Nurse with patient 1927 Seattle

Nurse with Patient in 1927 flickr (CC by 2.0)

For the hospital that I was scheduled to have my da Vinci robotic surgery in, the guideline was to make an appointment one week or earlier, before my surgery date, for P.A.T. or Pre Admission Testing.

The pre admission nurses pretty much ran the show for this meeting. I filled out forms, and they drew blood for blood typing – I guess in case I needed some extra blood during surgery. However, my doctor told me this was highly unlikely, because the blood loss in da Vinci robotic surgery is really low. (And that turned out to be true).

Next they took my vitals like weight, pulse, BMI (body mass index), and blood pressure (which was surprisingly low at 110/66 for a 62 year old man), meaning I was facing surgery and all the anxiety & nervousness that goes along with that, and it should have been higher, but that just goes to show I had confidence in my decision.

It’s a good thing they took my blood pressure early though, because later in the session a nurse casually mentioned that I was undergoing “major” surgery. That kind of spooked me, because for some reason, I hadn’t been thinking along those lines. And it probably kicked my BP up a notch or two.

Again, all of this was what happened to me – your hospital may have completely different rules & guidelines. Do what your hospital advises you to do.

Next on the agenda was their recommendation for me to buy a liquid-antiseptic soap called Hibiclens® for use at home on the morning of surgery – to lessen the risk of infection. Use it in the shower, no need to rub hard, and do NOT use on face/hair/groin areas.

Also, do not shave your groin area; hospital staff will do whatever is necessary – they don’t want any nicks or cuts down there before surgery.

I was told to call a phone number the afternoon before surgery to confirm my arrival time at the hospital.

Finally, I thought I was finished but was told to wait to meet with an anesthesiologist – not necessarily my anesthesiologist, but one that was available that day. Do I have any loose teeth? Any sleeping problems, etc.?

The entire meeting took about 45-50 minutes or so in total.