Outpatient Surgery FAQ


What You Need to Know Before Your Outpatient Surgery

We have compiled a list of answers to some of our most frequently asked questions in order to help you make your time at Piedmont as pleasant as possible.


What is the History of the McDonnell Surgical Center?

Original construction of the McDonnell Center was funded by a gift from Florence and Everett McDonnell. Financial support for the center from the McDonnell family continued even after Florence's death at 97 years of age in 2002. The McDonnell Surgical Center has more than doubled in size since 1976.


What If I Have to Stay Longer?

If for any reason your doctor feels you should remain overnight, Piedmont Hospital offers observation care. That way you receive the benefit of professional nursing care, yet retain your same-day surgery status if you are discharged within 23 hours. If you stay in the hospital past midnight, your insurance company may require your stay be classified as an inpatient visit and subject to a deductible. We strongly recommend that you contact your insurance company about the specifics of your policy.


What Should I Do Before Surgery?

Please do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery, including chewing gum and sips of water. You may brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water. It can be dangerous to be put to sleep or sedated when you have food or liquid in your stomach. Your surgery may be cancelled if you do eat or drink after midnight (other than as directed by your physician).

If you are taking daily prescription medicines, ask your doctor for instruction on if and how you should take the medicines before surgery.

What About the Day of the Surgery?

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and low-heeled shoes.
  • Remove false eyelashes, wigs or contact lenses. Patients may wear continuous-wear contact lenses if the operation does not involve the eyes.
  • Male patients who normally shave daily should shave as usual.
  • Bathe either the night before or the morning of surgery.
  • Do not wear any facial make-up if surgery is being performed in the facial area. You may wear a light foundation only (no mascara or eye make-up) if surgery is not in the facial area.
  • Do not wear cologne or perfume.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke for 24 hours before and 24 hours after surgery. Alcohol may increase the depth of your anesthesia or the effect of medicines you may be given.
  • Please follow your surgeon's specific instructions about removing nail polish or acrylic nails.
  • Diabetic patients should perform a blood sugar before coming to the hospital.


What Should I Bring With Me?

  • Driver's license (as identification) and all insurance cards.
  • Eyeglasses if you wear them since you will be asked to sign legal documents.
  • Any forms your doctor has asked you to bring with you on the day of surgery.
  • Do not bring any valuables (money, watch, jewelry, etc.) with you. Piedmont Hospital cannot be responsible for valuables.
  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany patients who are under age 18 to sign legal documents. Surgery will be cancelled if a minor patient arrives without a parent or legal guardian.

May I Drive Home or Take Public Transportation?

No. You must make definite arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home and for someone to stay with you for the rest of the day. Please make arrangements well in advance of surgery to avoid cancellation of your surgery. Please do not allow your ride to leave before being checked into the pre-operative area because if surgery is cancelled for any reason, you will need a ride home earlier.

You should arrange for your transportation to pick you up one to two hours after the time that surgery is estimated to be completed. Delays caused by late transportation could result in additional patient charges. In case there is a change in your time of discharge, please give the nursing staff a phone number where your ride can be reached.


Where Should I Park?

A parking lot for McDonnell Surgical Center patients is located on the Collier Road side of Piedmont Hospital (one driveway closer to Peachtree Road than the main Hospital parking entry). The driveway entry is well marked. Only one vehicle per patient, please. Visitors (limit to two per patient) should park in the main hospital parking deck.


Are There Any Special Requirements for Pre-Admission Testing?

Yes. All patients 50 years of age or older on the day of surgery must have an EKG within 30 days of surgery if abnormal and one year if normal. Your surgeon will arrange for these tests to be completed before the day of surgery. These test results, as well as a copy of the EKG tracing, must be received by the McDonnell Surgical Center before the day of surgery. Bring a written report of the X-ray rather than the films, since the hospital cannot be responsible for them if they are lost.

Routine lab testing for all patients will be performed shortly after you arrive on the day of surgery. A finger stick (hematocrit) and urinalysis will be performed.

Patients who are on medication for blood pressure or cardiac regulation should inform the surgeon and McDonnell Surgical Center several days before surgery. A serum potassium may be needed in addition to routine lab testing.


Should I Refrain From Any Activity After Surgery?

Yes. Do not drive a car or operate any type of power equipment for 18 hours after surgery. Do not enter into any legal or business proceedings for 24 hours after leaving the hospital. The recovery room nurse will give you an instruction sheet with more specific details.


Can My Family and Friends Visit Me in the Recovery Room?

Yes. Please tell any prospective visitor that a patient representative will come to the waiting room and let them know when you are ready for a visitor. Because patients recover at different rates, this period may be longer for some patients. The number of visitors to the recovery room are limited.


What Payment is Required?

All bills are due in full upon discharge unless you have approved group insurance, Medicare, approved Georgia Medicaid, Blue Cross, State Merit System or approved workers' compensation coverage.

Please note that many insurance companies require pre-certification or a second surgical opinion before agreeing to pay full benefits. It is the responsibility of the patient or insured parent or guardian to see that any such requirements have been met. 

If your yearly deductible has not been met, please be prepared to pay the amount remaining when you are admitted to the hospital.

Group Hospital benefits may be called in to Piedmont's insurance office at 770-801-2552, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. If your insurance company does not make calls to Hospitals about insurance benefits, we will call them on the day of surgery. Be sure to bring the telephone number with you.

Piedmont App

Download the Piedmont Now app

  • Directions
  • Indoor Hospital Navigation
  • Find & Save Physicians
  • Online Scheduling

Download the app today!

Get the Piedmont Now on Google Play Get the Piedmont Now on iTunes App Store