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Your Surgery at UPMC in Central Pa.

Surgical treatments and procedures are different for each person. Having a general understanding of what to expect will help you have a smooth and stress-free surgical experience.

Before And During Surgery

Not knowing what a loved one is experiencing is a stressful part of surgery. To help update family members, UPMC in central Pa. has technology in place to track patients throughout the surgical process.

Visitor Guidelines

  • Admission after Surgery - Support Person Guidelines
    • A support person helps the patient to understand their daily plan of care, helps the patient prepare for what they may need to go home, shares updates with friends and family, and are an important partner in the patient’s care during their stay. Support Persons are identified by the patient and the number allowed may vary by specialty area. 
  • While we encourage family and friends to visit, please remember that rest is an important part of the healing process. Visiting hours at all UPMC hospitals in central Pa. are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Overhead announcements will remind you that visiting hours are ending.
  • Support Persons may be requested to leave at any time at the discretion of the medical, nursing, or security staff.
  • Friends and family who arrive and wish to visit between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. must check in at the front desk.
  • Overnight visitation will be allowed for adult patients in private rooms under the following circumstances:
    • Acute change in a patient’s condition.
    • Patient is confused, disoriented and calmed by the presence of a support person.
    • Patient is at end of life.
    • Patient has pre-existing care needs that are performed by a support person.
    • For pediatric patients, parents/legal guardians may visit at any time, and one parent/legal guardian is permitted overnight.
    • Please check with the nursing staff at the facility you are having surgery.

Day of Surgery

  • Support Person Guidelines
    • You are permitted to have 2 support persons over the age of 18 allowed to come with you for your surgery/procedure
    • Please check with the nursing staff at the facility you will be having your surgery/procedure if you plan on having anyone less than 18 years old with you. 
  • After registration is complete, you will be given instructions where to go to get to the surgical waiting area. 
  • You will also be interviewed by an anesthesia provider.
  • After you are ready, your support persons will be able to be with you for a while before your surgery.
  • When it is time for your procedure or surgery, you will meet the hospital staff who will take care of you throughout the procedure. They will double check your identity, allergies, procedure, and basic health status.
  • Your support persons may wait for you in the Surgical Services Waiting Room.
  • Your support persons will receive instructions to follow your progress through our tracking and family messaging system. 
  • After surgery, you will be cared for in to the Recovery Room

What To Expect After Surgery

  • Your stay in the Recovery Room will be based on your procedure and needs. 
  • Following your stay in the Recovery Room, you will go to the Phase 2 recovery area. Your support persons will be notified at this time and will be able to rejoin you. To protect the privacy of our patients, support persons in the discharge area will be limited. 
  • If extended recovery time or medical care is necessary, you may need to stay overnight.
  • When it is time for you to return home, the nursing staff will give you any instructions you need. A copy of the After Visit Summary will be provided for you to refer to at home. 
  • Arrange to have a responsible adult (someone over the age of 18 years old) drive you home after surgery and stay with you overnight. 
  • Do not drink alcohol, drive, or operate dangerous machinery for 24 hours following anesthesia or sedation. 
  • We may make a call the next working day to check on how you are doing.
  • You may receive a survey after you are discharged. We value your feedback regarding your stay and experience. We like to recognize staff who provided excellent care and enhanced your patient experience. Your feedback directly impacts the way we improve the care we deliver to our patients. 
  • A social worker or care manager will talk with you about the care you will need after leaving the hospital and any concerns you may have. They will arrange with you for your care at home or in a rehabilitation or sub-acute facility. If you have any post discharge needs or questions, please contact a care manager at:

    UPMC Carlisle: 717-960-8909

    UPMC Hanover: 717-316-2178

    UPMC Lititz: 717-291-8251

    UPMC Memorial: 717-849-5314

    UPMC Community Osteopathic, UPMC Harrisburg, and UPMC West Shore: 717-782-5574

  • If you experience ANY problems after your discharge, contact your surgeon immediately for advice. 

About Anesthesia

  • Anesthesia is administered by anesthesiologists, who are specially trained medical physicians who work with nurse anesthetists and technicians.
  • If your anesthesiologist is not an employee of UPMC, you will receive a separate bill for your anesthesia service that is not part of your hospital surgery charge.
  • On the day of your surgery, your anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss your medical history and go over any testing or lab results you may have had done recently. After discussing your options and answering your questions, an anesthetic plan will be determined.
  • You will be continuously monitored and cared for throughout your surgical procedure. Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable anesthetic experience and recovery.
  • Regional Anesthesia (for certain procedures): Depending on your surgical procedure, a regional anesthetic such as a spinal, epidural, or a nerve block may be discussed as an option for pain control. The anesthesiologist will discuss the details of the procedure, including the risks and benefits. If you, your anesthesiologist, and your surgeon think you may benefit from one of these options, the procedure is typically performed prior to surgery.
    • Spinal anesthesia: This consists of a single dose of local anesthesia being delivered to numb you from your abdomen to your feet. The extent of your numbness depends on your surgical procedure. The pain control from a spinal usually lasts four to six hours.
    • Epidural anesthesia: This procedure involves placing a catheter in the epidural space, which will deliver local anesthesia to provide pain control over a longer period of time, usually one to three days.
    • Nerve block: This consists of an injection of local anesthetic near a nerve to provide pain control during and after your surgery. Typically, the block lasts four to 24 hours.

Contact Us

For more information about surgical services at UPMC in Central Pa. call the PhoneLine at 717-231-8900.

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