Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Ambulatory surgery services

What is ambulatory surgery?

Community Howard Regional Health's Ambulatory Surgery Center offers you a more convenient, less expensive way to have surgery and receive medical treatment. If your doctor decides that the Ambulatory Surgery Center is right for you, you can come to the hospital, have your surgery and go home to recuperate the same day. You avoid the bother and cost of overnight hospitalization and can enjoy the comforts and benefits of recuperating in your home.

How to schedule ambulatory surgery

Your ambulatory surgery will be scheduled by your doctor's office staff. They will fill in the information sheet enclosed to remind you of the date and time of your surgery and other important details. This sheet will also let you know when you need to come to the hospital for pre-admission tests.

These tests take only a little of your time, but give your doctor important information. They should be done one or two days prior to surgery. This will decrease the time and confusion of being rushed on the day of your surgery.

On your scheduled testing day, come to Community Howard Regional Health's main lobby and you will be shown to the area where the tests are done.

The night before your surgery

Remember that you cannot eat anything after 9:00 p.m. or drink anything past midnight (even water) the night before your surgery. You should not chew gum, eat candy or smoke. If you do not follow these restrictions, your surgery may have to be rescheduled and your pre-admission tests done again.

On the day of surgery

Since you will probably be given medicines or anesthetics for your surgery, you'll need to make arrangements for someone to take you home afterwards. You should bath and wash your hair prior to coming to the hospital and wear clean clothing to decrease the chance of infection. Please come to the nurses desk in the Ambulatory Surgery Center at the time indicated on your information sheet. The reason for being at the hospital 11/2 hours early for general anesthetic, or one hour early for local anesthetic, is because some doctors require pre-op medication to be administered. The time of your surgery can vary due to emergencies or cancellations.

What to bring

Because you will be entering and leaving the hospital the same day, you don't need to bring much with you. You will be given a gown to wear, so night clothes and other personal items won't be needed. Wear comfortable clothes such as sweats or a jogging suit. Plan to leave valuables and jewelry at home or with a family member or friend.

Before your surgery

Check in

Check with the clerk about filling out admission forms. There's a special area where your family can wait while you're having surgery. This area is immediately inside the double door entrance to the Ambulatory Surgery Center, just past the admissions area. A volunteer will be on duty to let your family know when you are ready to go home.

Medical history

The nurse may go over your medical history (including medications and allergies), and make certain that you've signed the consent forms.

Change clothes

You'll change into a patient gown for your surgery. All nail polish should be removed. If you wear dentures or contact lenses, you may be asked to remove them.

Going to surgery

The operating room nurse will check your I.D. band and verify what procedure you're having. You'll then be transferred to the operating room.

During your surgery

In the operating room

In the operating room, the anesthesiologist may start an IV (intravenous). You'll receive either local or general anesthesia. If local anesthesia is used, you may have medication to help you relax.

After your surgery

Immediately following surgery, you may be taken to the recovery room. These nurses will watch you closely for any adverse side effects from surgery. After a stay in the recovery room, you will dress and may rest further in the secondary recovery room. You may sit in a recliner chair and watch television while nurses keep an eye on you. One family member or friend is permitted to join you in the secondary recovery.

For safety's sake, your doctor may advise you not to do anything requiring alertness, such as driving a car or operating machinery, for 24 hours after your surgery. When the doctor says you have recovered from the anesthetic, you will be taken to the patient pick-up area at the hospital's main entrance and released to the friend or family member who has agreed to drive you home.

Recuperating at home

Don't be alarmed if you feel nauseated or if you vomit once you are home. Just don't eat any solid food until the feeling passes. You may feel better if you drink tea, ginger ale or 7-up. If you feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you fell better. Be sure to keep the surgery site clean and dry, and follow your doctor's instructions about its proper care and dressing, and any other instructions you may have received from the nurse.

What if there are problems?

If you notice any of these things once you are home, call your doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, come to the hospital emergency room:

  • excessive bleeding which saturates the dressing with bright red blood
  • redness, heat swelling, or discoloration around the surgery area
  • fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • breathing problems

If you have questions

If you have any questions before or after your surgery, call your doctor or Community Howard Regional Health's Ambulatory Surgery Center at 765-453-8341 or e-mail us at

Our awards

  • Top 10 Indiana Cardiology Hospitals
  • Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI
  • HealthGrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award

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Health and wellness shopping

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