What to Bring
Patients coming to the hospital for an outpatient heart catheterization (heart cath):
• Patients will be asked not to eat after midnight on the day prior to coming in for their procedure.
• Patients should have a family member or friend with them to drive them home because of the medications used during the procedure.
• Patients should arrive at the hospital's Heart & Vascular entrance on East Main Street at a time designated by their physician. From there they will proceed to the adjacent interventional unit where the staff will prepare the patient for a heart catheterization.
• On leaving the interventional unit the patient will go directly to the cath lab where they will answer a set of questions and then be taken into their procedure room.
• On average a patient is in the cath lab for two hours. The staff will keep the family informed of the patient's condition during the procedure. The doctor will contact the family after the procedure is complete.
• Following the heart cath the patient will return to the interventional unit for recovery.
• Depending on the findings of the heart cath, the patient could be discharged the same day. However, some patients will need to stay overnight in the hospital.
• Physical activities will be limited for a few days following the procedure.
Frequently asked questions:
• Will I be put to sleep? We use moderate sedation. No general anesthesia is used during a heart catheterization.
• How long do I have to lie in bed? Bedrest time varies from 3-6 hours depending on physician preference and procedure findings.
• When can I eat? The patient will be allowed to eat after they have fully recovered from the procedure.
• Will I have to spend the night? A patient will stay in the hospital overnight if an angioplasty procedure is performed. If the heart cath is normal, patients are usually discharged the same day.
Patients coming to the hospital for Pulmonary Function Testing or Bronchoscopy:
Pulmonary Function Testing:
• Arrive at Outpatient Registration approximately 30 minutes before scheduled test.
• Bring a sweater or jacket if you are cold natured.
• If you use breathing medications, inhalers or aerosol treatments, please do not take them before your test.
• If you use home oxygen please make sure to bring enough tanks with you for your ride to SAMC and back home.
• Pulmonary function testing usually takes 30-45 minutes.
• Arrive at Outpatient Registration approximately 2 hours before your scheduled procedure time.
• Wear comfortable clothing.
• Make sure to have a ride home because you will not be able to drive.
• The bronchoscopy procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours.
• Because of the medicines used during a bronchoscopy procedure, you will have to spend time in recovery. Please plan to at SAMC for a total of 5-6 hours on the day of your bronchoscopy.
Patients coming to the hospital for procedures requiring general anesthesia:
• Confirm your health history during a scheduled appointment with Pre-surgical testing.
• Pre-surgical testing will inform you of what medications to take the day of procedure.
• Bring all of your current medications with you on the day of procedure.
• Don't eat for 8 hours prior to your procedure. (Clear, non-alcoholic liquids are OK up to 2 hours before your procedure.)
• If you use a CPAP machine, please bring it with you.
• If you have an implantable device such as a pacemaker, AICD or deep brain stimulator, please bring your device name, model and company contact information.
• If you take blood thinning medications, check with your physician when and if you should stop taking these medications.
• Make sure you have someone to drive you home.
• Please make a list of drug, latex and food allergies. Include a list of symptoms these allergies have caused in the past.
Patients coming to the hospital for testing in the Sleep Disorders Center:
• Arrive near the Outpatient Entrance at 8 p.m.
• Be prepared to stay overnight as if in a hotel.
• Bring something comfortable to sleep in and any needed toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, tooth brush, toothpaste, brush and comb; hair dryers are provided in the sleep rooms.
• Bring any regular medications or diabetic supplies.
• Eat supper before arriving at the Sleep Disorders Center.
• Light snacks of juice, soft drinks, cookies and crackers are provided.
• Be prepared to stay until 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to speak with daytime personnel.
• Saturday and Sunday morning patients are released by 6:30 a.m.
Patients coming to the hospital for an MRI scan:
• Patients should not have any metal in their clothing. Please avoid wearing items with metal snaps or zippers. If this is unavoidable, hospital gowns are available. Women are encouraged to wear a sports bra so you won't have to remove your bra for the scan.
• Please leave all jewelry at home,including dentures, eyeglasses or hearing aids that might interfere with the MRI scan. If you bring/wear these items we will ask you to remove them and place them in a locker furnished by SAMC. You should not have your credit cards in your pockets during the scan because the MRI magnet can affect the magnetic strip on the card. Patients who are having a brain/head scan should not wear make-up as some brands contain metal.
• Patients should advise MRI staff of any metallic implants within their body, such as pacemakers, heart valves, metal implants in a patient's brain, eyes or ears and infusion catheters.
• In addition, patients who have been injured by bullets or shrapnel, or patients who work with metals, should discuss this with staff to determine if an MRI can be performed safely.
• Certain metal surgical implants typically do not cause problems. Most orthopedic and dental implants are not magnetic. This includes most hip and knee replacements; plates, screws, and rods used to treat fractures; and cavity fillings. It should be understood that these implants could potentially distort the MRI image if located near the scan site. Even if you believe your metal implant is safe for an MRI scan, you must discuss it with the MRI personnel to ensure it is compatible.
• Bring a list of all current medications.
• All of our MRI scan rooms have a CD player. Patients are encouraged to bring a disc of their favorite music to listen to during their time in the MRI scanner.
Patients coming to the hospital for Outpatient Laboratory Testing:
• Patients should report to Outpatient Registration for their lab work.
• The patient needs to understand clearly whether their doctor wants the tests to be fasting or not. If the tests are fasting, 8-10 hours is usually sufficient, unless you are having a lipid profile. For lipid profiles, patients should fast for 12 hours.
Following physician's instructions can make an important difference in test results. In fact, your physician may ask for your test to take place at a certain time of the day. Collecting the samples as closely to the specified time as possible can make a significant difference in the results.