Road and parking lot construction in Madison, Wis. may result in travel delays and route changes to UW Health clinic and hospital locations. Please plan accordingly.Read more
What to bring
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes—a shirt that buttons is best
Bring your glasses and a case if you wear glasses
Bring a photo ID and your insurance card
Bring money for medicines that you may need to buy at the pharmacy
If you have cataracts, bring your eye drops with you
For children, bring a special blanket, a stuffed animal or toy and a bottle or sippy cup for use after their surgery
Bring a blanket and pillow for the car ride home
Do not bring valuables or jewelry
Do not wear makeup or nail polish on fingers or toes
Do not wear contact lenses (wear glasses instead)
Madison Surgery Center is in downtown Madison at 1 South Park Street. The clinic entrances are located on Park Street and Regent Street.
We have free parking in the parking ramp attached to the 1 S Park St Medical Center. Patients enter the ramp by turning from South Park Street onto Braxton Place. From Braxton, turn left into the clinic lot and then turn right to enter the ramp. Madison Surgery Center is located on the 3rd floor. If the ramp is full, please park on the surface lot.
When you’re ready to go home, we will ask your family member or friend to bring the car to the Madison Surgery Center entrance on the third floor of the ramp. This will allow our staff to safely transfer you to the car.
Go to Madison Surgery Center on the 3rd floor to check in. You do not need to stop and register first.
A member of our staff will take you back to the pre-op area where a nurse will get you ready. Your nurse will review your health history, explain what will happen, take your vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and place an intravenous (IV) line.
In the pre-op room, you will also meet with your anesthesiologist. This is the person who will manage your sedation during surgery. There are a few different types of anesthesia. You, your surgeon and your anesthesiologist will determine the best sedation method to use.
The surgeon will inject local anesthetic (numbing medicine) to numb the surgical site. In this case, there will be no anesthesia team member with you.
Under monitored anesthesia, the amount of IV sedation and pain medicine as well as local numbing medicine will vary based on the type of surgery. The anesthesia staff will watch your vitals. They can also give general anesthesia if needed.
General anesthesia involves both IV medicines and inhaled gases. These combined medicines will make you unconscious, feel no pain while asleep and lie still on the operating room bed.
This type of anesthesia is called a “nerve block.” It works by injecting local numbing medicine (and sometimes narcotics) in veins or around nerves. This will numb small or large portions of the arms, legs or abdomen, depending on the type of nerve block. It may be the preferred method if you have major heart or lung problems. Many blocks will use ultrasound to guide the placement of the block.
Combined regional and general anesthesia
In some cases, we will use both regional and general anesthesia. This combination can help you recover more quickly and have longer pain relief after surgery.
Risks associated with anesthesia
Patients and their families often have questions about the safety of anesthesia. We want you to understand that it is hard to completely separate the risk of surgery from that of the anesthetic. There are specific risks related to the surgical procedure. These will be discussed with you by the surgeon.
Risks related to the anesthetic are more appropriately discussed by your anesthesia doctor. Our aim is to fully inform you, but not needlessly worry you. Most people who are healthy—aside from the reason they are having surgery—have a low risk, but since anesthetics are powerful medicines, there is no such thing as zero risk. If you have other health problems, it may increase the overall risk, but this varies for every patient.
Risks of general or regional anesthesia (nerve block)
Risks include: equipment complications, bruises and abrasions, burns due to ice, eye problems, infection, tooth damage/loss, lip cuts, sore throat, hoarseness, nausea and/or vomiting, inhaling stomach contents, headache, backache, inability to urinate, reactions to local anesthetics, problems with blood loss, high or low blood pressure, rapid or slow heartbeat, angina (heart pain), heart attack, heart failure, cough, wheezing, lack of oxygen, dizziness, weakness, stroke, brain damage, nerve or spinal cord damage (including paralysis), experiencing pain, being aware under anesthesia, coma or even death. Allergic reactions (minor or serious) to medicines or other substances can occur. Birth defects or miscarriages in pregnant patients can occur.
Remembering others talking or sounds while you are asleep under general anesthesia is very rare but can occur. Remembering some talking or sounds while having only monitored anesthesia/regional anesthesia is a common and expected occurrence.
If this list seems overwhelming, please be reassured that for most nonemergency surgery, the risk is very low for any of the serious problems mentioned above. Talk to us about any concerns you may have.
After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area. Here, our nurses will monitor you and attend to your needs and help with pain control. If you don’t have any problems, you will be able to go home after a few hours. If you were prescribed medicine, we have a pharmacy on the 1st floor where your family member can get your prescription filled.