Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Surgical Services

Surgical Services at Mercy - North Iowa provides patients with the most advanced surgical options from surgical teams dedicated to providing the highest quality care. Having surgery may be very stressful, the below information is provided to help reduce a small part of that stress.

Preparing for Surgery

You will receive a call one to two days prior to your surgery regarding arrival time and pre-surgery instructions. If you have not received a call from the surgical staff, please call 641-422-7757 or 1-800-433-3883, ext. 7757 after 1:00 p.m. the day before your surgery to verify your arrival time and review your pre-surgery instructions. If your surgery is scheduled on a Monday, please call on the previous Friday.

The Day of the Surgery

On the day of surgery, please report to the Patient Registration Office, which is located on the first floor near Mercy's main entrance on the south side of the hospital.

Bathe or shower as usual the day of your surgery, removing all makeup. At the hospital, you will change into a hospital gown. At this time, you should remove contact lenses. Please be sure to notify your nurse if you have dentures, partial plates, hearing aides or body piercings.

What to Bring

  • A list of your medications
  • Metered dose inhaler, if you use one
  • Most current insurance cards, information for billing, and any pre authorizations required for services
  • A list of any allergies you may have
  • Advance Directives if you wish them to be a part of your medical record (Living Will/Medical Durable Power of Attorney)

What Not to Bring

  • Valuables. The hospital cannot be responsible for your jewelry and other valuables. Please leave them at home or give them to a family member to hold for you until after your procedure.

You may receive pre-operation medication to help you relax. You should not take your regular medications unless ordered by a physician. You will be instructed which medications you should take the day of surgery. Some medications and herbal products should be discontinued well in advance of your surgery. Please verify that information during your pre-procedure phone call.

We will make final surgical preparations in the holding area or Same Day Surgery Admissions area before taking you to the operating room. Your operating room nurse will introduce him or herself, check your identification band and ask a few questions. An Anesthesiologist will speak with you and answer questions before administering your anesthetic.

Surgery Recovery - Post Anesthesia Care/Recovery
After surgery, you will be taken to Recovery in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and respiration) will be monitored. This room is designed and staffed to care for several patients at a time. You may be aware of other patients and activities going on around you.

Specific Tips for Children

  • Bring your child's special blanket or toy. It will be comforting for them to take a familiar item into surgery, and it will be there when they awaken in the Recovery Room.
  • Small children riding in rear facing car seats need two responsible people, one to drive home and one to observe the child during the trip.
  • If the infant has a special bottle or formula, please bring it with you to the hospital.

Your family members may wait in the Surgery Waiting Area during your surgery. A volunteer will be available to help answer their questions. Usually, your physician will visit with them after your surgery.

If you have any problems, please contact your surgeon or you may contact us at 641-422-7757 if you are unable to reach your surgeon.

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After Surgery

 Q. Do I need someone to be with me the first night home?
A. We do recommend that you have someone stay with you on your first night home.

If you cannot have someone stay with you, it is a good idea to make arrangements to have someone close by whom you can call upon if you should need help.

A nurse will call you after your surgery to see how you are doing and answer any questions you may have about your recovery. If you are experiencing problems or have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1.800.433.3883 ext. 7757 or 422.7757.

Q. How will I feel?
A. You may experience any of the following normal symptoms as you recover from surgery.

  • You may feel drowsy, tired and have general muscle aches. Mild nausea also is common after anesthesia. If it persists and you cannot keep fluids down, please call your surgeon.

Other reactions to surgery include

  • If you have general anesthesia, you may have a sore throat for a day or so.
  • You may have cramps, gas pains or you may feel slightly bloated and full in your abdomen.

Q. Will I have much discomfort?
A. You will be reasonably comfortable before you are discharged to go home. The amount of discomfort that you experience will depend on the type of surgery you have. You may or may not require a prescription for pain medication.

Surgical Specialties

  • General
  • Dental/reconstructive - Adult and Pediatric
  • Cosmetic/reconstructive
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetric/gynecology
  • Oncology
  • Cardio thoracic (open heart)
  • Orthopedic
  • Podiatry
  • Urology
  • Vascular
  • Thoracic

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Making an Informed Decision

Making a truly informed medical decision involves more than a single decision. It is a step-by-step process in which you take responsibility for making a number of decisions. Your decision to seek help was the first step in that process.

  1. Understanding your condition. You can't make an informed decision about something you don't understand. Your first step is to gain knowledge about your disease.
    • Listen carefully to your health-care professionals when you are presented with a diagnosis of your condition and a description of your treatment options.
    • Thoroughly read any written information provided by your health care team.
    • Seek out information on your own.
    • Ask questions about anything you do not understand.
  2. Weigh the risks and benefits. After gaining adequate information about your condition, you must next weigh the risks and benefits associated with your treatment options.
    • Keep in mind the impact your condition has on your way of life.
    • Consider the limitations that your symptoms place on the activities which are most important to you.
    • Discuss these issues with your family and your health care team.

      In some cases you may discover that the risks outweigh the treatment benefits. In other cases, the benefit may outweigh any possible risk.
  3. Develop realistic goals and commit to working toward recovery. What do you want to accomplish by having medical treatment? How much of a commitment are you willing to make to accomplish this goal?
    • Treatment is only the beginning of your recovery process, and may help to relieve your symptoms but alone cannot return you to a healthy state.
    • As your body begins to heal on it's own, you must make a physical and mental commitment to regaining your lost abilities.
    • Recognize that it is your effort, your lifestyle choices and the severity of your medical condition, which will determine the degree to which you can return to a normal way of life.
  4. Make a final decision. After you have all your questions answered, it is up to you to make a final decision about which treatment option is best for
    you. Once you make that decision, trust in it, look to the future and work to achieve the best possible outcome.
  5. The benefit for you.
    • Less anxiety prior to and during your treatment.
    • A better mental attitude, which can help to increase your body's own healing powers.
    • A speedier recovery because you are committed to actively participating in returning to a normal level of activity.
    • The best recovery possible because you have realistic goals and work steadily to achieve them. 

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