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Preparing for Surgery

Please note:Your surgeon’s office may provide you with other materials with instructions. If any instructions in these materials differ from the information provided here, the instructions in the other materials should take priority.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Preadmission Testing

General Information

Preadmission testing (PAT) is an important part of the care you will receive for your surgical visit and we want to provide you with the best care possible. The goal of the PAT interview is to have you safely prepared for your surgical visit and to identify potential risks you may have before you arrive for surgery. You will be asked many questions about your health and medical history as well as given a lot of information and education regarding your surgical visit. It may be helpful to have someone with you who can help you ask and answer questions and remember the information provided.

Appointment Time and Location

The PAT department is located in the Archbold Ambulatory Care Center at 947 S. Broad Street, Thomasville, GA. Your surgeon’s office will make your PAT appointment for you and notify you of the date and time. You should note that you may have a pre-operative appointment at your surgeon’s office as well, which may or may not be the same day. Check with your surgeon’s office to be sure. Please allow 1-2 hours to complete your PAT interview and testing. The amount of time you spend at this appointment will depend on your type of surgery, health history and tests ordered.

Before your PAT appointment, you can eat and take all medications as usual, unless your surgeon gives you different instructions.

What to Bring

  • Medical/Health History
  • List of previous surgeries
  • Complete list of all medications currently taking, including herbals and over the counter medications
  • Pacemaker cards
  • Stent cards
  • Insurance cards
  • Photo I.D.
  • Health care proxy/Advance directive/Living will
  • A list of any questions you may have

During Your Visit

Some of the services you may have during your visit include:

  • Interview with a registered nurse
  • Pre-operative education
  • Pre-operative instructions
  • Blood and/or urine tests
  • EKG
  • Chest x-ray
  • Consultation with anesthesiologist (depending on your age, health history, procedure)

Preoperative Checklist

  • You will receive a phone call the day before your surgery with an arrival time for surgery. If you have not received a call before 6:00 pm call 229-228-2765 to receive your arrival time.
  • Do not eat or drink anything and do not smoke after midnight the night before your surgery
  • If you have been instructed to take medication the day of surgery, take them with a small sip of water
  • Follow any special preoperative preparatory instructions given by your surgeon
  • Leave all valuables at home
  • Remove all jewelry and body piercings
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing
  • Follow your Preoperative Bath Instructions if you were instructed to do so
  • For patients having outpatient surgery, you must have an adult available to drive you home and stay with for 24 hours.

If you develop a cold, fever or other illness prior to your procedure, contact your surgeon’s office. Your surgery may need to be rescheduled.

Contact Us

When You Come for Surgery

Directions and Parking

Please use the driving directions located on our convenient Hospitals & Locations page.

Visitor parking is located in the main parking area in the front of Archbold Memorial Hospital. There is also visitor parking located in the East Tower lot at the corner of Mimosa Drive and Pastime Drive.

Checking in at Archbold Memorial Hospital

The day of surgery, patients may be conveniently dropped off under a covered area at the front door of Archbold Memorial Hospital. Once inside the main lobby, registration is located directly behind the information desk centrally located in the main lobby.

Planning Ahead for Your Discharge from the Hospital

Most of our patients are able to return home after discharge. Some, however, may require help at home or need to be transferred to another facility, such as a swing bed facility or skilled nursing facility. Your care team will review your needs while you are in the hospital to make sure that you are recovering and well enough to be discharged. It is important that you tell your doctor or nurse of any concerns you have about your discharge. The more you and your family are involved in planning for your discharge, the more ready you will be when it is time for you to leave the hospital.

Family Waiting Areas

Surgery Waiting: Family and visitors can wait for their loved ones in the surgical waiting area located on the second floor of the North Tower. Take the North Tower elevators to the second floor and the waiting area is located to the right.

Progress Updates

Our goal in the surgery waiting room is to keep your family and friends updated on the status of your surgery. Please ask your family to tell the attendant in the waiting area where they will be waiting, so the surgeon or nurse can give them information on your status during and after your surgery.


Food and drink are allowed in the waiting areas only. Vending machines are located in the surgical waiting area. Our snack shop is located on the second floor of the West Tower and our full-service cafeteria is located on the bottom floor of the hospital.

After Your Surgery or Procedure

Your surgeon will provide you with instructions to follow at home. Please follow them carefully to assure a smooth recovery. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Never drive an automobile, operate dangerous machinery, or undertake any responsible business matters on the same day as your surgery or procedure.
  • You will be able to shower but not bathe. If you have drains or open wounds, you may need to take sponge baths initially.
  • You should avoid any heavy lifting. Your surgeon's office can provide a weight limit.
  • You will be assigned exercises designed to speed your recovery.

Notify your surgeon's office immediately if you experience any bleeding or drainage from the operative site, have unusual redness or pain, or start running a temperature higher than 101°. Be on the lookout for other "danger signals" to which your surgeon may alert you.

Your surgeon or nurse will schedule a return visit to the outpatient clinic so they can check your progress after surgery and confirm that you are healing well. Arrange to have a responsible adult escort you to your first post-op visit.

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