Perioperative Services at MUSC Health is a collaborative and visionary unit comprised of 41 operating rooms located on our campus in Charleston, South Carolina, where over 48,000 surgeries were performed last year. Within our department, we have over 500 staff members including nursing, anesthesia, technical, and administrative staff. Our highly skilled and renowned surgeon faculty represents 16 specialty groups ranging from general surgery to organ transplant. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services to children and adults within our three facilities on campus: MUSC Main Hospital, Ashley River Tower, and Rutledge Tower.
Perioperative is a term that refers to all three phases of surgical care:
Our goal is to provide our patients with excellent, high quality care in a pleasant environment at each step of their experience with us. Please refer to our resources below for more information as our patient or visitor.
Things to help you prepare, including:
We have three surgery locations at our downtown Charleston campus. Find out about parking and how to get to the surgery registration areas in each building.
There are a few things you can expect while you are in the Holding Area before you are taken back to the operating room.
What you can expect when your surgery is finished. Remember, if you are going home after your surgery, you must have a responsible adult with you who can drive you home.
This section has answers to some of the questions you may have about your surgery.
NOTE: The guidelines listed below can be applied to most surgeries, but please follow any specific guidelines that your surgical care team may have provided to you. If you are unsure or have any questions, please call the Preoperative Clinic at 843-876-0116.
For your safety, failure to follow these guidelines or other guidelines given to you by your surgeon may result in cancellation or delay of your surgery.
Failure to follow these guidelines or other guidelines given to you by your surgeon may result in cancellation or delay of your surgery for your safety.
Bathing with an antiseptic scrub before your surgery will reduce the number of germs on your skin to help prevent infections. You should have received a bottle of chlorhexidine scrub from your doctor’s clinic or the Preoperative Clinic to use for this purpose.
Use half of the bottle of chlorhexidine scrub you were given the night before your surgery, and the other half of the bottle to shower the morning of your surgery.
We have three surgery locations at our downtown Charleston campus, which are listed below. You can find parking information for all three locations here.
Bring your parking garage ticket with you to be stamped in any surgery registration location for a reduced fee of $3/day for outpatient surgery or $6/day for inpatient surgery. Ashley River Tower and Rutledge Tower also offer valet parking services at their main entrances for $5.
Note: South Carolina state law provides there is no charge for parking in metered or timed facilities for vehicles that display a handicap plate or placard and that are driven by or are transporting the handicapped individual. If the handicapped individual is not in the vehicle, the posted parking rate applies when exiting the garage.
Located at 171 Ashley Avenue. Patient drop-off and handicapped parking are located off of Ashley Avenue at the building entrance.
From main hospital entrance off of Ashley Avenue, follow these directions to the surgery waiting room:
Located at 135 Rutledge Avenue. Patient drop-off, handicapped and valet parking are located off Rutledge Avenue at the building entrance.
From the Ashley-Rutledge parking garage, follow these directions to the surgery registration area:
From the patient drop-off/valet on Rutledge Avenue, follow these directions to the surgery registration area:
Once you enter the Ashley River Tower lobby from either valet, drop-off, or the parking garage, follow these directions to the surgery waiting room:
For some breast cancer patients:
Breast cancer patients who need to have a procedure at Hollings Cancer Center prior to coming to Ashley River Tower (ART) will need to park or valet at Hollings Cancer Center (86 Jonathan Lucas Street) and drive over to ART once the first procedure is complete. You will not be charged for a second valet at ART. There will also be designated personnel in the drop off area at ART to bring you upstairs.
The following will happen when you are taken from the waiting room to the preoperative area:
Important Note: If you are going to be discharged home after surgery, please make sure the person who will be responsible for taking you home stays in the waiting area. The PACU nurses will need to talk to this person and give them important information for your postoperative care at home.
Your surgery will be cancelled if you do not have a responsible adult with you.
Please take a moment to read through some of our frequently asked questions to help inform you of what to expect during your stay with us. If you have any questions that have not been addressed, please feel free to ask your surgical care team or contact our Preoperative Clinic at 843-876-0116.
How long will my surgery take?
The length of surgery varies greatly depending on the patient and the procedure itself. Your preoperative (pre-op) nurse can give you the estimated length of your procedure, but prior to you going back to the operating room, your surgical team will be coming by to discuss your surgery with you. They will be able to give you more details regarding how long your surgery will last.
Will I see my surgical care team before going into the operating room?
Yes. Your surgical care team will come to see you in the preoperative area to review your consent, procedure, and make sure your questions are answered prior to proceeding to the operating room.
Who will be back in the operating room with me?
Other than your surgeon(s), the anesthesia team and the operating room nurses will be back in the operating room with you. Before going to surgery, the anesthesia team and operating room nurses will come to the preoperative area to introduce themselves.
Will I be in pain after my procedure?
You can expect some discomfort after surgery, but the amount of pain can depend on the procedure being performed. The anesthesia team will work closely with you while in the recovery room to help manage your pain. If you have concerns about your post-op pain control, please ask your anesthesia team when they come to speak with you. Please let your preoperative and recovery room nurses know if you are in pain so they can help make you more comfortable during your time with us.
Will my family be able to come back to the preoperative area to see me before I go to the operating room?
Yes, your family will be able to see you prior to going to the operating room. The nurse or tech will come and get family or friends from the waiting room after you are prepped and ready for surgery. If you have multiple family members with you, we ask that only two come back to visit at a time. This is to help maintain the privacy of you and other patients.
Will my family be informed of how I’m doing during my surgery?
Yes, the operating room will be calling out to the surgical waiting room periodically to update family or the designated supported person.
Will my family be able to talk to the surgeon when my procedure is finished?
Yes, the surgical team will be out to speak with family or friends following your procedure. However, you may still be in the operating room waking up from anesthesia at this time. Depending on the surgeon’s preference, your family may be asked to meet with the surgeon in a conference room for privacy purposes.
How long after my procedure before my family will be able to come back to the recovery room?
We will bring your family to see you in the recovery area as soon as possible. Everyone responds to anesthesia differently, and we want to make sure your immediate postoperative needs are addressed prior to bringing family and friends back. When you arrive and check in for surgery, your family will be given a code and tracking number. This allows your family to track your progress during your surgical experience while also protecting your privacy.
Will I have to spend the night in the hospital? And if so, for how long?
Your surgical team is in charge of making this decision, and it may not be determined until after your procedure. Make sure to ask the surgical team when they come by to speak with you so you can make the necessary arrangements.
What room will I be staying in if I’m admitted? And can my family spend the night at the hospital with me?
Room assignments are made after your procedure is complete. You will be given this information in the recovery room.
During times when the hospital is at maximum capacity, there is a chance you may spend the night in the recovery room. If this is the case, you will be moved over to a more comfortable bed, but your family may not be able to spend the night with you. Please ask your nurse if this is a possibility so you are able to make other sleeping arrangements, if needed.
Can my belongings stay in my pre-op bay while I’m in surgery?
We are not able to keep your belongings in the preoperative area once you go to surgery because you will not be returning to this area. After leaving the preoperative area, you will be going to the sterile operating room and then the recovery room before being admitted into your inpatient room or discharged home. To help ensure your belongings are taken care of and accounted for, your designated support person will be responsible for your personal items.