Preparing for Surgery

The following information is a guide for patients having surgery at Tucson Medical Center.

TMC provides state-of-the-art technology in our three surgery suites located under one roof. Our patients receive excellent compassionate care by our qualified staff.

  • Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Surgery Center
  • Specialty and General Surgery
  • Orthopaedics

Pre-Anesthesia Testing

All patients undergoing general anesthesia will be assessed for surgery prior to their surgery dates. TMC will contact you up to 2-3 weeks before your surgery to schedule your pre-anesthesia testing appointment.

Bring the following to this assessment:

  • Dates of past health problems and any surgical procedures.
  • Bring all current medications, vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medciations thta you are taking. If unable to bring in the medications, please provide a complet list, preferably from your pharmacy, of current medications, including name, dose, how you take it and directions. Include vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medications.
  • Results of any recent lab tests, EKGs or chest X-rays.
  • Current insurance information. If applicable, patients may pay their co-payment at this time or may be directed to the financial counselor for payment arrangements.
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Living Will

We may need patients to complete certain tests (such as blood draws, urine analyses, chest X-rays and EKGs) if these tests have not already been completed, or if previous tests do not meet anesthesia requirements because they are out ofdate or incomplete. The test results give your surgical team the most current information on a patient’s present health prior to surgery.

For scheduling or other questions call Pre-Anesthesia Testing at (520) 324-1446, Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.- 4 p.m.; toll-free in-state, call 1-800-362-7004 or out-of-state 1-800-526-5353, and ask for ext. 4-1446.

In certain situations, Pre-Anesthesia Testing can be completed with a phone call from TMC nursing staff, others may require an appointment.

Pre-Anesthesia Testing is located at 5335 E. Erickson Drive, (520) 324-1446.

Online Pre-Registration – fast, easy, private

Patients scheduled for a surgery, test or procedure can conveniently and privately pre-register online at anytime up to two full business days before the appointment. Registration is required for all scheduled appointments, including those at Tucson Medical Center, the El Dorado Health Campus, Pre-Anesthesia Testing and other clinical services at our satellite facilities.

What you will need

  • Patient’s full legal name, date of birth, address
  • Patient’s doctor’s first and last name
  • Appointment date and time
  • Phone number to reach you
  • Emergency contact information
  • Insurance and payment information

            >>Insurance information

            >>Guarantor information (when patient is not the policy holder: children, dependents, etc.)

            >>Means of payment. We accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.

If your appointment is less than two business days away or if you have any questions, please call TMC Pre-Registration, (520) 324-4734, Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Preparing for Surgery

Arrive at least 2 hours before your surgery time or as instructed by your physician. Surgery waiting areas have limited seating. In consideration of others, please limit the number of people waiting.

  • Bring a photo ID.
  • Bring a means of payment if not already completed.
  • Leave all jewelry and other valuables at home.
  • Remove all jewelry, including body piercings, hairpins, false eyelashes, contact lenses and all other accessories.
  • Wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses if possible.
  • If you wear dentures, eyeglasses or contact lenses, please bring a storage case or container. • Do not wear makeup.
  • If you are taking medications, ask your physician whether to take the medicine before surgery.
  • Wear loose fitting, easy-to-remove clothing. The hospital provides a gown but you may bring your own pajamas, slippers and robe to wear home.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day of surgery. Follow your physician’s orders for any medications that you are currently taking. Patients scheduled for surgery in the afternoon should get instructions from their surgeon when to have last liquids or food, including gum and mints. You may brush your teeth the morning of surgery, but do not swallow any liquid.

Children who are not patients are not permitted to be in the pre-op or recovery areas. Please make arrangements for their care.

Going Home

Patients returning home after surgery must make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive them home. Two adults are preferred for children: one to drive and one to take care of the child. You may want to bring a pillow and blanket to use in the car and any physical aids (walkers, crutches, etc.) that may be needed.


Free valet parking is available at Orthopaedic and Surgical tower entrance and the Northeast entrance, provided Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Free parking is provided outside each entrance as well as in nearby parking garages on the Northeast and West side of campus. Outpatients are encouraged to use valet services (please no tipping).

Transportation Assistance

TMC Auxiliary provides shuttle services inside the hospital and from our parking lots. Shuttle services can be requested within each entrance Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. by dialing 4-5888 on conveniently located hallway phones.

Wheelchairs are available inside each entrance. If none are available, dial 4-5179 on a hallway phone or ask the volunteer behind the information desk for assistance.

When You Arrive at the Hospital 

  • Patients scheduled in the Joel M. Childers, M.D., Women’s Surgery Center should enter through the Northeast Entrance and go to Admitting.
  • Patients scheduled for specialty or general surgery should enter through the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical tower entrance, proceed to the second floor, and check in at the patient check-in kiosks. 
  • Patients scheduled for orthopaedic surgery should enter the lobby of the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, proceed to the third floor, and check in at the patient check-in kiosks.

Patients will be brought to the preoperative holding area. Here they will meet with their surgical team as preparation is completed before surgery, including marking of the surgical site.

Family may be asked to wait in the nearest lobby.

Children Having Surgery

All information in this brochure also applies to children. If your child is going home the same day of surgery, be prepared to stay at the hospital until your child is discharged. Be sure to bring someone else to drive home so you can tend to your child’s needs.

If you are concerned about your child or have questions relating to an upcoming procedure, our Child Life specialists can help. These certified staff members help children of every age understand and deal with their hospital experiences. Child Life specialists can also help parents with age-appropriate information and resources. You can reach our Child Life department at (520) 324-1154.

After Surgery

Patients recover in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or recovery room. Visitation is normally not permitted in the PACU to protect the privacy of all patients. The surgeon will speak with family in the surgery lobby after the surgery.

Patients staying in the hospital overnight are transferred to their room from PACU. Family will be notified when this occurs.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your experience with us more comfortable.

Useful Numbers

Tucson Medical Center. . . . . . . . . .(520) 327-5461

Pre-Anesthesia Testing . . . . . . . . . (520) 324-1411

Pre-Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(520) 324-4734

Child Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (520) 324-1154

Courtesy Car/Surrey Service. . . . . .(520) 324-5888 or 324 - 5889 (Monday - Friday only)

Wheelchair Assistance . . . . . . . . . . ext. 4-5179

Preparing for Surgery Brochure