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Surgery Center

Pre-Op Screening: 703.558.6159 (Lobby A)
Outpatient Surgery: 703.558.6155 (2nd Floor)
Parking A (1625 Building/Main Hospital)

Your Surgery Experience

The J. Della Ratta Family Center for Surgery at Virginia Hospital Center is a modern facility that offers a comfortable, state-of-the-art surgical environment, including brand-new inpatient suites and a new prep and recovery area.

Preparing for Anesthesia and Surgery

When you have surgery at Virginia Hospital Center, your health and well-being are our highest priority. Once your surgery is scheduled a member of our Pre-Assessment Team will contact you to review your pre-surgical instructions.

Prior to the surgery, your physician will give you a packet of information prepared by Virginia Hospital Center's Pre-Operative Screening department, including an introductory letter explaining how you can best prepare for your pending surgery. Please take time to read this information. To learn more about your surgery journey, please click on the links below to expand or collapse.

Pre-Assessment Interview & Testing (PAT)

Prior to your scheduled surgery, we’ll schedule a Pre-Assessment appointment. Our team of nurses will pre-register you for surgery and collect valuable information needed for your surgeon and the anesthesia team. During the appointment, our experienced nurses will interview you, gather needed information, answer your questions and provide educational information about your procedure. If you are able to have an in person PAT visit, any lab testing ordered by your surgeons will be done at this time to minimize delays on your day of surgery.

Please have the following available for your appointment:

  • A list of current medications and dosages, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medication and herbal supplements
  • Insurance card & photo ID (Driver’s license)

Before Surgery

A member of our team will contact you the day before your surgery to confirm your arrival time. You’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital. For safety reasons, you may not drive yourself home after surgery due to anesthesia.

It’s essential that you NOT eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery unless instructed to by our team. This includes gum, lifesavers, water, coffee, tea or juice. If you eat or drink anything before your surgery please let our team know ASAP at 703.558.6155. The PAT team will clarify any questions you have about taking your daily medication.

The Day of Surgery

Please arrive at the time your surgeon asks you to be at the Hospital and allow additional time for parking. Park in Zone A Garage A and make your way to the second floor surgery department.

Day of Surgery Checklist:

• Plan to shower and brush your teeth at home. You may be given specific washing instructions to follow at home using antimicrobial soap

• Bring insurance card & photo ID (Driver’s license)

• Do not use powder, lotions or other cosmetics or makeup and remove nail polish

• Dress comfortably

• Once at the hospital, you’ll be asked to remove any dentures, hairpins, hairpieces, jewelry, contact lenses, artificial body parts and underwear

• Leave valuables at home

When You Arrive

On the day of your surgery, please arrive at the designated time and check in at the registration desk on the second floor. Bring your insurance card and driver’s license.

Staff will greet you and place an arm band on your wrist, identifying you and your surgeon. If you have allergies, a red band will be used to alert the staff. You will be asked many times throughout your stay to state your name and the procedure you are having. DO NOT be alarmed, this is a patient safety standard used in all hospital settings.

Prior to your procedure you will be taken to a Center of Outpatient Surgery pre-procedure room. You will be given a hospital gown to change into and a bag to store your belongings. A nurse will conduct a nursing assessment, take your vital signs and answer any questions. Additional lab tests may be conducted as indicated by your surgeon and the anesthesia team. An IV may be placed to provide sedation and medication. A member of our anesthesia team will meet with you to explain the anesthesia process and answer any questions.

Your scheduled time of surgery is approximate and may vary depending on circumstances in the operating room.

During Surgery

The length of surgery can vary greatly depending on the procedure. Your support person is welcome to wait at the Hospital and will receive updates from our team via text messaging. Once your surgery is completed, the surgeon will speak with your support person. Please provide the staff at registration with a designated phone number for the surgeon to call if the support person is not present.

The operating room area temperature is kept cool; please ask for a warmed blanket if you are uncomfortable. A safety strap is placed across your body. All members of the team will identify you and your procedure before they begin. Your privacy and respect is of utmost importance to all of us. Someone will be with you at all times.


After surgery, you will be recovered in the PACU or Center for Outpatient Surgery where you’ll be monitored by specially trained nursing staff under the direction of your surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Expect to feel some pain and discomfort after surgery. Your surgeon may order medication to help reduce your pain. This medication can be picked up from the VHC Outpatient Pharmacy prior to leaving the hospital if desired.

Our team of expert nurses will provide you and your family members with instructions regarding post-procedure care. A nurse will call you within two days of your discharge to see how you are doing and answer any further questions.

Pain Management

Virginia Hospital Center is committed to patient comfort and providing the best possible care for patients and their families. Please ask your nurse and physician about our Pain Management Program.

We are committed to patient comfort and have an aggressive approach to pain management and patient education. We believe that with effective pain management during your illness and/or after surgery we can:

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase your comfort and satisfaction
  • Help you manage activities of daily living
  • Contribute to improved patient care and shorter hospital stays

What is Pain and Pain Assessment
Pain is your body's way of sending a message to your brain that something is wrong. Without treatment, nerve pathways send messages to your brain, increasing the body's response to pain. Sometimes pain may be an uncomfortable feeling that is similar to a headache. At other times, because of your illness or because of surgery, pain becomes severe and persistent. Your nurse and doctors will ask you about your pain because they want you to be comfortable. They want you to tell them anytime you have pain, especially if you have had medication for pain but have not gotten relief.

Your nurse and physician will ask you to rate your pain on a scale, using the numbers 0 to 10.

What Can Be Done to Treat Your Pain
Both medication and non-medication treatments can be successful in helping to prevent and control pain. You and your doctors and nurses will decide which ones are best for you.

  • Pain Medication: Your physician may prescribe medication to be taken by mouth or by injection. Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) is available for patients admitted to the Hospital. This medication is given intermittently or continuously through a small tube either in your vein (IV) or in a small space in your back (Epidural). Both methods allow self-medication with the push of a button.
  • Other Methods: Rest, relaxation and simple techniques such as deep breathing can increase your comfort. Cold packs, heat therapy, massage and nerve stimulation may also be ordered by your physician to help relieve pain.

Surgery Prep FAQs

If you have questions about your surgery or procedure, please find your answers here.

Patient Experience

Virginia Hospital Center is committed to providing the highest quality care for its patients. We are dedicated to achieving the highest levels of patient satisfaction and in keeping all of our patients very satisfied throughout their visit. Please address any concerns/questions/comments with the charge nurse on duty.

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to contact our Patient Experience department at or 703.558.6195.

Access Mayo Clinic’s Expertise

As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Virginia Hospital Center brings the world-renowned expertise and knowledge of Mayo Clinic to our community. How can I access the expertise of Mayo Clinic? It’s simple – all you need is to be under the care of a physician on Virginia Hospital’s Center medical Staff. 

Find a VHC Doctor Access the Mayo Clinic Health Library