Your doctor’s office will schedule the date and time for your surgery with The GW Surgery Center and give you presurgery instructions.
Preoperative Assessment and Instructions (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday)
A nurse will call to gather your medical history and provide you with information on special programs, instructions about any necessary medical testing and dietary restrictions — generally no eating, drinking, gum, mints or candy from midnight prior to the day of surgery. Please have a list of your current medications as well as the name(s) and phone number(s) of your primary physician and other physicians you visit.
During the call, you will also be advised about what you can expect and what to bring on the day of surgery:
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing
- Bring your insurance card, a photo ID, your copayment and advance directive if you have one
- 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, bring those medications with you.
Preregister for Your Surgery
Call 202-715-5679 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday)
Please be ready to provide your name, address, insurance information and other pertinent information. This will ensure maximum use of your health insurance benefits for the services you receive, as well as expedite your admission process.
Day of Surgery
Parking is available in the Monument Parking Garage with an entrance at 2120 L Street. There are restrictions on oversized vehicles in the garage. Street parking is limited and metered.
The Foggy Bottom Metro Station is conveniently located next to the main entrance of The George Washington University Hospital. The GW Surgery Center is located just three blocks away.
On the day of surgery, please arrive at The GW Surgery Center at least 90 minutes before your scheduled procedure or earlier as instructed by the pre-admissions nurse. The GW Surgery Center building opens at 7 a.m.
Check in at the reception area on the first floor. 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Insurance and Billing
GW accepts most major insurance plans, including HMO, PPO, Workers’ Compensation, indemnity plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Call us at 202-715-4053 for more information about insurance.
To ensure proper billing and payment, please submit complete insurance information for all insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid. The GW Surgery Center will bill directly to your health insurance carrier. You will receive a notice that your claim has been billed, along with a copy of your summary charges. A copayment and deductible may be required by your insurance company and will be collected prior to surgery. Charges not covered by insurance are the responsibility of the patient/ guarantor or his/her representative. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Billing for Other Professional Services
The GW Surgery Center will bill you separately from your surgeon. You may also receive separate bills from your physician’s office, the anesthesiologist, radiologist, pathology/lab or other laboratories as indicated by your managed care organization.
Each surgical patient folder contains an advance directive form and booklet. Please read the material carefully. If you wish to complete an advance directive form, it must be witnessed by two people not appointed in the advance directive or responsible for your care, including GW Hospital employees. We ask that you make a copy for yourself and bring the document with you on the day of surgery.
The GW Surgery Center
2120 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037