Have questions?

Phone: 503-364-3704
Fax: 503-399-9722

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to visit the Center before surgery date?

Some families may elect to bring their children for a preoperative tour of Northbank Surgical Center.

Some patients may choose to come to the Center before their surgery date to complete paperwork or make payments. We strongly recommend that you complete all preoperative documentation before the day of surgery.

Who may accompany me?
Due to COVID-19 policy and procedures, visitors and escorts being allowed in the facility is subject to change. Please call the facility at 503-364-3704 if you have questions or concerns regarding visitors.

May I pre-register for my surgery?
Yes. We strongly encourage you to have completed all the registration forms before the day of surgery. For your convenience, we have provided an online registration feature. On the day of your surgery we would prefer to be able to show to your pre-op room right away, rather than fill out pages of paperwork.

What if I cannot make my appointment?
Please notify the surgeon and the Northbank Surgical Center at 503-364-3704 as early as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Early notification can help us better accommodate you and other patients.

Why must I refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery?
You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery (vomiting during surgery and having it go into your lungs). This complication is very serious, and you need to strictly abide by our recommendations. This has nothing to do with nausea and vomiting after your surgery as some think. We have very clear policies as to specific times before surgery when you must refrain from eating and/or drinking. These are all based on safety standards.

Should I take my usual daily medication?
We generally request that you take your medication before leaving home. Diabetic medications will be individualized. We will usually hold diabetic medicines and manage your sugar at the Center. You should be contacted before your surgery leaving no doubts in your mind as to which medications you should take. Please bring all your medications with you and a written list as well for your records.

People using inhalers must bring them to the Center on the day of surgery.

Some medications will be stopped for the surgery, particularly diabetes medication and blood thinners. You should bring these medications with you the day of surgery. Please call us with any questions you may have.

May I continue my herbal medications?
Herbal medications may have harmful effects on the surgery. Many of these remedies may affect your clotting mechanism and interfere with the anesthetic agents. (The list of drugs and their side effects are too great for this site.) We generally request that you stop these medications two weeks before surgery. Please remember to mention these remedies when being asked about medication.

Will I be contacted before my surgery?
Yes. We call each patient before the surgery to gather information and hopefully answer any of your questions. Preoperative instructions will be given by the nurse or medical assistant who calls you. You can also call the Center directly with any questions.

How will I know how much to pay or how to make financial arrangements?

Generally, you will have 3 different fees.  Your Surgeon, Northbank Surgical Center, and your Anesthesiologist. You may also have a bill from pathology if indicated.

You will receive a call or text from Northbank Surgical Center regarding an estimate for our facility for your surgery.  Northbank expects payment in full, prior to day of surgery. If you need to discuss this do not hesitate to call the center. We cannot leave information on a voicemail so please answer or call us back to ensure you have all the information before day of surgery.

If your surgery will be self-pay (no insurance), you will also receive a call or invoice the day before surgery from the anesthesiologist to pay for their services.

When should I arrive for surgery?

The Medical Assistant at Northbank Surgical Center will call you to give you the arrival time.  Changes happen regularly to the surgery schedule, so it is important to be available to arrive earlier or later depending on the surgery schedule.  Make sure to answer your phone in the weeks/days leading up to your surgery and the day of, so as not to miss important updates to your surgery arrival time. Arrival time and surgery time are different, the center will notify you of your arrival time. Arrive on time, it takes time to check in and admit you. If you arrive late your surgery may have to be pushed back or cancelled due to other surgeries scheduled after yours.

What must I bring with me on the day of surgery?

  • Bring case for eyeglasses or contacts
  • Bring insurance identification cards, driver’s license, completed billing forms, copayments
  • Bring all medication
  • Bring your cell phone
  • Bring your C-pap machine if you use one
  • If you have not completed the online One Medical Passport (One M Net) please bring a current list of all medications, past surgeries, and current health history.
  • Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Leave all jewelry and valuables at home

What should I do if I am not feeling well?
If you are not feeling well, please contact your surgeon immediately. During normal business hours, you can call the Center for advice. There are some surgeries which are safer if delayed when you are sick. We need to know specific details to make the decision. Please do not delay in contacting your surgeon or the Center.

Should I bathe and wash my hair before leaving home?
Yes. You can comfortably take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. Please do not use make up, hair spray, nail polish or toiletries. These may interfere with the anesthesia monitoring and possibly hide clinical signs from the anesthesiologist.

What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable clothing. Button-down shirts or blouses are best. Sweatpants or pull-on pants are easiest when getting dressed after surgery. Wear comfortable shoes. Please remove and leave all jewelry at home, including body-piercing jewelry. If you wear contact lenses, you will probably have to remove them for the surgery, so consider bringing your glasses. If you have to wear your contacts, please bring contact solution and contacts’ case. Please do not wear any make-up as this can hide certain clinical signs.

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 done on pregnant patients. If there is any doubt, please contact your surgeon and 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 the Center in advance so that we can properly prepare to make you comfortable. Do not hesitate to call and suggest anything that may make your day easier.

Should I bring my special needs equipment?
Yes. Please bring any walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, etc.

How will my pain be managed?
Prior to the surgery, the management of your pain should be discussed with both your anesthesiologist and surgeon. Please feel free to bring up any concerns or fears you may have. Remember that information on pain management gives you the appropriate expectations and hence a smoother, more comfortable recovery.

The management of your pain will be taken very seriously. We will often use a combination of different modalities to help make you comfortable, choosing from oral medications, intravenous medications, nerve blocks, injection of local anesthetic during the surgery, etc.

With surgery the expectation is that you will have pain postoperatively.  Our recovery room nurses make it a high priority to bring your pain down to a tolerable level as quickly and safely as possible. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our postoperative call at home. The pain management education will begin with our first contact. You will be repeatedly asked to rate your pain on a scale from 0-10 (10 being the worst pain imaginable). Based on your level of pain we will adjust the medications as needed in order to assure your comfort.

May I speak to my anesthesiologist before the surgery?
All patients will be seen by the anesthesiologist on the day of surgery prior to entering the operating room. Sufficient time should be spent to answer any questions you may have.

May I request what type of anesthesia I will receive?
Yes, in certain situations. Some operations can be performed using a choice of different anesthetic types. Your anesthesiologist will discuss available options with you after reviewing your medical history. Your preference will be discussed so that the most appropriate anesthetic plan is made.

Will I receive any sedatives before surgery?
You and your anesthesiologist will develop an anesthetic care plan.

What are the risks of anesthesia?
All operations and all anesthetics have risks, and they are dependent upon many factors including the type of surgery and the medical condition of the patient. Most patients operated on in surgery centers are of the healthier group of patients, and in these circumstances serious complications, while they can occur, are fortunately very rare.

May I go into the operating room with my child?
Northbank does not allow parents to accompany children into the operating room.  This is not allowed for many reasons, including patient privacy, safety and maintaining the sterile environment of the operating rooms and surrounding areas.

May I drive home?
Any patient receiving anesthesia should not drive until the next day. A patient receiving sedation for a procedure needs a ride home. All patients must have a ride home and be received by a responsible adult when they arrive home. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk, or take public transportation home after sedation or anesthesia. Please make the appropriate arrangements.