OSF Saint Luke Medical Center

Before Surgery

Prepare for your surgery at OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center by learning what steps to take before your operation. Get ready for a successful experience with helpful tips and guidance.

Prior to surgery

  • Most surgeries require approval by your health insurance company. Please contact your surgeon's office to find out if you need to notify your health insurance company for prior approval.
  • A pre-admission nurse will call you during the week before surgery. She will ask you general health and insurance information. If you are not home the nurse will leave a message asking for you to contact the hospital at (309) 852-7970 between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If you do not have an answering machine and/or the pre-admission nurse has not contacted you by the day before your surgery, you should call the number above.
  • DO NOT eat, drink, smoke or chew gum, tobacco or mints after midnight prior to surgery. The pre-op nurse may give you more specific directions during your pre-surgical interview.

Evening before

Pre-Operative Skin Preparation for Surgery

Hospital registration desk

Clean skin is very important to prevent infection after surgery. Bathing or showering with an antibacterial soap, such as Dial, the evening before surgery and the morning of surgery helps to remove germs from the skin.

Dry with a clean towel. Wear clean, comfortable and loose fitting clothes. Do no shave the area of the surgery the night before the surgery. Shaving increases the risk of infection. 

Your admission day

On the day of your surgery, please report to registration located on the first floor lobby at the time you were told to arrive by the pre-op nurse.

What to bring to the hospital with you:

  • Insurance information with policy number and pre-certification number, if applicable.
  • Form of payment discussed with Central Scheduling during pre-admission phone call.
  • List of all allergies.
  • List of all medicine you are taking with amount and times medicine is taken. 
  • CPAP machine, cell phone wall charger, bathrobe and slippers, if you will be spending the night.
  • OSF Saint Luke provides free Wi-Fi. Patients and guests must take responsibility for their own laptop/tablet and activities on the Internet.

While we try to maintain a timely surgery schedule, events may arise that could delay your surgery. For example, we may have an emergent case that needs to take precedence over your case or a surgery before you may take longer than anticipated. Please be assured that we will try to keep your wait to a minimum. To minimize your wait time, please do not arrive at the hospital more than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. 

Day of surgery

  1. From midnight on, DO NOT eat, drink, smoke or chew gum, tobacco or mints. 
  2. Take medicine for heart, blood pressure and seizures with a sip of water. Ask if you should take medications for diabetes. Take your blood sugar at home before coming to the hospital. If you are unsure if you should take the medication or not, please ask the pre-op nurse.
  3. Take a shower, with antibacterial soap and brush your teeth. Do not shave where you will have surgery. Shaving can irritate skin, which may lead to an infection.
  4. Do NOT wear contacts, make-up or mascara.
  5. Call your doctor if you are ill or have a fever over 100 degrees.
  6. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have any skin rashes or recent colds or lung infections. Your surgery could be cancelled because of this.
  7. Wear clean, comfortable and loose fitting clothes that are easy to get on and off.
  8. Do not wear jewelry. Follow directions from your surgeon or preadmission nurse concerning fake nails. Remove nail polish especially gel nail polish. If your surgery involves your feet or legs, remove polish from toenails.
  9. Please do not bring small children with you. 

Special notes for family and friends

Patients may only have two visitors at a time in the outpatient area. This helps us maintain privacy and quiet for all of our patients. Other visitors are welcome to wait in the main waiting area. You MUST have a responsible adult with you for the ride home and to stay with you overnight after surgery for your safety. Your surgery may be cancelled if you do not have someone accompanying you.

Pre-op area

Hospital room
  • You will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown.
  • A lot of questions will be asked by the nurse about your past medical history, allergies, and your planned surgery. If your surgery is on a certain side, for example the right leg, you will be involved in marking the correct surgical site.
  • Your blood pressure, temperature and pulse will be taken.
  • Remove your glasses or contact lenses. If you have a hearing aid or dentures, ask the nurse whether you should wear them during surgery.
  • An IV will be started. The pre-op nurses use a cold numbing spray to help stop pain from starting an IV. If you feel anxious, we have medicine to help you.
  • The skin around the incision site may be washed and hair clipped with an electric clipper. 

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