Pre / Post Op

At Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center, we want to make your ambulatory/outpatient surgery experience as pleasant as possible. Please call us at 218-822-2400 if you have any questions, concerns, special needs or requests.

Patient Responsibilities

The staff of this facility is committed to caring for their patients and families with the highest standards of care. Patients and surrogates/caregivers are provided with their responsibilities so they may participate in receiving quality patient care.

The patient and/or surrogate/caregiver are responsible for:

  1. Providing accurate and complete information about present complaints, allergies or sensitivities, past illnesses, hospitalizations, all medications, including but not limited to over-the-counter products/dietary supplement and other health matters to the best of your knowledge.
  2. Reporting any changes in your condition.
  3. Information regarding advanced medical directives or living will; including power of attorney; understanding that if the/your [patient’s] condition would deteriorate when in the surgery center, by anesthesia orders, and in an emergency, we will act to employ all life saving measures while you are under our care.
  4. Following the treatment plan recommended to you; including providing a responsible adult to drive you, the patient, home and stay with you for 24 hours. The consequences of non-compliance or refusal of recommended treatment or if you refuse treatment or do not follow instructions given to you; you may be dismissed from care or refused care as part of the risk management program.
  5. Assuring financial obligations are fulfilled promptly.
  6. Consideration of the rights of other patients and the center’s personnel.
  7. Responsible for asking questions if directions and/or procedures are not understood.

Your Surgery

Pre-operative Information

A member of the surgery center's staff will be calling you a day or two prior to your surgery to confirm the exact date of your procedure. You will be asked to arrive about one hour before surgery. If you won't be available at your normal home phone number, please let us know where you can be reached. If you have not talked with one of our staff nurses by 2:00 p.m. the day before your surgery, call the surgery center for confirmation. 218-822-2400, 866-863-2400.

Patient Instructions

  • You will be asked not to eat or drink anything after a specific time before your surgery. Your stomach must be empty. Do not chew gum or smoke. You may brush your teeth the morning of your surgery.
  • You should not use alcohol or tobacco within 24 hours of surgery.
  • You should not take NSAIDs, vitamins or herbal medicines for 1-2 weeks prior to your surgery. (Examples include ASPIRIN, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Nuprin, etc.) If you are unsure of a medication, click here to see a complete list (doc) or please ask your doctor. Aceteminophen (such as Tylenol) is safe to use.
  • If you take medication(s) daily, you will be instructed by the pre-operative telephone RN how to take them the morning of surgery. Bring both a list of your medications and the medications themselves with you on the day of surgery.
  • If you are diabetic and use insulin, please ask your doctor about pre-surgery insulin dosage. Bring your insulin with you.
  • Please bathe or shower the evening before or the morning of surgery with an antibacterial soap such as Dial.
  • Do not wear make-up, perfume, cologne, jewelry or nail polish.
  • Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and dentures may need to be removed and stored in proper containers before surgery. Please bring containers with you.
  • If you have a cold, sore throat, fever, or other illness 24 hours prior to surgery, please call your doctor as soon as possible. If you cannot reach your doctor, please report your illness to our staff at the surgery center.
  • If you have any allergies to medications, latex, tape, soap or foods, please inform your doctor and Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center staff beforehand.
  • If a special prep or medication has been prescribed by your physician for use prior to your surgery, please follow the instructions closely.
  • YOU MUST MAKE ARRANGEMENTS IN ADVANCE for someone to drive you home after your discharge. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to operate a motor vehicle if you have received sedation or general anesthesia. View seriousness of this policy and legal actions taken if not followed:
    Letter from Baxter Police (doc)
    DWI (doc).
  • A friend, relative or dedicated caregiver MUST stay with you for 24 hours.

Before Your Surgery

In all cases, you will be required to undergo a physical exam and some routine lab tests within 30 days of your surgery. Your physician's office can help arrange this for you.

Outside the Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center entrance is a canopied drop-off area and free parking. A main-floor facility allows easy access to the reception desk, where you will register for your procedure. Next, the staff will show you to a private room where you can prepare for your surgery.

After Your Surgery

All patients recover from surgery differently. The staff may give you an estimate of the recovery time. Remember that all recoveries are unique; yours may take longer than the usual; sometimes it may be a shorter time period. When you're ready, you and your family will be escorted to your car for the trip home.

Please plan to have your prescriptions filled at your pharmacy. The staff will be able to call your prescription to pharmacy with the exception of some pain relief medication.

Remember, for your safety, you will NOT be allowed to drive yourself home after your surgery. Please plan to have someone drive you to and from the Surgery Center and stay with you for 24 hours.


Caregivers may leave during surgery; however we do encourage caregivers to remain on-site during surgery because the surgeon, anesthesiologist, or nurse may need to consult with you. Parent(s) of minor children having surgery MUST remain at the surgery center.

  • A telephone in the waiting area is available for you and your caregiver's use. You also have the opportunity to use your cellular phone in our facility.
  • Wireless access is available in the waiting room area.
  • Restrooms are found through the waiting room on the left. Ask the registration desk staff and they can provide directions.
  • Please make plans for dietary needs. You are welcome to bring food into the facility and eat in the waiting room area. Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center does not have vending machines but we do provide cookies and coffee in our waiting room.
  • If you are coming from out of town, please call us at 218-822-2400 or toll free at 1-866-863-2400 and we will be happy to provide hotel phone numbers and locations.