The Surgery Experience at Rio Grande Regional Hospital

Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Rio Grande Surgery Center perform many surgical procedures. Both locations provide quality surgical services for the Rio Grande Valley community. Patients may have inpatient or outpatient procedures at the main hospital. The surgery center performs outpatient procedures.

If you have a surgical procedure scheduled, it’s important to follow all the preparation instructions provided by your doctor. This page can guide you through the general steps of what will happen and what you need to do for both inpatient and outpatient surgeries.

These are general guidelines for all procedures. In all cases, your doctor should provide instructions about what to do and when to arrive. 


Hospital patients (inpatient and outpatient) may come in the days before surgery to do pre-admission lab work and tests. At that time, a nurse will lead you through any needed tests. Your medical history will be reviewed. You will also be able to speak to an anesthesiologist and other medical professionals about your surgery, anesthesia and what to expect.

For pediatric patients, ask about arranging a tour for your child before his or her procedure. Your child can see the different areas of the hospital and learn what will happen, helping ease anxiety.

All pre-admission work should be done two days before your scheduled surgery. If not, please call us at (956) 632-6000. If you have any other questions about getting ready for your surgical procedure, or about your child’s procedure, please feel free to call us.

At-Home Preparation

Do not take any medications containing aspirin, vitamin E, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, herbs, weight loss products or recreational drugs for at least seven days before surgery or the day after your procedure. If you have taken any of these, please let your physician/surgeon know as soon as possible.

After Midnight

For most surgeries, do not smoke, eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight the day of your surgery. Food in your stomach may cause complications, so if you eat or drink by mistake, please tell your surgical team. Your procedure may need to be postponed. If you have time-sensitive medications, ask your doctor about when or how to take them.

In the Morning

  • Take a bath or shower and brush your teeth (taking care not to swallow any water) the morning of surgery.
  • Remove all makeup, nail polish, jewelry and contacts lenses.
  • If you must wear contacts, please bring your storage case for use during surgery.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that can accommodate a bandage, cast or other type of dressing, to wear after surgery. You will have a hospital gown during your stay. You may want a sweater and socks for cooler temperatures in the facility. Wear slip-on, comfortable shoes.
  • Leave at home all valuables like jewelry and cash and any personal items you do not absolutely need during your stay, like wigs.

At the Hospital

On the day of surgery, you should arrive at your scheduled appointment time. You will be admitted to the center and we will begin preparing you for your procedure.

You will be asked to sign consent forms for your procedure, which gives your permission for the physician and facility to care for you. If the patient is a minor, a parent or legal guardian must sign this form. If you have assigned or have been assigned a legal guardian or someone with medical power of attorney, please make sure this person is with you on the day of surgery. Also, please make sure to bring all legal forms with you.

You will need to bring the following items with you on the day of your surgery:

  • Current insurance card and information.
  • Government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license. Minors do not need ID but the primary insured party does need theirs.
  • Your form of payment, if required (cash, check, debit or credit card).
  • Copy of your advance directive, living will, or medical power of attorney, if you have one.
  • Needed medical devices, like inhalers, if you have any.
  • If you are having knee, ankle or foot surgery, you may need crutches. Make sure you have arranged the purchase of them with your medical team.
  • Another adult who can receive discharge instructions and drive you home if needed. If you are using public transportation, you still need another adult to travel with you.

Day of Surgery for Pediatric Patients

Both parents may stay with their child in the pre-operative area before surgery and one parent in step-down recovery following surgery. A parent or legal guardian must remain in the facility while their child is under our care.

  • Bring a favorite toy or blanket for your child to help them feel more comfortable.
  • Your child will probably have an IV in place when they wake up from their procedure, which will be removed after they are awake and are able to take in fluids without any nausea.
  • Your child can drink after the procedure. If your child does not drink from a cup, please bring a bottle or sippy cup.
  • Bring diapers for infants and a change of clothes for pediatric patients.

Sibling visits are generally discouraged in the outpatient center and are limited in the main hospital.

What to Expect After Your Surgery

After your procedure at Rio Grande Surgery Center, you will be moved to our fully-equipped recovery room where you will be monitored until you are ready to go home or returned to your inpatient room. How long a patient stays in the recovery room varies. Most patients are out of recovery an hour or two after their surgery.

Your surgeon will give you detailed post-surgery instructions about diet, rest, exercise and medications. The center will give you a written summary of these post-op instructions before you get discharged.

Recovery at Home After Surgery

We suggest that you take it easy for the first 24 hours following your procedure. If you had anesthesia and/or have been prescribed pain medications, an adult needs to stay with you at home for at least 24 hours.

It is normal to feel drowsy after receiving an anesthetic so we recommend that you do not do these activities for 24 hours following surgery:

  • Driving and operating equipment
  • Signing important papers
  • Making significant decisions
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages

If you are experiencing any unexpected problems, call your doctor. A nurse from the Surgery Center will attempt to call you the next working day to check on your progress and discuss any questions you may have.

Post-Surgery Safety for Pediatric Patients

Upon discharge from Rio Grande Surgery Center, all children must be transported from the facility according to the Texas seat belt laws. If you need information about child passenger safety for rear-facing seats, forward-facing seats, booster seats and safety belt use, visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website.


If you have any other questions about preparing for your surgical procedure, or what to expect on the day of surgery, contact your doctor or call us at (956) 632-6000.