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Preparing for Surgery

At Tri-County Health Care we want to make your surgery event as pleasant and worry-free as possible.

We are here to help.

Our staff is always here to answer questions or concerns about your upcoming surgery. It is our hope that during the time you spend with us, you will sense our promise to provide the best possible care for you and your loved ones. If at any point before you after your procedure you have question or concerns, please not hesitate to contact us and share them.


Toll-Free: 800-631-1811
Phone: 218-631-3510

Surgery Prep


Call your insurance company for questions regarding your coverage. The phone number can be found on the back of your insurance card. If further assistance is needed, our prior authorization staff will be available to assist you.

Eating Before Surgery

The night before your surgery, eat a light (i.e. soup, toast or Jell-o) supper unless you have been told not to. Do not smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink anything including coffee after midnight unless your nurse or doctor told you it was okay.


A nurse from the surgery department will call you prior to your surgery to review your medications and instruct you on which medications to TAKE the morning of your procedure and which medications to HOLD until after your procedure. Medications should be taken with a small sip of water. Do not take any ACE inhibitors, oral diabetics, herbal medications, or vitamins. If you are on any anticoagulants such as Warfarin/Coumadin or taking any insulin, please follow your physician’s recommendations for morning dosing. Please bring with you all current medicine bottles including insulin, accucheck machine, inhalers, vitamins, herbals, and over-the-counter medications.


Take a shower or bath the night before or the morning of surgery with an antibacterial soap (Dial). Please do not apply lotions, powders, or oils to your skin.

Remove all colored nail polish, hairpins, and jewelry. Pack lightly and wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.

What should I bring to the hospital?

All current medicine bottles including insulin, accucheck machine and inhalers, vitamins, herbals, and over-the-counter medications. If you wear contact lenses, bring their storage case. If you use items like a cane, crutches, a walker, wheelchair, C-PAP machine, or hearing aids, please bring them with you. You should also bring your Insurance cards and any Medicare/Medicaid numbers.

If you have completed an Advanced Medical Directive or "5 Wishes"

Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry, credit cards, checkbooks, excess clothing, or more than $5.00 to the hospital with you.

If any problems arise prior to your arrival for surgery, please call 218-631-7581 or 218-631-3510 and ask for the Surgery department.

Day of Surgery


Tri-County Health Care is located at 415 Jefferson Street North in Wadena. You may park in the south parking lot. Valet service is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


If weather prevents travel, please call 218-631-7557 or 218-631-3510 to postpone surgery.

What if I don't feel good?

If you become sick or don't feel well, such as a cold, fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or vomiting the day before your surgery, please call 218-631-7557 or 218-631-3510. For your safety, it may be necessary to postpone your surgery.

What to Expect

Before surgery you will change into a patient gown and robe since the operating room is a germ-free area. You will be given a name band for your wrist, and information on what to expect during surgery. For patient safety, you will be asked to verify your name and date of birth before receiving medications or having procedures. Staff will also ask many questions about your health history. Before surgery you will:

  • Go to the restroom.
  • Remove all dentures, partials or plates.
  • Remove hearing aids, wigs, hairpieces, hair clips, man-made limbs, contact lenses, glasses, and jewelry including body piercings.

Once in the Operating Room, you will be awake long enough to meet the Operating Room staff and visit with staff that will be caring for you. A staff member will wash your skin with special soap and may shave the skin. This is to prevent infection from the many germs in hair and skin.

Family & Friends

A close friend or family member may stay with you until you are taken to the Operating Room. Your family will be told the likely length of the waiting time. During surgery your family is encouraged to wait in your private room until your surgeon talks to them post operatively. Please have them inform the nursing staff if they leave. Your doctor will want to find them and visit with them after your surgery.


There are several types of anesthesia to stop pain and feeling during surgery. Anesthesia staff and your surgeon will help you decide which type of anesthesia is best for you. The anesthesia staff will administer your anesthesia and remain at your side during surgery. Other staff, such as nurses and technicians, will be present during surgery to assist your doctor.

Post Surgery

Once surgery is done, you will be taken to the Recovery Room to be watched closely by specially trained nurses. Nurses will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and pain level until you are fully awake. Your family will be waiting for you in your room.

After surgery, your mouth may feel very dry, but you will not be given any water until you are more awake or until your doctor orders it. Warm blankets will be available if you feel cool after surgery.

The area of your surgery, called an "incision" may hurt, which is normal after surgery. In order to keep you comfortable, your nurse will ask you often about your pain. Please tell your nurse if you are uncomfortable. Non-drug comfort measures and pain medication will be given as soon as possible.

Depending on the procedure, you can expect to be discharged when discharge criteria are met. Your nurse will keep you and your support persons informed of your discharge plans. You will need to make arrangements for transportation home since you will not be allowed to drive.

You will also need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to care for you at discharge.

At any time if you have questions or concerns regarding your surgery, please call 218-631-7557 or 218-631-3510.