WAIT! The Virus Changed Things a Little.
The patient’s family can stay with them at all times until they go into the operating room. But because of the darn virus, we limit patients to ONE family member, and typically they have to wear a mask. Remember, there are no COVID patients in the Hospital for Endocrine Surgery.
Bring something to do! You should bring a book to read, or a tablet to play with while you wait since you can’t visit with your family. Bring a phone charging cord also. But please, bring something to keep you from going crazy in case you need to wait a little for your turn for surgery.
Bring your family!
Most people bring a family member or two with them to the hospital, but during the COVID situation, you are limited to one person. Some people come alone and that is just fine. If somebody comes with you, we strongly suggest that they download this app also so they can read about what is happening at all times. It really helps them and keeps them relaxed knowing where you are in the process, what is happening, and what is coming up next. Our new Hospital for Endocrine Surgery doesn’t have any COVID patients (it’s not that kind of hospital), so almost all patients come with family. But they should bring a comfortable mask.
Family / friends can stay with you
Your family member can be with you throughout almost all of the day. You will leave them for a few minutes at the start of your time with us when you go to get an IV in your wrist/arm and so you can change your clothes. They will be able to sit with you after that and keep you company and participate in all of the discussions with the surgeons / nurses.
You will leave your family again for about 30 minutes when you go for your scan, but they typically will chill in your assigned room watching TV or reading. They do not go to the scanner with you. We do between 15 and 30 sestamibi scans every day, almost 4000 per year. Nobody is better!
Food for the family
If you are one of the first 6 patients of our day, we typically have your family / friends hang out in your room until you go to the operating room, and then we send them for breakfast in the cafeteria. If you are patient 7 or later, we typically send your friend/family for breakfast while you get the scan. They have about 30 minutes to eat while you are getting the scan and then they come back up to be with you.
When you go into the operating room (which is located just down the hallway from your pre-op room), we will send your family out to the waiting room or to the cafeteria.
Surgeons talk to your family after surgery
Once the operation is over, one of the surgeons will come to the waiting room to find your family and give them your photo and let them know you are doing great. This is typically just over 1 or 1.5 hours after they left you. And then, after you wake up and feel like chatting (usually about 1 hour after the operation is over), you will change into your regular clothes and your family/friends can come back to join you again for the last 30-45 minutes with us. This allows your family to participate in the final visit with the surgeons and be a part of the last instructions we give you.
Before you leave the hospital
At least one of the surgeons will visit with you and your family together before you go. One last point: have your family download this app for themselves. It won’t have a few personalized things that yours does, but they can have access to all of this information and they will be happier knowing what is going on.
What your family should bring
The people coming with you should bring something to keep them occupied. A book, a computer, or somebody else to chat with. They will be with you most of the time, but obviously you have other things to do. Your little room has a TV that they/you can watch. We have WiFi for everybody so they can get some work done on a computer.
We will send your family off to the cafeteria while you are getting your operation. The cafeteria is actually quite nice, and is located right next to the waiting room. However, we have noticed that some family members / friends bring some snacks along with them. It is OK for them to have snacks in your room, but we don’t want them to bring entire meals up into the patient areas (our doctors will eat it if they do!). Small snacks are a great idea for your family to bring, but you can’t have any!