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Your Surgery at UPMC in South 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 Pinnacle has technology in place to track patients throughout the surgical process.

Visitor Guidelines

  • 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 Pinnacle hospitals are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Overhead announcements will remind you that visiting hours are ending. n Parents are responsible for the control and behavior of their children. 
  • Visitors may be requested to leave at any time at the discretion of the medical, nursing, or security staff.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Quiet Hours Visitation Visitors who meet the criteria to visit overnight must register and receive approval to remain during Quiet Hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • 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.
    • Friends and family who arrive and wish to visit between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. must register at the Visitor Check-in on the first floor of the hospital, located in or near the Emergency Department.
    • If the nursing staff is aware of a visitor who is already onsite at 9 p.m. and falls under the exception guidelines listed above, they can provide a badge to the visitor. The visitor(s) does not need to go to Visitor Check-in.
    • At Visitor Check-in, visitors will be asked for their names and for the name of the patient they are visiting. Security will contact the appropriate charge nurse for the visit to be approved. If approved, the visitor(s) will be given a badge that must be visibly worn during the visit. Similar practices are standard at many hospitals.
  • A staff member will escort you to your room and prepare you for surgery.
  • You will also be interviewed by an anesthesiologist. 
  • After you are ready, your family 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 family may wait for you in the Surgical Services Waiting Room.
  • Your family will receive instructions to follow your progress through our tracking system. 
  • After surgery, you will be taken to the Recovery Room, which is staffed by specially trained nurses.

What To Expect After Surgery

  • Your stay in the Recovery Room may be as short as 30 minutes, or as long as several hours. This is not an indication of a problem with you or a complication of the surgery. A number of factors, including length of surgery, anesthesia used, control of discomfort, and availability of rooms are considered.
  • Following your stay in the Recovery Room, you will go to the outpatient discharge area. Your family will be notified at this time and will be able to rejoin you. To protect the privacy of our patients, visitors in the discharge area will be limited to two per patient. 
  • Your vital signs will be taken again at least once.
  • 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 stay with you overnight. 
  • Do not resume activities such as driving until your judgment and coordination are back to normal. For some people, this can take one or two days
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours following anesthesia or sedation. 
  • We may make a call the next working day to check on how you are doing.

You will be given written instructions that are specific for your procedure when you are discharged. If you need assistance planning your care after discharge, please call the hospital’s Social Work and Discharge Planning Department between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

UPMC Carlisle 717-960-8909

UPMC Hanover 717-316-2178

UPMC Lititz 717-291-8251

UPMC Memorial 717-849-5314

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

If you experience ANY surgery-related problems after your discharge, contact your surgeon immediately for advice. 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.

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 Pinnacle, 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 Pinnacle call the PhoneLine at 717-231-8900.

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