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The Day Of Surgery

On the day of your surgery, report to the selected location indicated on the paperwork from your surgeon’s office.

Where to Go

For surgery scheduled in University Tower

Access Services and Patient Registration Check-in – Level 1 Durham Outpatient Center
Located behind the Information desk in the Durham Outpatient Center

Driving to and parking at University Tower

  • Use 4400 Emile St., Omaha, NE 68105 in your GPS device.
  • Please utilize complimentary valet parking Monday through Friday between the hours of 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. available in front of the Durham Outpatient Center circle drive.
  • For self-park, please use the green parking structure located at the intersection of 45th and Emile streets. To enter the main lobby of University Tower, take the parking structure elevators to level one, into the atrium of the Durham Outpatient Center.
For surgery scheduled in the Hixson-Lied Center or Clarkson Tower

Access Services and Patient Registration Check-in – Level 1 Clarkson Tower
Located on the left side of Clarkson Tower lobby

Driving to and parking at Clarkson Tower

  • Use 4350 Dewey Ave., Omaha, NE 68105 in your GPS device.
  • Please utilize complimentary valet parking Monday through Friday between the hours of 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. available in front of the main entrance of Clarkson Tower on 42nd Street and Dewey Avenue.
  • For self-park, please use the orange parking surface lot near the main entrance to the hospital at 42nd Street and Dewey Avenue.

You may view printable maps and links to directions or Google maps at to assist you in locating Nebraska Medicine campus.

Nebraska Medicine is a smoke-free campus. There is no smoking of any kind allowed inside the hospital or outside on the hospital grounds. Please plan for this when coming to our hospital. You may want to talk with your physician about smoking cessation assistance before your hospital visit. We also have assistance available to you if you have a planned hospital stay following your surgery or procedure.

After checking in at the appropriate Access Services check-in desk, the surgical staff will take you into the pre-operative (pre-op) area to prepare you for surgery.

Pre-Operative Area

For your safety we may ask and verify questions regarding your medical history several times.

Up to two family members may join you in the pre-op area. The number of family members joining you is limited due to the size of the pre-op area and the number of other patients having surgery on the same day. The rest of your family and friends may wait in the designated waiting areas.

In the pre-op area, you will change into a patient gown, removing all personal clothing articles and placing them in a garment bag provided. If you are admitted to the hospital following your operation, your belongings will be taken to your hospital room.

If you are scheduled to be admitted to the hospital, information related to advanced directives will be provided to you. Nebraska law requires all patients 19 years or older admitted to the hospital must be informed of their rights to make decisions about medical care.

While you are in pre-op, your anesthesiologist or the pre-op nurse will start an intravenous catheter (IV). The IV is a small plastic tube that allows fluid to enter your vein. Through this IV you will receive initial doses of anesthesia to help you relax, perhaps make you sleepy and provide you with antibiotics. The team will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, respirations and oxygen levels. They may perform other procedures, depending on your scheduled surgery.

Before you go into the operating room a surgical hat and a warming blanket will be used to keep you warm. Keeping the body at a normal temperature before, during and after surgery may help reduce the incidence of wound infection and other risks of surgery.

Before you leave the pre-op area to go into the operating room, you will be introduced to an operating room nurse. Your surgeon may stop by to see if you have any last minute questions. The pre-op staff, anesthesia staff and operating staff will perform a time-out exercise to review important information about you and your planned surgery. The time out exercise assures accuracy and safety of your surgery. The staff may mark areas on your body part that is undergoing surgery.

Waiting Areas

Family and friends should check in with the staff or volunteer on duty in their respective waiting area. The nurse will update family about once each hour during your surgery. When surgery is complete, your surgeon may call or come to the waiting room to talk with them. The surgical staff will notify your family and friends when you arrive in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or recovery room and when you leave the PACU.

For surgery scheduled in University Tower

If you are instructed to report to the Durham Outpatient Center Access Services for surgery in University Tower, your family and friends should use the surgery waiting room on the second level of the Durham Outpatient Center, opposite the CornerStone Gift Shop.

Phone number 402-559-7318

For surgery scheduled in the Hixson-Lied Center or Clarkson Tower

If you were instructed to report to Clarkson Tower Access Services for surgery scheduled in Hixson-Lied Center or Clarkson Tower, your family and friends should use the surgery waiting area on the second level of the Clarkson Tower. Please use the elevators near the gift shop.

Phone number 402-552-3223

During Your Operation

From the pre-op room, the surgical staff will take you into the operating room (OR.) You may notice bright lights, a variety of instruments and pieces of equipment. The OR may seem cool, so let your nurse know if you need an additional blanket. The table you will lie on is firm and narrow, and for your protection, the nurse will place a safety belt across your legs.

The surgical and anesthesia staff will continuously monitor you as you are given anesthesia during the surgery. Another time-out exercise will be performed by the OR staff, Anesthesia and your surgeon before your surgery is started.

After Your Operation

After your operation, the surgical staff will take you to the PACU or recovery room. During your stay in the PACU, a nurse will be with you at all times. For a short time while you are awakening, the nurse will administer oxygen. Your nurse will be monitoring you closely by checking your blood pressure, pulse, respirations and oxygen levels.

You will be allowed to see your loved ones after surgery when a hospital room has been assigned to you or you have been transferred to the unit where you will be discharged.

Pain Management

Your comfort is one of our top priorities. Remember that while we want you to be as comfortable as possible, we may not be able to make you 100 percent pain free. By working together with your nurses, physicians and other care team members, we will alleviate as much pain as possible. Please follow these steps to achieve optimal pain control during your recovery.

  1. Set realistic expectations. After a major surgery, you will most likely experience some discomfort, but it is our goal to keep you as comfortable as possible.
  2. When asked to rate your pain, use the 0–10 pain scale. Be honest about your pain. You are the only one who can say how little or how much you are hurting. Use the pain scale to describe your pain.
  3. “How is your pain now?” You can expect to hear this question over and over during your hospitalization. This question provides your caregiver with a measurement to determine your response to pain control and if changes in pain management are needed.
  4. Make a plan with your nurse at the beginning of his/her shift. Do you want your nurse to wake you to give you pain meds? If you have “as needed” pain medicine that is ordered every four to six hours, do you want to be offered it every four hours or every six hours? (If your nurse doesn’t ask you about a plan, be sure to mention it.)
  5. If you have had trouble with a certain pain medication in the past, please be sure to discuss this with your doctor or nurse so a different medication can be ordered if necessary.
  6. Don’t expect immediate results. You must allow time for the medicine to work and time for your body to heal.
  7. If you should begin to experience pain that is suddenly different from what you have been experiencing (i.e., your pain becomes unbearable), call your nurse immediately.
  8. MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask your doctor, nurse or care team member for help at any time.

Learn more about pain management during your hospital stay

Staying in the Hospital

After you are taken to your hospital room, the nurse will take your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respirations often, both day and night. It is routine to check these vital signs frequently to make sure you are recovering satisfactorily.

Expect to be required to take deep breaths, cough and turn in bed. You will use a device called an incentive spirometer hourly to help you keep your lungs clear after surgery and decrease the risk of pneumonia.

You will be able to do these things more easily if you are comfortable. Your doctor may order pain medicine to help keep you comfortable. Please do not hesitate to ask your nurse for pain medicine. Gowns, robes or slippers will be provided to you during your stay at the hospital.

For your return home, after leaving the hospital, wear clothing that will be easy to put on and remove.


  1. If your surgery is on your head or neck – wear a shirt that buttons up and doesn’t have to be pulled over your head.
  2. If your surgery is on your abdomen – wear loose-fitting pants with an elastic waist.

With your help and the help of the hospital team, each day you will become stronger and better able to care for yourself.

For additional information about the hospital, food options, personal care items and ATM locations please reference the guest information guide that will be provided in each patient room.

On campus lodging options are available. Please contact the Nebraska House by calling 402-559-5599.

Going Home the Same Day as Surgery

You will be able to recuperate in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of your own home. Going home the same day as your surgery takes some preparation. Please arrange for another adult to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your surgery. You must also make care arrangements for any small children if necessary. You will not be permitted to leave Nebraska Medicine alone if you have received general anesthesia, regional anesthesia or IV sedation.

You will be dismissed according to your physician’s orders. This usually occurs one to two hours after surgery ends, but each patient and each procedure are different. The nursing staff will review going home instructions with the responsible adult and you, as well as send the instructions home in written form.

Nebraska Medicine has an on-site outpatient pharmacy available to fill any post-operative prescriptions. Charges at the pharmacy may not be included in your hospital charges. The pharmacy accepts cash and credit cards.

If you would like to have your prescriptions filled at another pharmacy, please provide this number to your nurse. The hospital staff will call or fax your prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice.

After your surgery, you can expect to receive a call from Nebraska Medicine. As an organization, we appreciate any feedback about your experience with us. We invite you to share your experience with us. Nominate a nurse for a national caregiver award, provide feedback on your experience and donate to the medical center.


Make an Appointment

Call: 800.922.0000