Day Surgery Information

What to Expect Before, During and After Surgery

About the Day Surgery Unit

Personalized service

Patients in our Day Surgery Unit will benefit from a quiet, private space during pre-operative preparation and during recovery. Each patient receives highly personalized care before, during and after his or her procedure. At the Day Surgery Unit, you will receive the same excellent care as you would on our main campuses in Boston, with the added convenience of free parking and easy access to many of the major routes in the area. The surgeons at the Day Surgery Unit are credentialed Brigham and Women’s physicians and the nursing and anesthesia specialists are on staff at Brigham and Women’s.

Surgical services

The Day Surgery Unit offers the following surgical services:

  • Orthopedics, including sports medicine
  • Plastic surgery, including cosmetic procedures
  • General surgery, including minimally invasive procedures
  • Gynecology
  • Urology
  • Pain treatment

Seamless care for all your needs

At the Day Surgery Unit, along with providing outstanding outpatient surgical care, our goal is to make your visit as easy and pleasant as possible. For your added convenience, the DSU offers a pharmacy from which you are able to pick up any prescriptions you have on the day of your procedure. Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center also offers physical therapy for your rehabilitation and follow-up care.

Before Your Surgery

It is very important that you read and follow these instructions. You will read about getting ready for your surgery and what to do on the day of your procedure, helping you and your family prepare. If you have any questions about your surgery, call your surgeon’s office.

Pre-surgery preparation

The pre-surgery preparation process begins at your surgeon’s office. If you need labs and an ECG, your surgeon will arrange for these. You will need to fill out a pre-surgery questionnaire:

On the pre-surgery questionnaire you tell us about your health and how we can reach you three to 14 days before your procedure for a telephone interview. During the interview a nurse will review the questionnaire with you, ask additional questions, and tell you what to expect at the Day Surgery Unit. For your convenience, this is all done over the phone. An anesthesiologist will review your record and contact you if needed.

In preparation for your surgery: If you smoke, try to stop smoking. You will not be able to smoke while in the Day Surgery Unit. If you would like help with trying to stop smoking call the BWH Quit Smoking Program at (617) 732-8983 or call the Massachusetts Smokers Helpline at 1-800-TRY TO STOP.

Make arrangements

  • Arrange for an escort home. You will go home the same day of your surgery and you must have a reliable adult take you home. This person needs to stay at the Center while you have your surgery. During this time your escort will be able to fill your prescriptions and listen to your post-operative instructions.
  • Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
  • Prepare your home for your return after surgery. Have shopping and laundry done. Prepare some meals ahead of time.
  • Plan for car rides, as you may not be able to drive for a while.
  • If you have small children, dependent adults or animals that you care for, arrange to have someone help you watch them during the first few days after surgery.

On the business day before your surgery

  • If you do not yet have a confirmed time for your surgery, contact the Day Surgery Unit at 508-718-4055.

The evening before your surgery

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight unless otherwise instructed. This includes food, all liquids, hard candy, gum and mints. Some people are given instructions that allow them to drink clear liquids up until four hours before their scheduled surgery. If you were given these instructions, you may have the following clear liquids: water, apple juice, cranberry juice, black coffee, black tea, carbonated beverages and gelatin. Absolutely no orange juice, no cream, no creamer and no milk. Please follow your instructions about eating and drinking. Otherwise, your surgery may be cancelled.
  • Write down and bring with you the name and contact number of the person taking you home from the Day Surgery Unit. You will be asked for this information when you get to the Day Surgery Unit.
  • Write down and bring with you a list of all your medications and dosages. You will be asked for this list when you arrive at the Day Surgery Unit.
  • If you plan to have your prescriptions filled at the Outpatient Pharmacy you will need money or a credit card and the insurance card you use to fill prescriptions.
  • It is very important that you are rested before your surgery – try to sleep.
Day of Surgery
  • Remember, do not eat anything unless you were given other instructions.

Medication

  • If you have been instructed to take any medication, take it with a small sip of water.
  • If you were told to bring medications to the Day Surgery Unit, bring them with you.

Getting dressed

  • Wear loose comfortable clothing.
  • Do not wear any jewelry. This includes wedding rings, earrings and any other body piercings. All jewelry must be removed prior to surgery.
  • Do not wear nail polish, hair spray, body lotion, perfume or make up.

Getting ready

  • Do not bring valuables to the Day Surgery Unit.
  • Bring your glasses and a case for storing them. You will not be able to wear contact lenses during surgery.
  • Bring your dentures or hearing aides and cases for storing them.
  • You may bring a book or a magazine to read before you go into surgery.
  • Bring two forms of identification.
  • Plan to arrive at the Day Surgery Unit at the time your surgeon’s office instructed you to.

When you arrive at Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center

  • You can leave your car with the valet parking service and enter the Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center
  • Go to the fourth floor of Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center and turn left after getting off the elevator. The Day Surgery Unit phone number is (508) 718-4055.
  • You will receive a gown, robe and slippers to wear. You also will receive an identification bracelet, which you should keep on until you leave.
  • Before your surgery you will meet a nurse, anesthesiologist, and a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Waiting area for your escort, family member or friend

  • Once you have gone to the operating room, your escort or family member may wait for you in our waiting room.
  • Surrounding the Center, Patriot Place offers your family members a wide variety of eating and shopping opportunities while they are waiting for you.
  • Our staff will let your escort or family member know how you are doing and when you will be ready to go home.
After Your Surgery
  • Immediately following your surgery, you will be taken to a Post Anesthesia Care Unit. A nurse will care for you until the effects of anesthesia have worn off.
  • You may have an intravenous line. This is to give you fluids and medications until you are ready to take them by mouth.
  • The recovery area is large, bright and cool. If you feel cold ask for a warm blanket.
  • Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0-10 (0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain). This rating is used to assess your need for pain medication.

Leaving the Day Surgery Unit

  • Your nurse will give you instructions before you go home.
  • You may also have instructions from your surgeon.
  • Your nurse will review the instructions with you and your escort or family member and give you a written copy.

For your pain

  • You may get a prescription for pain medication from your surgeon.
  • Do not drive while taking prescription pain medication.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medication.

Getting home

  • You must have a reliable adult escort you home.
  • Arrange for someone to stay with you the first 24 hours after surgery. You may need help around the house or with getting your prescriptions filled. Do not drive for 24 hours after anesthesia.
  • A nurse will call you the next business day to check on you.
Notes and Phone Numbers

Surgical scheduling

  • All surgeries are scheduled through your individual surgeon’s office. However, should you need more information regarding the Day Surgery Unit, please call us at (508) 718-4055.

In case of emergency weather conditions

  • The Day Surgery Unit will contact you if the time of your surgery is to change or if your surgery will be cancelled.

For questions before your surgery

  • DSU Pre-Surgery Questions – (508) 718-4055

For questions on the day of your surgery

  • DSU Main Number – (508) 718-4055
    Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health CareCenter Pharmacy – (508)718-4090

For insurance or financial concerns

  • Insurance Questions – (617) 732-7485
  • MassHealth/Free Care applications – (617) 732-8001 or (617) 732-8008
  • Self Pay – (617) 732-4087

If you do not speak English or are hearing impaired

  • Interpreter Services – (617) 732-6639
  • TTY – (508) 718-4058 or (508) 718-4059

For concern about your care

  • Patient/Family Relations Department – (617) 732-6636

For questions about your bills

  • Hospital Bills – (617) 724-1914
  • Physician Bills – (866) 256-3069

If you need to fax a document

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