Surgery Center

The Personal Attention You Deserve
The Convenience You Need

Outpatient surgeryOutpatient surgery is now the preferred alternative for many patients and their surgeons and is a practical choice when your surgery can be planned in advance with your physician. When you choose the Surgery Center at The George Washington University Hospital, you’ll take comfort in knowing that you are being cared for by one of the most respected outpatient surgery centers in the Washington metropolitan area. Almost any surgical procedure not requiring an overnight stay can be performed on an outpatient basis.

  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery
  • Gastroenterology / Endoscopy
  • Gynecology (Gyn)
  • General Surgery
  • Ophthalmology (Eye)
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Pain Management
  • Podiatry
  • Urology

Because we are a private facility, where only planned surgery is performed, your time at the surgery center moves quickly. Typically, patients arrive one to two hours before surgery. The surgery itself takes one to two hours, and patients spend one hour in recovery. Then, patients can usually return home to recuperate in the comfort of their own home.

Advantages for patients:

  • Small, highly-specialized setting
  • Personalized care and convenience
  • Streamlined registration
  • More efficient, with fewer delays
  • Patients return home the very same day
  • Fully-equipped surgical suites
  • Staff is specially trained to care for the in and out surgical patient.

Advanced Surgical Suites

The GW Surgery Center combines a wealth of surgical expertise, a dedicated team of specialists and fully-equipped facilities to offer you the very best care. The GW Surgery Center is devoted to supporting your surgeon with advanced medical technology. Each of our operating suites is larger than a standard operating room and offer surgeons top-quality equipment to perform well. The facility has a preoperative unit and a postanesthesia care unit.

Convenient Drop-Off / Pick-Up

Many patients choose to have a family member drop them off for their outpatient surgical procedure. In this case, our staff will call your family member when you are out of surgery to provide them with the time they should come to pick you up. Should your family decide to wait during the procedure, our waiting area is comfortably equipped with reading materials as well as cable TV.

What Should I Expect the Day of Surgery?

Upon arrival, you’ll receive personal attention from our staff. Because we specialize in same-day surgery, we can devote individual time and attention to you to make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Before Your Surgery

Each patient will be contacted by a nurse prior to the day of surgery. During this call, you will be providing our staff with your medical history and be given instructions specific to your surgery. For this phone interview, please have information available concerning your medical history and any medications that you take. At this time, we will advise you about what you can expect and what to bring on the day of surgery. Each patient must preregister prior to the date of surgery. During this phone call, you will receive financial information about your insurance coverage for the procedure, your copayment and other required payments.

Your doctor will inform you of the required presurgical testing necessary for your procedure. If you have certain medical conditions, you will need to have an EKG done before the day of surgery. Please ask to have the results faxed to The GW Surgery Center at 202-463-5135. You will also need a medical history and physical completed prior to the day of surgery. In some situations, your doctor may require that you have blood tests completed.

Before Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Do not bring jewelry or other valuables to the Center.
  • Bring your insurance card, a photo ID, your copayment and advance directive if you have one.
  • Bring any pertinent medical information.
  • Take medications as ordered by your doctor with a small sip of water on the day of surgery.
  • If you use insulin or inhalers for asthma, please bring those medications with you.

On the Day of Surgery

  • The GW Surgery Center building opens at 7 a.m. Parking is available for a fee in the parking garage with entrance on 2120 L Street, NW. Each patient is provided with a coupon good for free parking.
  • Check in at the reception area on the first floor of The GW Surgery Center located at 2120 L Street, NW, Lobby Level. At this time, you will be asked to sign documents and provide the name and contact information of the adult who will be taking you home after surgery.
  • You will be accompanied to the preoperative area by a registered nurse. Your family member or guest may wait. A staff member will help you change into a gown, robe and slippers. Do not wear your contact lenses, but you may wear your glasses. If you wear dentures, we may need to remove them before surgery. If you wear a hearing aid, you may do so throughout surgery, in most cases. An intravenous line will be placed in your vein to provide fluids and medication.
  • Although we allow patients to keep and use personal clothing and personal possessions, we encourage them to leave their valuables such as jewelry, electronics and large amounts of cash at home for safekeeping. The GW Surgery Center will not be responsible for loss or theft of personal belongings. Remember you may need your insurance ID card, physician referral forms and insurance copay at the time you are admitted for surgery.
  • Your anesthesiologist will meet with you in the preop area to discuss your anesthesia. Your surgeon may also see you in this area before your surgery. Your operating room nurse will then greet you and walk you into the operating room. If your driver is unable to wait the entire time, we can make arrangements to contact that person with a time to pick you up.

Waiting Room

The person(s) accompanying you can wait in the waiting area. Because space is limited, we encourage you to limit the number of visitors in this area, and no children, if possible. The person accompanying you should sign in so your physician and staff members can locate him/her with updates on your progress.

Operating Room

You will be interviewed and may be examined by the surgical team. Often, these questions may have been asked before. Please be patient with our process as we work together to ensure the safest and most thorough surgical course for you. A registered nurse will stay with you during your entire surgical procedure.

In the operating room, the staff will make you comfortable on the table. You will notice lights over your head and staff dressed in scrubs, hats and masks.

While problems rarely occur, our center is fully equipped with all the necessary staff and equipment to care for a patient who has an unexpected complication. Our staff is also trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

After Your Surgery

After your surgery, you’ll be ready for our fully-equipped recovery room where you’ll be attended to by your anesthesiologist and recovery room nurse. You will be monitored until the major effects of anesthesia wear off and you are ready to go home—usually an hour or two after surgery. Your family member or guest can join you in the recovery area when you are ready to receive your postoperative instructions. Our nurses will explain the postoperative instructions to you as well as provide you with a written copy.

Going Home

A responsible adult must accompany you home after surgery, as you will not be able to take a taxi or drive yourself home after having anesthesia. When you leave the surgery center, you will be ready to complete your recovery at home. Please be sure that someone will be staying with you to care for your immediate needs after surgery. A nurse from the surgery center will call you the next business day after your surgery to see if you have any questions. Should you have any problems the evening or night of surgery, please be sure to call your doctor’s office or answering service.