The team at the Center for Thoracic Oncology at Boston Medical Center, thanks you for choosing us for your care. We pride ourselves on offering exceptional care, without exception. This section provides information that will help you prepare for your upcoming chest surgery.
Please read this information before your surgery so that you will be knowledgeable and informed about your upcoming procedure. In addition, members of the thoracic surgery team are available to assist you with any concerns or questions that you might have. We are committed to making your stay as comfortable as possible.
Preparing for Surgery
In the weeks and days before your surgery, there are several steps you can take to prepare:
- Walk as much as possible in the days before your surgery to maintain the best possible conditioning.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition is important for healing.
- If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, tell us. Try to stop or limit how much you drink to no more than 1 to 2 glasses a day before your surgery.
- Tell us about all prescribed and over-the-counter medications—as well as any supplements and/or herbal remedies—you take. We’ll tell you if you should stop taking any of them.
- If you take one aspirin each day for your heart, you may continue this. Otherwise stop taking all aspirin or aspirin-containing products and non-steroidal medications (such as ibuprofen, Advil and Naproxen) a week to 10 days before your surgery. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as prescribed prior to surgery.
- If you take warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix), please tell us. We will give you special instructions about taking these medications.
- If you take corticosteroid medication (such as prednisone), please tell us.
- In the week before your surgery, let us know if you develop a respiratory infection, a cold, a new cough, fever or flu-like symptoms.
- If you have asthma or emphysema and have increased symptoms the week before your surgery, please tell us.
- On the day before your surgery, it is important for you to speak to our administrative assistant to confirm the time of your arrival at the hospital. Our office number is 617.638.5600 in the event we have not been able to make contact with you or if you have any questions.
- The evening before your operation you may eat a regular meal and you may drink fluids until midnight. After midnight, do not eat or drink anything. If you were instructed to take some or all of your medications, take them with small sips of water.
The Day of Surgery
- In most cases, you will be admitted to the hospital the morning of your surgery.
- Please bring a list of all the medications you take and their dosages with you to the hospital.
- While you are in the hospital, your health care providers providers will prescribe all your medications, which will be given under the supervision of professionals. Please do not take any medication on your own (either prescribed or over-the-counter) while you are in the hospital. If you have questions about your medications, please speak with a member of your health care team.
- Please be sure you have followed the instructions we have given you about when to stop eating and drinking before your surgery. Because you will be receiving anesthesia, it is for your safety that we ask you to have an empty stomach.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Please bring your insurance cards or forms, including any Medicare or Medicaid information. You may bring toiletry items, although the hospital does supply toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other toiletry items. The hospital does not allow the use of personal plug-in items such as hairdryers and electric razors.
- Do not bring valuables such as jewelry, credit cards or large amounts of cash. Your family or friends may bring additional clothing in the days after surgery.
- Do not wear make-up, fingernail polish, or toenail polish.
Arriving at the Hospital
- Parking nearest to the Newton Pavilion is in the Doctors Office Building garage at 720 Harrison Avenue. When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your surgery, enter through the main lobby of the Newton Pavilion on 88 East Newton Street. Go to the Registration Area on the first floor. Please call 617.638.5600 if you have any questions or concerns.
- After registering, you will be directed to the holding area where you will be prepared for surgery. Please remember that it is important to arrive on time.
- You might want to bring reading material with you, in case there is a wait.
During Your Surgery
- Remember that lung or chest surgery can take several hours.
- Family members and loved ones may wait in the Family Waiting Room which is on the second floor, room 2501, above the main lobby in the Newton Pavilion. Take the elevators or the escalator from the lobby.
- Bathrooms are located along the corridor nearby.
- There are telephones and televisions in the waiting room.
- The cafeteria is on the second floor.
- A liaison nurse makes regular rounds to answer any questions or concerns.
- The gift shop is in the main lobby of the Newton Pavilion.
- Reading materials or music players may help to pass the time. Cell phones may be used throughout Boston Medical Center with the exception of patient rooms and procedure areas.
- Your thoracic surgeon or a member of the thoracic surgery team will speak with your family members and loved ones as soon as possible following your surgery. Please designate one person to be your family spokesperson. We will call that person to communicate information and that person should be the one to call us with questions and concerns.
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