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Your Surgical Experience

Our goal is to ensure that you recieve excellent care in a safe and comfortable environment.  You can help by reading the information below before the day of your surgery, so you know what to expect and can arrive at the hospital prepared.  You may want your loved ones to read this information as well, so they also know what to expect.


Once you have your date of surgery, you will pre-register.  It is important to do this as soon as possible so your medical record may be started.  Please have your health insurance information available.

You can register online or by phone:
207-662-2433 or 1-800-619-9715
Office hours are Monday - Friday, 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Insurance and Pre-Certification

Your insurance coverage needs to be pre-certified. You will also need pre-certification from your insurance company for hospital services. Your surgeon's office will take the steps to get this certification.

Financial Information

Your hospital bill does not include your doctor's fees. You will receive separate bills from your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and any other specialists (like radiologists) who take care of you.

Financial Assistance

Our Financial Counselors will help you if you have no insurance, are underinsured, or are on Medicaid. A payment plan can be set up before your surgery. Please call 207-662-2433 for assistance.

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Pre-Anesthesia Screening

Once your surgery date is scheduled and you have pre-registered, the pre-admission screening office will mail you an appointment to meet with the anesthesia nurse practitioner and the pre-operative nurse.

Your surgeon may decide that a phone call appointment will take care of this instead. In that case, a pre-admission nurse will call you about 1 week before your surgery.

At this time, a nurse will ask you about:

  • Names, doses, and times of your medications
    (this includes aspirin, herbal medication, and inhalers)
  • Allergies and reactions to these
  • allergies 
  • Review health problems, such as Sleep Apnea , and past surgeries

Please be prepared with this information and any questions you may have.

Please let your surgeon know:

  • If you are on blood thinners
  • If you have a cold, fever, or change in your medical condition during the week before your surgery.


You will meet with your anesthesiologist at your bedside on the day of surgery. He or she will review your medical and surgical history, test results, and anesthesia options. Once you agree on a plan of care, you will be asked to sign a consent form giving us your permission to proceed with surgery.

If you have concerns or questions about anesthesia care before the day of your surgery, please let your surgeon know. Their office can set up a pre-screening appointment to talk about your concerns with the anesthesia nurse practitioner. 

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 The Day Before Your Surgery

  • Drink extra fluids, but do not drink alcohol. 
  • Do not eat food after midnight.

    Important:  Some patients get special instructions from their surgeons to clean out their bowels before surgery. Please read your surgeon's instructions carefully! 
  • You may drink water, apple juice, white grape juice, black coffee, or tea up to 4 hours before your surgery. After that, do not drink anything unless your surgeon gives you different instructions. This includes mints, gum, or hard candy. 
  • Plan for someone to help you through the first night if you will be going home.
  • Shower or bathe.
  • Do not any fragrances.
 Day of Surgery

Your surgery date and time:
Your surgery date and time will be given to you by your surgeon's office.

Please arrive no later than 90 minutes before your surgery time (unless your surgeon gives different instructions).
  • Strictly follow the instructions about food and drinking.

  • Take your medications as usual with only a sip of water. If you are on diabetic medications, please discuss with your primary care doctor and/or the doctor managing your diabetes which medications you should take the evening before or on the morning of surgery.

  • Skip your vitamins for today.

  • Use and bring inhalers.

  • Bring an accurate list of your medications with their doses (only necessary if this information was not given to the nurse during your pre-op call or visit, of if any changes)

  • If you have sleep apnea, you must bring your CPAP.

  • Remember, if the patient is under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must come with them.

  • Bring the name and cell phone number of the person who will drive you home if you will be discharged on the day of surgery. You may not leave alone.

  • Bring the name and cell phone number of the person you chose to speak to the surgeon.

  • Bring your health insurance card or a copy of it (front and back).

  • Bring a picture ID card, such as your driver's license.

  • Bring a copy of your completed advance directive or living will. These are important documents. You will want to devote thought and time to them before you become a patient. Please complete them before coming to the hospital.

  • Do not bring personal things that might get lost or stolen. Usually, you will wear home the clothes you came in. The hospital will give you a robe and slippers.

  • Bring a case for your glasses/contacts.

  • Wear casual clothes that are comfortable and easy to put on after surgery.

  • Do not wear makeup. Remove all jewelry and body piercings from the neck up. All surgical site piercings must be removed.

  • Arrive at the Surgery door next to the Emergency Department entrance.

  • Please arrive on time.

 After Your Surgery  

You will be taken to the  Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)  after your surgery. The PACU nurses are specially trained to care for you as you recover from anesthesia. You will stay in PACU until it is time for you to return to the ASU or a hospital bed; this time is different for each patient. Please know you may need to wait for a bed to be ready. The Customer Service Liaison in the ASU Waiting Area will make sure your family knows your status. This is a small area, so we ask that the number of family members be limited if at all possible. If your stay in PACU is extended, family may visit you briefly after talking with the nurse.

The surgeon will speak to your designated person after the surgery. We can give a vibrating pager to family members who will have a long wait. These pagers allow a little roaming to Impressions Cafe or the Coffee Shop.

If you are going home on the day of surgery, your family may join you at your bedside when you return to the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. We will give you written and verbal instructions about your diet, activity, medications, and home care before you leave the hospital.  Some patients may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two.  If your doctor feels this is necessary, you will be admitted to the  Short Stay Unit .

A nurse will call you on the next business day to see how you are doing. Let us know about any problems you may have. Please take time to tell us about your surgical experience, both good and bad. Your thoughts will help us make changes that will improve our care and better meet the needs of our patients and their families.

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  Pediatric Patients

We appreciate the special needs and concerns of children and their families who need surgery.

Here are some tips to make the day less stressful:

  • Bring your child's favorite blanket, stuffed animal, hand-held game, or toy.
  • One parent must remain in the ASU waiting room during the operation.
  • Eat breakfast or pack some snacks for yourself so you are not hungry. You can better care for your child after surgery if you don't feel hungry.
  • Do not bring other children with you. We cannot allow them in the recovery area. You will want and need to give your full attention to your child who is having surgery on that day.
  • We encourage you to schedule your toddler and yourself to attend Visit and View class before your surgery. This class includes a tour of the surgery area; you'll get to meet the staff, feel and touch the equipment, and ask questions. To register for this one-hour class, please call 662-6267.

Diet instructions for patients under age 16:
(unless your surgeon gives different instructions)

1.  No food is allowed after midnight.

2.  Encourage your child to have apple juice, water, white grape juice, or Pedialyte up to 2 hours before surgery.

3.  Breast milk is allowed until 4 hours before surgery.

4.  Formula or non-human milk is allowed until 6 hours before surgery.


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Prepare Your Mind for Surgery:
View more information about a free class offered on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:00 PM.  

Your Surgical Experience 
Registration & Financial Information


Day Before Your Surgery

Day of Your Surgery

After Your Surgery

Managing Pain after Surgery

Pediatric Patients

Directions to Bramhall

Your Surgical Experience Home 

Surgical Services Home     







Sleep Apnea and Surgery

Do you Snore?

Do you often feel sleepy during the day?

Do you often wake up with a headache?

Are you overweight?

If you answered yes to all or some of these questions, you may have Sleep Apnea.

Click here for more details on Sleep Apnea and Surgery.

22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111