PH Huntingdon FAQs

Outpatient Surgery at Penn Highlands Huntingdon

On the Day of Your Surgery

DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER 12:00 MIDNIGHT ON THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY OR THE MORNING OF YOUR SURGERY. DO NOT USE TOBACCO IN ANY FORM. Your cooperation is required to help ensure your safety and comfort. Please follow these important instructions before you arrive for surgery.

The pre-anesthesia nurse will advise you, as instructed by the anesthesia doctor, what medications you may take the morning of surgery.

When you arrive at the Hospital on the day of surgery you should report to the Hospitality Volunteer at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby or the Emergency Department Clerk if a volunteer is not available. When the Ambulatory Care Unit calls for you, you will be directed to the Unit and asked to put on a Hospital gown and prepare for surgery. Part of your preparation includes measures to prevent infection which includes a final cleaning of the surgical area, if ordered, and a blood sugar check. They will also swab each of your nostrils which is another infection prevention measure. To prevent blood clots after surgery, they may place special compression socks/tights on your legs or a sequential compression device, which automatically stimulates circulation, or blood flow. The nurse will also review your medications and ask you the time of your last dose.

Informed Consent

You will be asked to sign an informed consent if you have not signed one at your physician's office. Patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to complete this process. Without this informed consent, surgery will not be performed

Support Persons

Since you will be given anesthetic drugs, you will not be permitted to drive home. Please arrange to have a responsible adult available to drive you home after surgery. This person may wait with you in the Ambulatory Care Unit until the time of surgery. When you are taken to the Operating Room, they are requested to wait in the waiting room until you return from surgery to the Unit. After you return to the Unit, this person may stay with you until you are discharged. We ask that no more than one person come you your bedside.

Families are encouraged to choose only one or two designated persons to wait in the waiting room. A clergy member may also be present. Do not bring children. If your family exceeds two persons, alternate between the waiting area and the bedside.

Hospital Instructions for Patients

  • Leave all jewelry, money, and other valuables at home or with your family. Wear comfortable clothing which will be easy to take off and put on.
  • Do not wear any eye or facial make-up, fingernail or toenail polish.
  • If you wear dentures, partial plate, contact lenses, or any other prosthesis, you will probably be asked to remove them before surgery.
  • If you wish to bring with any personal care items (such as toothbrush, comb, toiletries, etc.) feel free to do so.
  • Since there is sometimes a need for longer post-operative observation, please be prepared for the possibility that it may be necessary to admit you to the Hospital or keep you longer than expected in the Ambulatory Care Unit.
  • If you develop a fever, cold, rash, or any other acute illness prior to your surgery, CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN.
  • If you choose to cancel your surgery and cannot reach your surgeon, contact the Hospital's Admission Office at 814-643-8404.

When You are Ready to Leave the Hospital

When the anesthesiologist is certain you are ready to go home, the Ambulatory Care Unit will discharge you by wheelchair to the person who has accompanied you. Upon leaving, you will receive follow up instructions to assist in your recovery.

Call your doctor if you experience any problems upon returning home after surgery and be sure to have a responsible person stay with you at home overnight on the day of your surgery.