St. Barbara’s Surgery Center

St. Barbara's Surgery Center

We recognize with any procedure, patients and family have questions regarding a host of topics.

We have taken the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) and grouped them into pre-operative, anesthesia, and post-operative sections. If you still have a question that is not answered by the information provided on these pages, please call our office (239) 481-8833.


You will be escorted into our pre-operative area by one of our caring staff members. You will not need to change out of your clothing. Once you are comfortable on our bed, your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation will be monitored non-invasively. Your surgical procedure, surgical site and date of birth will be verified. A small device will be placed in or around your hand to allow for relaxation medications to be given.

Can I eat and/or drink anything before surgery?

If you are having surgery with sedation, you should not have anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to your arrival. This includes hard candy, mints or gum. Any deviance from this, and your surgery may need to be delayed or rescheduled.

But what if I am a diabetic?

We will check your blood sugar prior to your surgery. If your surgery is in the morning DO NOT TAKE your insulin or oral glucose medications. If your surgery is in the afternoon, take your oral glucose medications or ½ of your insulin in the morning with a light breakfast (toast, coffee), but it must be 6 hours prior to your scheduled arrival time. You will be provided a light snack after your procedure.

Should I take any medications before surgery?
It is very important that certain medications are taken before surgery, while others should be avoided. You will receive preoperative instructions explaining which medications you should take on the day of surgery, i.e., blood pressure medication, blood thinners. If you are instructed to take oral medications, do so with a small sip of water. Please DO NOT stop any medication unless told to do so by your doctor or anesthesia provider.
Will I need a ride home?

Yes, after any type of anesthesia or sedation, you will need to have someone available to take you home. You will not be able drive yourself home, or walk home. If this is a problem, please feel free to contact us. Your safety is our priority.


Most surgeries performed at St. Barbara’s Surgery Center will be performed with some level of sedation. The medications you receive will put you in a relaxed state so as to help reduce your anxiety and any discomfort during the procedure. Your anesthesia provider will review your medical history [Download Form] and ask you a series of questions to provide the optimal amount of anesthesia personalized to your specific needs. For more information, download anesthesia info.

What type of anesthesia will I receive?
You will be receiving a conscious sedation. This is NOT a general anesthesia. This type of sedation allows you to remain aware of your surroundings, you may however become so relaxed that you drift off to sleep during the procedure.
How will the anesthesia be given?
Before your procedure a small device will be placed in your hand by one of skilled pre-op nurses. Any medications needed, will be given through this device.
I usually get sick from anesthesia, will this happen?
If you have a history of nausea or vomiting after a previous surgery, please tell your anesthesia provider. There is medication to help or prevent this side effect.
Will I remember the surgery?
Most people are unaware that the surgery occurred. The goal of our anesthesia providers is to make you comfortable during your procedure. Some people remember different aspects of the procedure, but incur no discomfort.
Why can I not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours?
An empty stomach is required before any anesthesia can be received to avoid any unforeseen complications. While you are only receiving conscious sedation, there is still the potential for any patient to have an unprotected airway and have reflux of gastric contents. Reflux of gastric contents, if aspirated, could lead to serious complications.
What are the side effects of anesthesia?
Possible side effects of anesthesia/sedation include: drowsiness, fatigue, weakness, slower reaction times, nausea and vomiting.


Upon completion of your surgery you will taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, sometimes called the recovery area or post-op. There, you will be monitored carefully by specially trained nurses. We will invite your family member to sit with you, you will have your vital signs monitored, and you will receive a light snack. While your friend or family is present, we will go over all of your after surgery instructions and give you a printed copy for your review.

Why can't I drive myself home, I feel fine?
Even though you may feel fine, the effect of the anesthesia can limit your reaction time. For your safety, and the safety of others on the road, you are not to drive for any reason the day you have surgery. You may drive yourself to your post-operative appointment the next day and resume all normal activities.
What can I expect after Cataract Surgery?

You will notice a gradual improvement in your comfort and vision. Occasionally, a sensation of grittiness or ‘sand in the eye’ is mentioned and this will go away and Tylenol will help. Please enjoy something to eat and take a nap when you get home. Your vision will fluctuate. You may shampoo or shower, but do not get soap or water in your eye. You may watch television, use the computer or read, as long as it is comfortable for you. Do not drive, drink alcohol or make important decisions the day of surgery. [Download Anesthesia Info]

What is this card I was given?
Every patient that has had cataract surgery will receive a medical implant card containing information about the lens that was implanted. This card is important and needs to be kept in a safe place. We encourage you to make a copy for your home records and carry the card in your wallet. This card has important medical information that may be needed by another physician. It is the only one of its kind and you will receive a single card for each eye.
What can I expect after Eye Lid Surgery?

To reduce normal swelling and bruising the day of surgery, you will be using ice packs every hour for 15 minutes. You should rest as much as possible the first 24-48 hours. Avoid strenuous activities for one week and avoid rubbing your eyes for two weeks. You may bathe, but do not shower for 24 hours and avoid water directly hitting your face. Do not rub. Blood tinged drainage after surgery is normal. You may use Tylenol for any discomfort but avoid any aspirin products for one day after surgery. Do not drive, drink alcohol or make important decisions the day of surgery. [Download Anesthesia Info]

What can I expect after Glaucoma Surgery?

After glaucoma surgery it is normal for your eye to be a bit red and feel puffy or full. There may some irritation and you may be sensitive to bright lights. It is normal for your eyelids to be crusty with dried tears after a nap or in the morning. Use a clean, warm damp washcloth to gently wipe your lids. You should avoid getting soap in your eye while cleansing your lid or showering. Avoid lifting heavy objects or bending over with your head below your waist. You may take Tylenol as needed, but avoid Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Naproxen for at least two weeks after your surgery. Do not drive, drink alcohol or make important decisions the day of surgery. [Download Anesthesia Info]

What can I expect after my Laser Procedure?
Laser procedures are not considered surgery and you will not be receiving any type of anesthesia or sedation. You may eat or drink prior to the procedure. Topical numbing drops will be given and your eye may or may not be dilated depending on the procedure you are having. There is no discomfort with laser procedures. You may experience some ‘floaters’ after your procedure, these are normal and will lessen in time. You do not need a driver since you are not receiving sedation. However, if you are sensitive to dilation and you are more comfortable with a friend or family driving, please make the necessary arrangements before coming to the center.
How are we doing?
After your surgery, you will be given a survey to fill out entitled “How are we doing?”. Because we are interested in meeting our guest and families expectations, we request you complete and return this survey to St. Barbara’s Surgery Center or to your physician’s office. Our standards for high quality care are demonstrated in our guests’ positive responses. We use your opinion to continually assess how we can improve our facility and the care we provide.
What if I have a problem or complaint?
If for any reason we fall below your expectations, please let us know. You may place your comments on our satisfaction survey, or speak with a member of our administrative staff at any time.