What to Expect Before, During and After Your Surgery

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Our goal is to keep you and your family comfortable and well-informed before and after surgery.

Ask any member of your care team if you have questions about your stay or procedure.

What to Expect Before Surgery

You will meet many members of your care team before surgery. Here’s what members of your care team do:

  • Registered nurse – Your registered nurse will prepare you for surgery, start your IV, check your vital signs and document your medical history.
  • Patient care associate – Your patient care associate will assist your registered nurse in providing care and doing assessments.
  • Anesthesia provider – Your anesthesia provider will administer pain medications, anesthesia or a pain block as ordered by your surgeon. They also will monitor your vital signs during surgery.
  • Patient liaison – A patient liaison in the surgery waiting area will update your family during surgery, answer any questions and assist them during their wait.

Before surgery, several members of your care team will perform various tests, check your medical history and take your vital signs. During this time, they will gather a great deal of information and ask many questions. As part of our safety measures, you may be asked the same questions several times.

As your caregivers work together to prepare for your surgery, it may seem a little overwhelming. Let us know if you are uncomfortable or need us to better explain what is happening.

Your surgery start time may be delayed if the care of the patient ahead of you takes longer than planned. You and your family will be updated at least every half-hour if there is a delay.

What to Expect in the Surgical Suite

After your preoperative tests and checks are completed, several members of your care team will escort you to the surgical suite. All the equipment and protocols may seem intimidating. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about the room or technology.

It will probably feel very cold to you in the surgical suite — ask for a blanket if you want one. You will be placed on a bed designed specifically for surgery. It will seem narrow, and your arms may be outstretched from your sides. The anesthesiologist and surgical team will make sure you are comfortable and then explain what will happen as you prepare to go to sleep.

During surgery, your family will be updated each hour. In addition, your designated family member or guest will be given a surgery update monitor card. This card explains how to read the large monitors in the waiting area and watch for updates on how the surgery is progressing.

What to Expect After Surgery

When your surgery is complete, you will be taken to the recovery area. Your nurse will monitor your vital signs and pain level as you wake up. For your safety, always ask for help when getting out of bed.

A member of your care team will notify your family when you are comfortable and ready for visitors. The recovery area may have other patients in various stages of recovery, so we ask guests to help us keep noise levels down.

Outpatient Surgery

If you are scheduled for an outpatient procedure, you will go home the same day as your surgery.

After your surgery, a member of your care team will review home-care instructions with you and your family/guests before you are discharged. Pay close attention to these instructions, which you will receive in writing to take home. Anesthesia may affect your ability to remember, so we encourage those who will be assisting you after surgery to review carefully the home-care instructions, ask questions and take notes before and after surgery.

Call your surgeon if you have any concerns after you arrive home, and call 911 if you have a medical emergency.

Inpatient Surgery

Some procedures require you to stay in the hospital after surgery. This may depend on the type of surgery you are having or the type of care or therapy you will need after surgery.

After surgery, your care team will take you to a unit with highly trained staff and physicians who practice patient- and family-centered care that focuses on your physical and emotional needs as well as the needs of your loved ones.

Getting Around the Hospital

Information is available about each hospital, including how to get around and amenities available to you and your guests, such as cafeteria and gift shop hours and location of the chapel.

We Are Here for You

We encourage you and your family to ask questions of any of your caregivers at any time during your stay with us.

Call the preoperative department or pre-admission testing staff at the hospital where you are having surgery if you have any questions or need additional information about your surgery.

Care That’s Focused on You

  • Minimally invasive procedures can have you home quickly with less pain and faster recovery.
  • Sophisticated pain management aims to keep you comfortable and safe.
  • We have a deep commitment to getting you moving again and managing your pain so you can keep up with your physical therapy.
  • With 30 orthopedic locations in Louisville, Southern Indiana and surrounding communities, we have specialists near you.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more, anytime, from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

Why Choose Norton Orthopedic Institute

More patients choose Norton Orthopedic Institute for hip or knee replacements and other orthopedic procedures than any other health care provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.

  • About 50 providers, including board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, offer care at twelve locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 Best Hospitals listings rated Norton Healthcare’s adult-service hospitals in Louisville as high performing in hip replacement and knee replacement.
  • Same-day appointments often are available.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • Our hip replacement specialists are pioneers in minimally invasive surgeries focused on minimizing pain and recovery time.
  • Robotic-assisted surgical techniques improve precision for a more natural-feeling knee replacement to get you moving again.
  • Educational programs help patients prepare for joint replacement surgery and recovery.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Your free Norton MyChart account allows you to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, get alerted if an earlier appointment becomes available, refill prescriptions and more from a mobile device or computer.

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