What To Expect

We are pleased that you have chosen us to assist in your care. Our facility combines the latest surgical technology with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. This page is designed to provide as much information as possible and to help answer many of the questions you may have regarding your surgery prior to your visit. If you have a specific concern that is not addressed satisfactorily, please feel free to call Physicians Medical Center of Houma at (985) 853-1390.

Learn what to expect and what measures should be taken before, during and after your surgery:

Before Surgery:

Will someone from PMC contact me before my surgery?

A few days before surgery, you may receive a couple of calls from our facility:

  • Someone from the PMC healthcare team will contact you to conduct a brief, routine health assessment and provide basic instructions for surgery. This is the time to ask any lingering questions you might have about your procedure.
  • The PMC business office will contact you to address financial matters regarding your procedure: insurance coverage, co-payments and deductibles.
  • An anesthesiologist from our facility may also contact you prior to surgery.

Are there any tests required before surgery?

  • Preoperative tests are determined and ordered by your physician and/or an anesthesiologist. 
  • Should you require such testing, you will be contacted before the date of surgery.
  • Be sure to have your doctor’s office send all necessary paperwork regarding preoperative tests, blood work, and insurance to the facility.


What should I do if I notice a change in my physical condition leading up to my surgery?

It is very important that you note any and all changes to your well-being prior to your procedure. Colds, fevers, additional pain, etc.—they’re all worth mentioning to your physician and nurse.


What, if anything, am I allowed to eat or drink before my surgery?

  • Please avoid all food and beverages—even water—from midnight on before your surgery. Otherwise, your procedure may need to be postponed. 
  • More specific directions may be given during a preoperative phone call.


Should I take my normal medications the day of my surgery?

  • Your doctor or a nurse will give you specific directions regarding your medications during a preoperative phone call.
  • Don’t forget to mention any use of blood thinners (i.e. Plavix, Asprin, etc.) during preoperative consultations.


Do I need a ride to and from my surgery?

Yes, you will. Due to anesthesia, you will not be permitted to drive for 24 hours after your surgery.


What items should I bring with me to the surgery facility?

  • Photo ID and insurance cards; upon checking in the day of surgery, facility staff will need to verify these and then make multiple copies for our files.
  • A list of all drugs and supplements you are currently taking.
  • Any and all medications needed during your stay.
  • Payment for your procedure (e.g. deductible or co-payment).
  • Eyeglass and contact lens cases; you won’t be able to wear them during surgery.
  • DO NOT bring along valuables: rings, watches, etc.


How do I get to Physicians Medical Center of Houma?

It is very important that you obtain directions to our facility prior to your surgery date; those are details you don’t want to worry about last minute. Our address is:

Physicians Medical Center

218 Corporate Drive

Houma, LA, 70360


How should I prepare for my child’s surgery?

  • Ask questions. Surgery can be very intimidating for both parent and child. Therefore, be sure to ask any questions either of you may have during the preoperative phone calls received from our facility. 
  • Discuss the surgery prior to the scheduled date. It is important for a child to understand why he or she needs the procedure and what they can expect. 
  • Bring along a comfort. Whether it’s a favorite stuffed animal or a blanket, be sure to bring something with you that can soothe your child and remind him or her of home. 
  • It may be wise to have another adult with you to help take care of your child on the way home from the facility.


Is it safe to have surgery if I believe I may be pregnant?

Surgical procedures, anesthesia, and other medications can be very harmful to a developing baby. If you believe there is a chance you are pregnant, please notify your doctor, nurse, and the facility prior to your surgery date.


Do I need to shower before surgery?

Yes, showering will help prevent surgical site infections. 

When showering be sure to shower both the night before and the morning of your procedure:

  • Wash your hair with shampoo first.
  • Using a clean washcloth for both showers, wash your body with a liquid antibacterial soap.
  • Avoid shaving near the surgical site unless instructed to do so by your physician or a nurse.
  • Once you’ve rinsed thoroughly, be sure to use a clean towel after each shower. 
  • Do not use lotions, powders, or perfumes after showering.

Washing Hands: the day of the surgery, do not hesitate to ask friends, loved ones—even those caring for you at the facility—if they have washed their hands prior to entering your room. You should all take care to wash your hands throughout this process. 

Post-Op Shower Instructions: When you’ve returned home, take care to follow the specific instructions for post-operative cleaning of your surgical site, e.g. changing bandages, taking your medications, etc.


Day of Surgery:

What should I wear to the hospital?

On the day of your surgery, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing, making it easy to dress and undress yourself.


Is it okay to wear makeup and nail polish?

No. Please do not apply makeup the day of your surgery, and remove nail polish prior to your arrival. 


May I smoke the day of my surgery?

No. We strongly recommend you avoid smoking the day of surgery. Not only could it create complications with your anesthesia, but you could also experience a greater risk of nausea while recovering.


When should I arrive?

You will be given specific instructions with regard to your arrival during a preoperative phone call. It’s imperative that you arrive at the designated time. 


What should I do when I get to PMC?

When you enter the facility, you’ll be greeted at check-in. Admission and verification will go rather quickly because most of your information will have been sent to us before your surgery date. However, please remember to bring:

  • All important insurance cards.
  • Photo IDs. 
  • Payment for your deductible or co-pay.
  • A list of your current medications and supplements.


What will happen after check-in?

After checking in, a nurse will take you through a preoperative assessment that will include:

  • Meeting with an anesthesiologist
  • Taking your vital signs
  • Starting an IV (if necessary)

Family and friends will not be permitted to join you in this room, but our staff will continue to give them updates on your behalf.


What will I do with my personal belongings?

After changing, all of your belongings will be safely stored in the preoperative area. Remember to leave anything of value at home. 


How do I ensure I receive the correct procedure on the correct surgical site?

  • There are no greater goals for PMC than to keep you safe and get you the care you need. We follow rigorous national guidelines and protocols (National Patient Safety Goals) with regard to both. 
  • Prior to surgery, you will most likely meet with your doctor to confirm your procedure and its correct surgical site.
  • What is your part in this? You may be asked to confirm several times over what procedure you will be receiving and where the surgical site is located. Do not hesitate to voice any concerns and ask questions during this preoperative consult.
  • To further confirm and secure the correct procedure and location, your doctor may even mark the site on your body before surgery.


After Surgery:

When can I see my family and friends? 

A nurse will be closely monitoring your vital signs after your procedure. As soon as you are able to move around, we will ask your family or friends to come see you.


How soon can I leave?

Either your doctor or the anesthesiologist will come see you in the recovery area to determine when you are ready to go home.


What should I do when I get home?

  • Your physician will also give you written directions for your recovery at home. Be sure to have your friend or loved ones read and listen to these directions and take any notes if necessary.
  • As you will be recovering from anesthesia, do not plan to sign any legal documents during the first 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Remember to avoid driving for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Plan to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure. 


What if I’m not well enough to go home the same day?

On rare occasions, your physician or anesthesiologist may decide you need additional post-operative care. In that case, you may be admitted to the hospital.


What should I do if I’m not feeling well at home?

Your physician will discuss warning signs with you prior to discharge. If you exhibit any of these symptoms or serious pain, you should:

  • Contact your doctor immediately
  • Head straight to the nearest emergency room, or 
  • Call 911. 


How soon will I be permitted to eat something?

You doctor will have specific guidelines for you to follow with regard to your immediate diet. Plan to drink lots of fluids (with the exception of alcohol), and initially maintain a very light post-operative diet.


How will I avoid infection at the surgical site?

Remember to follow our protocol for bathing and cleaning your surgical site (see instructions for showering under “Before Surgery”).


When should I begin taking my normal medications?

In most cases, you will be instructed to continue with your usual medications after surgery. Should temporary changes to your medication routine be needed, our staff will notify you before leaving. 


How will I manage my pain?

From the time you are admitted, to our post-operative call at home after you are discharged, we will be asking you to describe your pain level. 

Adults will be asked to rate their pain on a scale from 1-10. 

Children will be asked to rate their pain level using the “Faces of Pain Scale” shown below.

Please follow directions for pain medication closely, and remember that most of them will take at least 20-30 minutes to begin working effectively. Therefore, consider taking the next dose before the pain becomes unbearable.