What to know before coming in for a surgical consult or for surgery.
1. DO NOT FEED the morning of the appointment or drop off.
Patients are fasted prior to their appointment to prevent complications during anesthesia or sedation. Even if surgery is not to be performed that day it is still imperative to not feed your pet as this can affect certain diagnostic tests. Also sedation is often needed for certain tests, especially imaging such as x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, as well as biopsy procedures. This also applies to follow up appointments. Check with our surgery staff regarding feeding if you have any questions.
2. Surgery can sometimes be done the same day as a new evaluation.
Even if you are bringing your pet in for a surgical evaluation for the first time, surgery may be able to be done that day. This will be based upon urgency and availability and can vary.
3. A surgical consult or evaluation does not obligate you to have surgery done for your pet.
Many pet owners are reluctant to come in for a visit for concern that a surgical consult means that surgery is going to be performed. In many cases, we find during the evaluation process that surgery is not indicated or the best thing for treatment. Also, even if surgery is recommended, this is totally your choice and you will be presented with all necessary information and estimated costs.
4. Many surgical patients stay in the hospital after surgery.
This will be discussed with you by our staff prior to any procedure being done. Certain procedures are quick and can be done on an outpatient basis but others require a hospital stay. This can be for pain control, monitoring, and/or further treatment.
5. Follow up and after care is almost always required.
Our surgery staff will go over this with you during your visit. Follow up is typically done with our surgery team but sometimes it is appropriate to follow up with your veterinarian or even with one of our other services such as emergency, internal medicine, or neurology. All follow up information will be discussed with you and written in provided discharge instructions.
6. All patients being discharged are given discharge instructions.
Discharge instructions are provided so you have something to refer to regarding continued treatment, monitoring, and follow up care.
If you have not received discharge instructions please contact us so we may provide them for you and/or answer any questions that you may have.
7. Surgery is typically done in the afternoon and evening.
The surgery service at PERC sees all new evaluations and recheck appointments in the morning before noon which leaves time for surgery after noon.
8. Surgery can run late.
Our surgery service is quite a busy one and often are tasked with surgeries that are not on the daily schedule such as emergency transfers from other veterinary offices and surgeries needed in patients coming through our emergency room. This may delay certain elective or less crucial procedures to be done later in the day or even into the night. We will do our best to update you to any delays and to set expectations so you may plan accordingly. You may also call to check the status or your pet at any time but we do appreciate your patience in allowing us to get everyone taken care of properly.
9. Visitations are allowed but with limits and discretion.
Some patients may be overly anxious in the hospital after visitation and so in patients meeting this criteria visits will be discouraged. Also, patients staying for short periods of time, such as patients going home the next day, visits will be prohibited (in most instances) in order to allow patients recovering from surgery to rest and recover and to allow an unimpeded work flow in the hospital. For patients in serious or critical condition and for patients staying for long periods of time then visits can be arranged but must be scheduled to some extent. If you have a pet in the hospital then simply call us and ask and we can set up a time.