What to Expect

Have Your Questions Answered

Whether you’re coming to Des Peres Hospital for a quick appointment or for a longer stay, we want to provide you with the information you need and an excellent experience. Know what to expect when you visit Des Peres Hospital:

Before a Surgical Procedure

Cut down on your worries and stress about surgery by learning as much as you can beforehand. We can provide you with the information you need to be prepared and to help relieve some of your natural anxiety. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask — we’re here to care for you.

Health History Review and Instructions

A nurse will call you a few days before your surgery to get your health history. Please have a list of your current medications and dosages ready when he or she calls. 

The nurse will also give you specific instructions to prepare for surgery and will answer any questions you might have.

In general:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Plan for someone to drive you home.
  • Review your insurance plan for co-pays and deductibles. The portion not covered by your health care plan is due at time of service.

Pre-Surgery Tests

Your doctor may order tests that need to be completed before your surgery. There are three different ways to get these tests done:

  1. Your primary care doctor may do them and fax us the results.
  2. You may do them here at Des Peres Hospital if your insurance permits. The pre-surgery nurse can help you arrange these tests during your pre-surgery call.
  3. You may get them done somewhere else and fax the results to us at (314) 966-9609.

Note: Please check your health insurance plan to see if it dictates where your pre-surgery tests must be performed. 

What to Wear

  • Wear simple, loose-fitting clothing that will be comfortable after your surgery.

Check In

  • Arrive at the hospital at the designated time. Parking is free.
  • Please check in with the receptionist in the main lobby to begin registration.

Preparing for Surgery

  • After you’re registered, you’ll go to the outpatient surgery department to change into a hospital gown and get ready for surgery.
  • Your family/friends may stay with you during this preparation time.
  • When it's time to go to surgery, we’ll show them where to wait.

After Your Surgery

Here's what you and your family/friends can expect after your procedure.


After surgery, you’ll go to the recovery room, where we’ll monitor you closely while you wake up from anesthesia.

After Recovery

Depending on the type of procedure you had, after recovery we’ll take you back to the outpatient surgery department or to your hospital room where your family and friends can join you.

Outpatient Discharge Process

If you’re going to be discharged, the outpatient surgery nurse will concentrate on pain management, vital signs (breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and temperature) and your ability to tolerate fluids.

The nurse will also review your discharge/home care instructions with you and your family before you leave.

Inpatient Stay

If you require additional care, you’ll be admitted to a surgical floor. Our skilled nursing and other health care staff will help you with your recovery.

Additional Support

If you require care after you return home, our case managers will help arrange the necessary services.

After Your Stay

Preparing for Discharge

Your doctor determines when you’re ready to be discharged, but discharge planning begins at time of admission and continues through your hospital stay. The case management team will review your discharge plan with you and your family before your discharge so that your transition from the hospital is safe.

Here’s what you can do to help ensure a smooth discharge experience:

  • Understand that once your doctor clears you for discharge, there is a discharge process that needs to take place for your safety.
  • Make sure you and any caregivers understand the services you may need after leaving the hospital.
  • Have someone available to pick you up.
  • Make sure you or any caregiver have all necessary paperwork for billing, referrals and prescriptions.
  • Check your room, bathroom and bedside table for personal items.
  • Let your case manager/social worker know if you have any concerns about your after-hospital care.


Our goal during your hospital stay is to start you on the path to better health. Here are some tips to help you continue on that path once you’re discharged:

  • Make sure you understand your post-hospital care instructions: Do you have dietary or activity restrictions? How do you care for any wounds or incisions? Are there any follow-up tests or treatments?
  • Fill any prescription(s) promptly and take as directed.
  • Keep all follow-up appointment(s) with your doctor(s), usually within a week to 10 days from discharge.

Take Charge of Your Care

Speak Up

Health care is a team effort and you’re the quarterback. Take charge of your care by asking questions and learning about your tests and treatment. You and your family also have a right to view the nurse staffing plan.

If you have any concerns, please don’t be afraid to voice them. We want to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the care and treatment you’re given.

Participate in Your Care

  • Speak up — You are the center of your care team. Be sure to set your personal goals for each day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice concerns.
  • Pay attention — Check that you’re getting the right treatments and medicines.
  • Educate yourself — Learn about the medical tests you’re getting and your treatment plan.
  • Medications — Know what medicines you’re being given and why. Ask about potential side effects.

Tips for Working with Your Care Team

  • Write questions down so you don't forget to ask them.
  • Take notes or ask the team to put reminders on the communication board.
  • Choose a friend or family member who can help you communicate with doctors and staff.

Support Person

Patients have a right to have a support person (or chaperone) with them during sensitive physical examinations and treatments. 

Sensitive physical examinations and treatments are typically those that involve reproductive and sexual organs, those that may be perceived as potentially threatening to a patient’s sense of privacy or modesty or those that may induce feelings of vulnerability or embarrassment.

Tips for Your Stay

Follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and your belongings.

Room Service

As a patient, you may order off the “At Your Request” in-room dining menu. Just call x20500 when you’re ready. If you’re on a restricted diet, you’ll be advised on food selection. Please allow at least 45 minutes for food to be delivered. Patients are discouraged from eating in the cafeteria.

Safety Alerts

If you hear safety alerts or the fire alarm sound, please remain calm and do not leave your room. Your caregivers have been trained in fire and safety procedures and will advise you as needed.


The hospital has 24-hour security to aid patients, visitors and employees. If you need assistance from security, please alert your nursing staff.