operating room.

Q. When will I be notified of my arrival time for surgery?

A. A registered nurse from the Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgical Center (WCOSC) will call you in the early afternoon on the day before your surgery. If your surgery is on Monday, you will be called early on Friday afternoon.

Q. Why can’t I eat or drink before my surgery?

A. For your safety, it is very important that your stomach be empty before you have surgery and anesthesia. An empty stomach significantly decreases the chances of aspiration, a rare but serious complication of both general and regional anesthesia with sedation. It occurs when stomach contents are regurgitated into the lungs, causing significant damage. You can protect yourself from aspiration by carefully following pre-operative instructions about food and drink. In general, you will be instructed not to have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery.

Q: Why do I need to arrive before my surgery time?

A: This gives you time to check in and prepare for your surgery. Your preparation consists of having your medical history reviewed by a registered nurse, changing into surgical attire, having an intravenous (IV) line inserted, and meeting your surgical team.

Q. Why does everyone ask me the same questions over and over?

A. Certain key questions such as what procedure you’re having, if you have any allergies, or if you’ve had anything to eat or drink are critical to the success of your surgery. Having several people confirm the information is a safety precaution that decreases the chance of missing important information. We understand that repeatedly answering the same questions may be annoying, but it is necessary to help our team ensure your safe and comfortable operative and post-operative experiences.

Q: Do I need to bring anything with me on the morning of my procedure?

A: Upon arrival, you will be asked to complete registration paperwork and finalize financial arrangements. You will need to bring a photo ID, insurance card, and form of payment (credit card or checkbook), if applicable. Also, please bring any equipment such as slings, boots, or braces that your surgeon has provided to you prior to surgery.

Q: What type of anesthesia will I receive?

A: The type of anesthesia depends on the procedure and the decision is jointly made by your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You will be able to ask any questions when you meet with the anesthesiologist in the pre-operative area. The three types of anesthesia are:

  • General anesthesia
    • The patient is given medication to put him or her in a deep sleep during surgery.
  • Monitored anesthesia care (MAC)
    • The patient is given medication that prevents pain and causes relaxation. It does not put the patient to sleep.
  • Regional anesthesia
    • The patient is given medication that numbs the part of the body where the surgery will be done; for example, the arm, hand, leg or foot.

Q: How long after my procedure will it be before I can go home?

A: The average patient stay is 45 minutes, depending on the procedure and how well you recover. You must have a responsible adult drive you home. You will be provided with instructions for follow-up care at home, along with phone numbers to use if you have any questions or concerns after discharge.