Patient Information

Having patients who are informed about the care and services we provide is important to the staff and physicians at Ochsner West Bank. We encourage our patients to ask questions and be an active participant in making healthcare decisions. We’ve included some information here for you to get familiar with the West Bank Campus.

If you are having surgery at the West Bank campus, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

Before Surgery
What information should I bring to my pre-operative assessment appointment?

  • You will be asked to provide a medical history that includes diagnoses, previous surgeries and any history of difficulty with anesthesia. Please also bring:
    • List of medications and allergies
    • Insurance card
    • Picture ID

Day of Surgery
How should I prepare before coming to the hospital the day of surgery?

  • Take heart and blood pressure medications as advised by the preoperative team with a small sip of water.
  • You may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, but do not swallow any water.
  • Do not apply perfume, powder, body lotions or deodorant on the day of surgery.
  • If you choose to wear makeup, it should be minimal. Limit mascara. No false eye lashes. Nail polish should be removed.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, such as a button front shirt and loose fitting pants.
  • Leave all jewelry, including body piercings and valuables at home.
  • Hairpins and clasps must be removed before you enter the operating room.
  • You may wear glasses, dentures, and hearing aids before and after surgery. They may need to be removed before going into the operating room. Contact lenses worn before surgery must be removed before entering the operating room. Please bring a case for your hearing aids, glasses, and/or contacts.
  • Bring any devices you will need after surgery such as crutches or canes.
  • If you have an implantable device, such as a pacemaker or AICD, please bring the device information card, if you have one.

What should I bring with me to the hospital the day of surgery?

  • Name and phone number of emergency contact should your condition change significantly
  • Case for eye glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids
  • Crutches, cane and other equipment you may need after surgery
  • Be sure to arrange for a responsible person to drive you home if you will be going home the same day of surgery

Who should come with me to the hospital?

  • A spouse, family member or close friend. Remember, these people will not always see you at your best. You will be anxious before surgery and tired afterwards.

Should I bring my medicines, vitamins or herbs with me to the hospital?

  • There will be no need to bring medications, vitamins or herbs with you to the hospital. But always bring any breathing inhaler medicines with you; the anesthesiologist may ask you to take a dose of these medicines before surgery to help your breathing.

Should I take my regular medicines as usual on the day of surgery?

  • Check with your surgeon or anesthesiologist about which medications to take on the day of your surgery. If you are advised to take your medication, swallow only the smallest amount of water and be sure to inform the anesthesiologist or nurse about what you have taken. If your doctor has agreed that you should take medicines on the day of the surgery, you should take them with only a small amount of water to help keep your stomach empty. If you have any questions regarding what medication you should take, please call 504-391-5191 or 504-212-7091 and ask to speak to a registered nurse.

Can I eat or drink just before I have surgery?

  • Typically you should not eat or drink past midnight the night before your surgery. Check with your physician for any specific instructions.

Can I smoke before surgery?

  • We strongly encourage you to stop smoking. This will reduce your risk of respiratory and anesthesia complications after your operation. You may want to speak with your primary care physician about smoking cessation programs.

Should I wear my glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids?

  • Please bring them with you to the hospital. Staff can help you remove them just before surgery and help you wear them again as soon as it is safe for you.

When should I arrive at the hospital? Where should I go?

  • For scheduled cardiovascular surgery, you should arrive at 4:30 a.m. Because you have already gone through the preoperative registration process, you can go directly to the ICU as directed during your preoperative visit. If you are running late or need to speak with someone the morning of your surgery, please call 504-391-5261.

What happens after I check in?

  • First, you will be checked into a private room in the Intensive Care Unit on the second floor. An anesthesia nurse will come to prepare you for surgery. You will then have an IV started, be given pre-op medications and other measures. At that time, you and your family may ask additional questions regarding anesthesia. As your surgery time approaches, a registered nurse and anesthesia nurse will transport you to surgery.

Where can my family and friends wait for me?

  • The Surgery Unit has a large waiting room that has been recently renovated on the second floor. We also have a cafeteria, which is located on the first floor near the courtyard. The cafeteria is open seven days a week with limited hours on weekends and holidays. Guests can enjoy breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Free coffee is also available. In consideration of patients waiting for surgery and their families in the room, eating is not allowed in the waiting areas. However, soft drinks, water and coffee are permitted.

Can my family or friends know how surgery went?

  • First, know that your privacy is protected and your confidentiality is important to your surgeon and to all of us. If you do not wish to have certain information about your care told to anyone, please tell us ahead of time. When your surgery begins, a volunteer or member of the surgical team will alert your family. They will also be given periodic updates throughout the surgery. With your prior permission, your surgeon will likewise discuss the findings and results of the surgery with your family or companions after the surgery.

Is there wireless Internet access for my family to access while waiting?

  • Wireless Internet access is available throughout the hospital.

Where do I go after the operation?

  • After your operation is complete, you will return directly to the ICU, the department you started in that morning. You will be cared for by the same team of nurses you met during the morning and will have the comfort of the same environment.

How much pain will I have after surgery?

  • Pain control after surgery helps you enjoy greater comfort while you heal. With less pain, you can start walking sooner, improve the depth of your breathing and get your strength back quickly. You may even leave the hospital sooner. Your doctors and nurses will ask you about your pain because they want to know that everything is progressing as expected. Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong in your body. When there is an injury in your body, such as a surgical incision, receptor nerve cells in and beneath your skin send messages to your brain. Pain medicine blocks these messages or reduces their effect on your brain, making you less aware of pain. When pain doesn't go away - even after you take pain medicine - it may be a signal that there is a problem. Be sure to tell your doctors and nurses when you have pain and play an active role in choosing the options available for treating your pain. Both medical and non-medical treatments can be successful in preventing and controlling pain. Your health care team will work with you in determining individualized and effective pain control, with the possibility of combining methods for greater relief. There should be no concern about becoming addicted to pain medications when you are using pain medication for pain control under the guidance of your health care team. Because pain tolerance is different for each person, you play a key role in determining the best method of pain control. You are encouraged to discuss pain management with your health care team. Pain control measures may include oral medications (pain pills), intramuscular injections, suppositories or medication delivered through a small plastic tube in your vein (just like an IV). Non-medical treatments include massage, hot or cold packs, relaxation, music, other distracting pastimes and positive thinking.

What are the visiting hours in the ICU?

  • 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
  • 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
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