Outpatient surgery

You are going to undergo outpatient surgery

What is outpatient surgery ?

The patient only spends a day in the hospital. This is now possible thanks to the use of a minimally invasive technique but does, however, depend on the condition.

What does outpatient surgery involve ?

Before your admission

The surgeon decides if you require an operation. In view of the type of operation, outpatient surgery may be possible.
Various stages are necessary to ensure your the stay in the hospital and your return home take place under the right conditions.
Two appointments will be scheduled before the operation

Arrival at the clinic

Admission is from 7.30 a.m.

  • The first stage concerns the administrative formalities. A member of staff will take you to your room on the outpatient surgery ward and all the documents will be requested.

For minors, the presence of a parent is compulsory.


Preparation for the operation :

The nurse :

  • Welcomes and settles you in your room
  • Checks all your examinations
  • Checks that you are fasted
  • Ensures hair has been removed from area to be operated on
  • Checks and marks which side is to be operated on
  • Tells you when you will be taken to the operating room
  • Ensures you have a shower two hours beforehand
  • Gives you premedication to help you relax
  • The medical secretary finalises the documents

Transfer to the operating room
The hospital porter takes you to the operating room with your complete medical file, the brace, and the support stockings if required.

Arrival in the operating room

  • The anaesthesiologist will start preparing you for the operation in the anaesthetic room
  • The nurse will check your identity as well as which side you are being operated on and will get you ready on the operating table with the help of the operating room staff
  • The assistant will propose a film you can watch during the operation
  • The surgeon will come and see you to ensure everything is in order
  • The assistant surgeon prepares the surgical drapes and the limb that will be operated on
  • The procedure can then begin.

The recovery room

Even if you were not unconscious during the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room for about 1 hour after any procedure in order to:

  • Control your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse…)
  • Ensure effective pain management as the anesthetic wears off
  • Carry out an x-ray to check the joint operated on
  • Relieve post-operative pain
  • Ensure ice is used rapidly depending on the operation
  • Ensure you are in the best condition before leaving hospital

Return to your room

The porters will take you back to your room after approximately 1h of surveillance in the recovery room.

  • Nursing care : the nurse administers analgesics and may put ice on the knee, monitors the limb operated on and changes the dressing. She will give you the results of all your examinations
  • Physiotherapy : the physiotherapist will get you up first and get the operated limb moving. They will give you instructions before you leave and will ensure you are self-sufficient enough to return home as well as check how you get around on crutches.

Rehabilitation then continues every day with a physiotherapist.
You will be served a light snack in your room before you leave.

Your discharge

Follow-up examinations

  • Your surgeon and your anesthesiologist will check on you daily to ensure that all is going well following the operation and the pain is being managed. They approve your discharge
  • The medical secretary goes over your file and completes it if necessary. She is available if needed.

It may not be possible to leave the same day if :

  • You are in pain
  • You require a longer stay
  • No relative can stay with you during the first night at home
  • Other medical reasons that justify a longer stay

Discharge office at the clinic :
You will make the various payments and complete your administrative discharge.

The day before your hospitalization

Several things must be done the day before the operation. Here are the various stages :

Pre-anesthesia consultation

A first appointment with the anesthesiologist takes place 1 to 3 weeks before the operation in order to :

  • Meet the anesthesiologist who will be looking after you during your stay in hospital
  • Report any current treatments
  • Discuss the different anesthetic techniques and pain management
  • Carry out any complementary medical assessments your anesthesiologist may see fit.

The pre-operative appointment

A second appointment is scheduled with the medical secretary, the nurse, and the physiotherapist to arrange, explain, and organize the admission, discharge, and post-op follow-up.

During this appointment, the medical secretary will:

  • Provide all the information you need regarding the operation
  • Recover all the documents necessary for your hospitalization
  • Check and explain all the administrative documents
  • Hand over the discharge documents and the prescriptions after validation by the anesthesiologist
  • Organize the transport home
  • Check the post-op appointments with the nurse and the physiotherapist
  • Confirm the type of operation
  • Confirm the limb and the side to be operated on
  • Accept payment for the operation

The nurse

  • Provides all the information necessary regarding paramedical care and medicines to be taken after the operation (pain killers)
  • Explains the basic surveillance: temperature, swelling, scar
  • Gives information regarding post-operative symptoms that may indicate a problem and what to do.

The physiotherapist explains

  • How to use the brace or the crutches, if indicated
  • How to adjust them
  • Techniques for using ice and what to do after the operation
  • The initiation of the physiotherapy treatment – Initial tips regarding rehabilitation and self-rehabilitation in relation to your operation.

The day of the operation

Preparing your things
Administrative documents :

  • Up-to-date carte vitale (health insurance card)
    Identity card
  • Parental authorization for minors
  • Health insurance
  • Consent
  • Means of payment

Examinations :

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Scan

Other examinations :

  • Blood test
  • ECG
  • Dental panoramic if requested

Equipment :

  • Crutches
  • Support stockings
  • Ice bag
  • Brace for the operation

Personal medication :

  • Prescriptions
  • Personal medication

Personal belongings :
(in case of a long hospital stay)

  • Washcloth
  • Shower gel…

Physical preparation


The following hygiene measures must be complied with before any outpatient surgery :

  • Cut your finger nails and toe nails short
  • Remove any dental appliances
  • Remove any nail varnish
  • Remove any makeup
  • Remove any jewelry (rings, necklaces, bracelets, piercing…)

Skin preparation

Hair must be removed using a depilatory cream (you must not use a razor).
If it is an operation on a lower limb, hair must be removed :

  • from the belly button to the foot for a hip operation
  • from the groin to the ankle for a knee operation
  • from the knee to the toes for an ankle operation

For the upper limbs : hair must be removed from the chest and shoulder to the hands.

Betadine shower :
The day before the operation, a Betadine shower is prescribed and must be taken at home. Here are the steps to be followed :

  • take a bottle of Betadine (red bottle) and a single-use flannel
  • lather until the foam is white
  • wash your body in the following order :
  1. Hair
  2. Face
  3. Neck
  4. Arms
  5. Chest
  6. Belly button
  7. Legs
  8. Feet
  9. Genital area
  10. Anal area
  • Insist behind the ears, the underarms, groin, and feet (between the toes)
  • Dry yourself thoroughly
  • Brush your teeth, clean your ears and put clean pajamas on.


From midnight the day before the operation, you must not eat, drink, chew chewing-gum, or smoke before arriving at the clinic, whatever the anesthetic.
If you do not comply with these instructions, the operation cannot take place.

Preparing for the first night after the operation (post-op night)
The first night must be organized before returning home to ensure you do not spend the first night post-op at home alone. It is compulsory to have someone with you after this type of hospitalization.
Do not forget to collect your medication from the pharmacy

The two days following the operation

  • The medical secretary will call you to ensure all is well the two days following the operation
  • You can contact the surgeon or the anesthesiologist if there is a problem
  • The medical secretary is also available from Monday to Saturday from 7.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Outside these hours, you can contact the clinic 24/7.

What are the risks of outpatient surgery ?

Risks linked to short stay surgery include risks specific to the operation, for which you will have been given specific details, as well as to any anesthetic, and risks linked to outpatient surgery:

  • Pain after returning home
  • Bruising
  • Faintness due to pain

The night following the operation, you must not sleep alone; a friend or family member must stay with you.

What are the advantages of outpatient surgery ?

What are the advantages of outpatient surgery?
There are numerous benefits:

  • Greater comfort
  • Quicker return to normal function and daily life
  • Lower risk of contracting an infection in hospital
  • Lower risk of phlebitis
  • Shorter and therefore less expensive stay in hospital

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