Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? If you can't find the answer below, please contact us.

Preparing for Surgery

No it’s not required, but some patients may choose to come to the center before their surgery date to complete paperwork or make payments.

Yes. We must speak with each patient or patient’s guardian before surgery to gather and provide essential information. You can also call Northern Wyoming Surgical Center directly with any questions.  If there are medical concerns we may have the physician or anesthesiologist call you before the procedure to obtain additional medical history and to go over instructions related to your surgery. Please make sure Northern Wyoming Surgical Center has an accurate phone number to assure contact on the day before and the day of surgery.

  • Preparation for surgery depends on the type of procedure you will be having.  Consult and ask your doctor what you should do to prepare (physically, emotionally, and logistically).    
  • Physical preparation (typically for larger procedures) may include strength exercises, physical therapy, and weight management.  
  • Emotional preparation includes understanding what limitations you may experience immediately after surgery and expected length of recovery, along with potential setbacks.   
  • Logistical preparation may include reviewing the layout of your house, coordinating durable medical equipment (bracing/crutches/walker/cold therapy), and transportation needs while recovery.

You refrain from eating and/or drinking prior to surgery in order to prevent the risks of aspirating gastric contents during your surgery. 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. Children have different fasting schedules than adults – so please follow all pre-surgical directions.  Your case will likely be cancelled for safety reasons if you have not followed the directions as provided.

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 us immediately. Every female patient of childbearing years will have a pregnancy test or be asked to sign a waiver.

We will make every effort to accommodate any special need you may have. We strongly encourage you to call the Surgery 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

The Day of Your Surgery

All Surgical Patients must have a responsible adult accompany them for surgery. Your surgical procedure will not be performed if you do not have a responsible adult to receive discharge instructions and take you home.

Please notify your physician and Northern Wyoming Surgical Center at (307)587-2139 as early as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Early notification can help us better accommodate you and other patients.

  • Please bathe or shower prior to your surgery. Do not shave the operative site.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing such as sweat suits and easy to button shirts or blouses that are big enough to accommodate a large bandage after surgery. Wear comfortable shoes; no high heels, please.
  • Do not wear any jewelry, including wedding bands, earrings, or body piercing jewelry.
  • Do not wear any make-up, hairpins, nail polish, or contact lenses.
  • If you have Sleep Apnea, you must bring your CPAP machine and sleep study on day of surgery.  
  • Be prepared to sign a form giving your consent for the operation.
  • Bring all insurance cards and a photo ID with you to the center. Please arrive one hour before your scheduled procedure unless instructed otherwise.
  • A nurse will provide you with a patient gown and a bag to store your clothing in.
  • The nurse, anesthetists, and surgeon will evaluate your health on the day of surgery and take necessary vital statistics to ensure your safety during your procedure.
  • Your family will be asked to wait in the front lobby until you are in recovery. The surgeon will speak with your family immediately following surgery. Your family may stay with you until discharge. A limit of 2 visitors will be allowed in your recovery area.   Children are discouraged from the recovery area.
  • Please feel free to make any inquiries before or after your procedure.  We want you to feel comfortable and secure in discussing any concerns you may have.

Please wear comfortable clothing. Button-down shirts or blouses are best. Wear comfortable shoes. 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 makeup as this can hide certain clinical signs. In addition, please remove all body piercings.

We generally request that you take your medication before leaving home. Blood pressure and diabetic medications will be individualized, so please discuss with your doctor and nurses prior to your visit. We will usually hold diabetic medicines and manage your blood sugar at the Northern Wyoming Surgical Center. You should be contacted before your surgery, leaving no doubts in your mind as to which medications you should take. People using inhalers must bring them on the day of surgery. Contact your physician to get specific instructions regarding your medications.

Herbal medications may have harmful effects on the surgery. Many of these remedies may effect 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.

Any person(s) that you choose to support you before or after your procedure may accompany you. One person will be allowed to be in your room with you before surgery and may sit with you after the surgery if you so choose. When a patient is a child often two parents and/or guardians will accompany him or her to the Center. We will do our best to accommodate everyone. Please refrain from bringing young children to the Center as guests.

Yes. You can comfortably take a shower, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. Please do not use makeup, hair spray, or perfumes. Do not shave the surgical site.

If you are not feeling well, please contact your physician immediately. During normal business hours, you can call the Northern Wyoming Surgical 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.

When an anesthesiologist will be involved in your procedure sufficient time should be spent to answer any questions you may have prior to entering the procedure or operating room.

Yes. Please bring any walkers, post-op crutches, hearing aids, CPap machine, etc.

Bring insurance identification cards, driver’s license, and estimated deposit (if applicable). Make sure you have a ride home and someone to care for you at home for 24 hours. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, leave all jewelry and valuables at home, and bring a case for eyeglasses or contacts.

After Your Surgery

  • Arrange in advance for a responsible adult to pick you up at the Center, drive you home and remain with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. There may be special discharge instructions that your responsible adult will need to help you follow.  You cannot drive yourself or be left alone.
  • Before you leave the Center you will be given written instructions for your care at home.  If you have any questions or problems, please contact your physician’s office directly.  If you are experiencing any complications, please go to the nearest Emergency Room for assistance.
  • After you have returned home, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders regarding diet, rest, medication and activity. It is not unusual to feel a little sleepy, lightheaded or dizzy for several hours after your surgery. Do not sign any important papers or make any significant decisions for at least 24 hours. Do not drive after your procedure.
  • A nurse from NWSC will phone you a day or two after your surgery to see how you are and answer any additional questions you might have.

The management of your pain is of great importance to us. We will be assessing your level of pain from the time of admission until you receive our post-operative call at home. It is essential that we are able to assess your pain level during your stay. The Pre-Op nurse will inform you of the scale we use in ranking pain.

The patient and/or family/responsible party has the right to voice grievances relating to but not limited to mistreatment, neglect, verbal, mental, sexual or physical abuse or privacy practice complaints with either verbal or written complaints. These can be submitted to the Privacy Officer at Northern Wyoming Surgical Center, 732 Lindsay Ln., Cody, WY 82414 (Phone number 307-587-2139). You may contact the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at: 200 Independence Ave, SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington DC 20201 (e-mail:  Patients who are Medicare beneficiaries, or their representative, should be informed that the role of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman is to ensure that Medicare Beneficiaries receive the information and help they need to understand their Medicare options and to apply their Medicare rights and protections. Office of the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman is at

No —we require that all patients have a ride home and must have a responsible adult to assist you in your recovery for 24 hours. Patients will not be allowed to drive, walk or take public transportation after a procedure. Arrange in advance for a responsible adult to pick you up at the center, drive you home and remain with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. You cannot drive yourself or be left alone.

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