Thank you for choosing Riverside for your surgery. Your surgery will take place in our new Pavilion at Riverside Regional Medical Center. Our goal is to give you the best care possible and to make this experience as stress-free and comfortable as possible.

If you will be undergoing joint replacement surgery, please enroll in our Joint University.


Some physicians prefer to tell the patients when to arrive for surgery. Other physicians prefer to have the hospital nurses call the afternoon before your surgery to give you an arrival time. Generally, you should plan to arrive at the facility at least two hours before your scheduled surgery time. It is important that you arrive on time. If you think you will be late, please call our pre-op/post-op team at 757-534-6036. You must call your physician if you need to cancel or have questions.

Sometimes we have unexpected delays in our carefully planned operating room schedule. We will try to avoid any inconveniences to you and your family. We will keep you informed as changes occur.

We recommend that you not schedule any other appointments the day of your surgery. In addition, if you have young children, you should make plans for their care on your surgery day, such as having someone pick them up from school.

Child care option
Riverside Health System's Child Development & Learning Center is available to those in our community needing back up care. Parents and Guardians of children ages 6 weeks to 8 years old may use the center's back up care services while receiving outpatient or inpatient services, as well as receiving medical and related care in a hospital-affiliated extended care Riverside facility. In addition, those attending classes through our College of Health Careers and contracted employees are also eligible. The Child Development & Learning Center is located in the Oyster Point/City Center area of Newport News. Please call 757-594-3300 for more information on fees and availability.

Medications and supplements
Discuss your medications with your doctor or surgery scheduler. You may need to stop taking some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or blood thinners. You also need to tell your doctor about any vitamins and herbal supplements you take. Some medicines can interfere with bleeding or healing.

We ask that you bring a detailed list of your medications with you on the day of surgery and whenever you seek health care or services.

This list should include the name of the medicine, the dose and the frequency (or how often you take it). Riverside offers a free, wallet-sized List for Life/MediCard that you can keep and use to list your medications and other important information. To request a free List for Life/MediCard call Riverside Nurse at 757-595-6363 or 800-675-6368.

Call your physician immediately if you notice a change in your health between the time you see your surgeon and the day of your procedure, to include skin changes such as rashes, scratches, bruises and sores.

Testing before surgery
You doctor may order preoperative or pre-op testing before your surgery. This may include X-rays, EKG or blood tests.

Please have your pre-op testing completed one week prior to surgery but no later than three days before surgery to allow your doctor to review the results.

Riverside offers testing at many locations. Most services are available on a walk-in basis. If you want to make an appointment, call Central Scheduling: 757-989-8830 option 2.

The day before surgery
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT ON THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SURGERY. This includes chewing gum, eating candy and swallowing water when you brush your teeth.

If you are taking medications regularly for heart and lung conditions (such as angina, chest pain, high blood pressure or asthma) or for seizures (such as epilepsy control), we recommend that you continue to take the medications on your usual schedule including your day of surgery. Medications may be taken with a small sip of water. If your physician gives you different instructions, please follow those instructions.

If you have diabetes you should follow the instructions from your doctor.

Do not consume alcoholic beverages 24 hours before and after surgery.

Avoid smoking at least 12 hours before or after your procedure.

If you have not received a phone call from the surgery team by 3 p.m. the day prior to surgery, please call 757-534-6036.

The day of surgery
You must have a responsible adult with you on the day of surgery, to remain at Riverside and drive you home after your surgery. We will not allow you to leave Riverside alone. For your own safety, do not drive for 24 hours following surgery if you receive general anesthesia or sedation.


Medical papers:
Remember to bring any papers your physician or the admissions clerk has asked you to bring. Please bring Power of Attorney paperwork if applicable.

Advance directives:
If you have Advance Directives, please bring a copy for our records.

Bring a detailed list of the medications you are currently taking, including:

  • The name of the medicine
  • The dose
  • How often you take it
  • The last time you took each one

Medical equipment:

  • Bring any inhalers you are currently using. If you are on CPAP, please bring your equipment with you.
  • Bring any custom-fitted appliances or orthopedic appliances that you will use after surgery. These include collars, lumbar corsets, slings, walking boots, post-op shoes, etc.


  • Wear comfortable, casual clothing.
  • Low-heeled shoes and jogging suits are ideal.
  • We will provide a hospital gown and slippers for use during your stay.


  • Other than your copay (if applicable), please DO NOT BRING VALUABLES (money, credit cards, checkbook) with you.
  • Our center accepts no responsibility for the possible loss of these items.


  • Please do not bring jewelry with you on the day of surgery.
  • Remove all jewelry including wedding rings and body piercings.

Glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids:

  • Please remove your contact lenses, glasses and hearing aids before surgery and give these items to the person accompanying you.
  • Please remember to bring storage cases for glasses or contact lenses.

Makeup, fingernail polish:

  • Remove all makeup and fingernail polish.
  • These can interfere with our monitoring equipment.

Wigs, hair extensions:

  • Wigs may not be worn into surgery.

If your child is having surgery:

  • If your child is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the child to Riverside to sign surgery consent forms.
  • Please be prepared to stay in the medical center until your child is discharged.
  • If your child has a favorite toy, blanket, cup or sippy cup let him/her bring it.
  • If your child drinks from a bottle, please bring one bottle of formula and an empty bottle for juice to drink after he/she comes back from the postanesthesia care unit.
  • Nursing mothers may nurse as usual.
  • Please remember to bring extra diapers.

If you are going home right after surgery: 

  • After returning from surgery, you will remain in the center until ready for discharge.
  • We will offer you beverages and crackers when you are awake and can tolerate them.
  • We will not permit you to drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia as it is not safe for you or others.
  • Please be sure to make arrangements with an adult 18 years or older to transport you home.
  • For your safety, you should also make arrangements for someone to be home with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • You cannot drive or drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after discharge.
  • At the time of discharge, you might feel drowsy.

If you are being admitted after surgery:

  • A member of our care team will notify your family or significant other when you arrive in the postanesthesia care unit and when you receive your room assignment.
  • If family members are unable to be at the hospital, they may call 757-534-6190 for a status report.
  • To protect your privacy, please provide those family members or friends with a "secret password" of your choosing.
  • We will ask callers for the password before we release any information about your status.

Before you leave:

  • Please be certain you understand your physician's instructions.
  • Your nurse will review physician discharge instructions to include medications, diet and rest requirements.
  • We will also give you a written copy of these instructions.

At home:

  • If you experience difficulties or complications once you return home, please contact your surgeon.
  • If you cannot reach your surgeon at his/her office or have any questions, call the Riverside Operator at 757-594-2000 and ask them to page your surgeon.
  • Riverside Nurse is also available to answer your questions at 757-595-6363 or 800-675-6368.
  • After a few days, you may receive a questionnaire. Please take a few minutes to complete it. This is an important part of your after care which helps us continue to provide service that meets your needs.

Quick Reference Telephone Directory

Central Scheduling
  • Phone: 757-989-8830, select option 2
  • Hours: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Closest entrance: None

Preassessment Surgical Services (Preoperative Lab Testing Center)

  • Phone: 757-534-6050
  • Hours: Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Closest entrance: Pavilion entrance

Pavilion Pre-op/Post-op Surgical Services

  • Phone: 757-534-6036
  • Hours: Monday - Friday from 5 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Closest entrance: Pavilion entrance