Frequently Asked Questions

What is Anesthesia?
There are three main types of anesthesia used in different medical procedures like surgery.

  • General Anesthesia – During this you are completely unconscious and you will have no awareness or sensations. The various kinds of anesthetic drugs which can range from gasses or vapor’s that are inhaled to medications that are introduced through a vein.
  • Regional Anesthesia – Our on-site anesthesiologist performs an injection near a cluster of nerves to numb the area of your body requiring surgery. You will either remain awake or be given a sedative for the surgery. With either solution, you will not feel the surgery taking place. There are two main options for regional anesthesia: spinal anesthesia and epidural anesthesia.
  • Local Anesthesia – Typically administered as a shot, local anesthesia is injected into the tissue to numb just the part of the body that is requiring surgery.

What is Outpatient Surgery?
Outpatient surgery is an in office procedure that is not a medical emergency. Typical outpatient surgery examples are plastic surgery procedures, hernia repairs, knee replacement, etc. It is considered a lower cost option than a surgery in a hospital setting.
Although outpatient surgeries are not medical emergencies, they still have a form of anesthesia or pain medication. Because of this, you will still be required to prepare the same way you would for a in-hospital surgery.

Will I Still Need Anesthesia for an Outpatient Procedure?
Even though an outpatient procedure may not be a medical emergency situation, you still will undergo some form of either anesthesia or pain medication. We use the same techniques used in hospital ranging from local anesthesia to numb just a small area of the body or general anesthesia, which results in total loss of consciousness and pain sensation.

We still request that you prepare for your outpatient procedure as you would for a hospital-based surgery.

How Will The Anesthesiologist Know How Much To Give Me?
There is no “right” amount for all patients since individuals have different responses to anesthesia. Every anesthetic must be tailored down to the individual patient’s needs or to the procedure that is happening.

The amount can differ based on things like age, weight, gender, medications being taken or specific illnesses (like heart or brain conditions). Our anesthesiologist measures a patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, breathing rate/pattern, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, and exhaled anesthetic concentration.

Why Do I Have to Have an Empty Stomach Prior to Surgery?
A patient must have an empty stomach before surgery or any other procedure that has anesthesia. When it is given, it is common for all of the normal bodily reflexes to relax. This can make it easy for stomach contents to go back into the esophagus and mouth or the windpipe and lungs. Since your stomach contains acid, if any of the stomach content does get into the lungs, it can cause serious pneumonia called aspiration pneumonitis.

What Do I Need To Bring Day of Surgery?

  • Photo Identification (driver’s license or passport)
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Make sure you have a ride home AND someone to take care of you for 24 hours following surgery
  • Comfortable Clothes
  • Carry case for glasses or contact lenses

Do I Need to Visit the Surgical Center Before Surgery Date?
No, but some patients like to come to MHSC before their surgery to complete any paperwork or make payments.

May I Pre-Register for My Surgery?
Because of Federal Regulations, we must talk to you prior to the day of your surgery.

What If I Can’t Make My Appointment?
Please let your surgeon and the Memorial Houston Surgical Center at 346-352-1820 as early as possible if you are not able to make your scheduled appointment.

What Should I Wear?
Whatever you are most comfortable in! We recommend wearing button-down shirts or blouses as well as comfortable shoes. Please leave all jewelry at home including any body jewelry. If you wear contact lenses, you will have to remove them prior to surgery so please bring your glasses. If you have to wear contact, please bring your contact case and contact solution. Please do not wear any makeup or use any perfumes or hairspray before your procedure.

Should I Take My Usual Daily Medication?
We typically ask that you take your medication before leaving home. Blood pressure and diabetic medications will be individualized. We will usually hold diabetic medicines and manage your blood sugar while at the Center.

You will be contacted by one of our staff members before your surgery so you will know which medications you should take. Please be sure to bring all medication with you.
For those patients using inhalers, we request that you bring them with you on the day of surgery.
If you have any questions, please call us at 346-352-1820.

May I Continue My Herbal Medications?
Herbal medications can have harmful effects on surgery. Many of these can affect your clotting mechanism and conflict with the anesthetic agents. We generally ask that you stop these medications two weeks before surgery. Please remember to mention these herbal remedies when asked about medications.

Who May Accompany Me?
You are welcome to bring one person with you. This person will be allowed in your room pre-surgery as well as sit with you in post-op. Please refrain from bringing young children as guests.
Will I Receive Sedation Before Going Into the Operating Room?
We individualize each patient’s care. Most patients walk into the operation room by themselves, so preoperative medication is limited.

Will I Be Contacted Before My Surgery?
We must speak with each patient or patient’s guardian before surgery to gather essential information. Please feel free to call (346-352-1820) directly with any questions you might have. Our anesthesiologist will also call you the night before to obtain your medical history and to go over instructions related to your surgery. To ensure contact, please make sure we have the most current phone number on file.

Should I Bathe and Wash My Hair Before Leaving Home?
Yes, you may take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. We do ask that you do not use makeup, hair spray or perfumes the day of surgery.

What Should I Do If I am Not Feeling Well?
If you’re not feeling well, please contact your surgeon immediately. During normal business hours, you can call the surgical center for advice. There are some surgeries which are safer if delayed when sick. We will need to know specific details to make the decision. Please do not delay in contacting your surgeon or MHSC.

What Should I Do If I Started My Menstrual Cycle?
This doesn’t affect most surgical procedures. There are a few specific gynecological procedures which may be impacted by menstruation. Call your surgeon if you have any questions.

What Should I Do If I Believe That I am Pregnant?
It is very important for us to be aware of this possibility. Only essential surgery is one on pregnant patients. If there is any doubt, please contact us immediately.

What If I Have Special Needs?
We will make every effort to accommodate any special need you may have. We strongly encourage you to call us at 346-352-1820 in advanced so that we can properly prepare to make you comfortable. Please do not hesitate to call.

Will I Be Able to Drive Myself Home?
We require that all patients must have a ride home and a responsible adult to assist you in your recovery for 24 hours post surgery. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk, or take public transportation after sedation.

Should I Bring My Special Needs Equipment?
Yes, please bring any walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, etc. that you will need.

How Will My Pain Be Managed?
The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will assess your level of pain from the time of admission until you our postoperative call at home. Because it is essential for us to be able to assess your pain level, our preoperative nurse will inform you of the scale we use to rank pain.

Who Do I Talk to If I Have A Complaint?
Our Memorial Houston Surgical Center team shares your concerns about health care safety. We are committed to providing the best care for our patients. We encourage our patients to let us know when our care does not meet his/her needs so we know what we can do to improve our health care services. If you have comments, questions, or concerns during your stay, please ask to speak with our management team or call our office at 346-352-1820.

If you feel that your concerns were not resolved, you may contact our state licensing agency:
Health Facility Compliance Group (MC 1979)
T: (888) 973-0022 | E: hfc.complaints@dshs.texas.gov