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SamIAm's avatar

My dad is having surgery tomorrow, is this normal procedure (see details)?

Asked by SamIAm (8703points) January 14th, 2010

My dad is having his shoulder replaced tomorrow at a special surgery hospital in NYC. They asked for him to bring his living will. I am not in New York and we don’t have much family so he will basically be alone for this whole procedure & recovery. Is it normal that they asked for him to bring his will? He had his prostate removed (longer surgery) and they didn’t make this request. He is very nervous, as am I, but I keep telling him this is normal. Is it?

Also, will a flower company (like 1800flowers) deliver to a hospital? I’m sure the hospital won’t know what room he will be in until after the surgery… how does this work?

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13 Answers

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Yes, it is definitely standard procedure. In fact, I think it’s federal law that patients at least have to be asked about a living will.

The vast, vast majority of surgeries go fine. In the event that something goes wrong, however, it’s good for the hospital to know what your father’s wishes are.

janbb's avatar

It is standard procedure in most hospitals to ask you to bring a living will with you upon admission; nothing to worry about. If he is at the Hospital for Special Surgery know that it is a wonderful hospital with a reputation for a very caring staff.

You might want to wait to order the flowers delivered until he is in a room but the hospital will be able to find it for the deliverer.

Good luck to him and to you!

SamIAm's avatar

@janbb : yes it is THE Hospital for Special Surgery… great to hear. Thank you.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Agree with @janbb. I did part of my training at The Hospital For Special Surgery. It is excellent.

Good luck!

Rarebear's avatar

Normally it’s called an “Advanced Directive” but yes.

casheroo's avatar

They ask me for a living will for almost any procedure I’ve had done..even a little biopsy. It’s completely normal. You don’t have to do it, but it’s definitely recommended.

gasman's avatar

Whether or not they ask for a copy of his living will has nothing to do with type of surgery he’s having. Probably the ever-evolving hospital bureaucracy now—since his previous operation—routinely requests living wills from patients going to surgery.I don’t think you can infer anything about surgical risk (shoulder versus prostate, etc) from this. In fact, unless he’s critically ill, the odds of surviving elective surgery are overwhelmingly in his favor. Talk things over with the doctors—discuss concerns & verbalize anxiety.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

It’s not just hospital bureaucracy, it’s federal regulation. (I’m not sure if it’s a Medicare regulation or other federal statute.)

gasman's avatar

@Dr_Dredd I know, there are rules from CMS & JCAHO & other accreditation bodies—but hospitals can’t instantly implement new standards. They go into a sort of administrative pipeline that delays their implementation—highly variable among different facilities.

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gasman's avatar

What’d I say ?!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Hospitals can’t instantly implement new standards, but it sometimes seems like they are expected to! :-)

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