During your pre-operative clinic visit, you and your neurosurgeon will arrive at a surgical date. At this time, your neurosurgeon will review any specific instructions prior to your arrival on the day of surgery. Typically, patients are requested to arrive at 5:30 am and proceed to Admitting, located on the 2nd floor of UAB’s main hospital, North Pavilion, 1802 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233. You will begin the registration process at Admitting.

Please bring the following items on the day of your surgery:

  • A list of your active medications, dosages, schedules, and reasons for taking. Include any over-the-counter medications, including aspirin or medicines containing aspirin (for example, Goody’s powder).
  • Any films (CT scans, MRI scans, x-rays) as requested by your neurosurgeon.
  • A list of your past medical history, and especially any changes in your health since your prior visit with the neurosurgeon.

Pre-Operative Holding

Approximately 1 hour prior to the start of your surgery, you will be transferred to the Pre-Operative Holding Ward (5th Floor, North Pavilion). Here, you will be asked to dress into a surgical gown, and all of your belongings will be stored. A pre-operative nursing team will continue obtaining your medical information, and provide you with additional paperwork (e.g. consent). After that, blood will be drawn for laboratory studies, and an intravenous line (IV) will be placed to deliver IV fluids and any necessary medications. You will then meet your surgical team, including the anesthesiologist, the resident, and your neurosurgeon. Once ready, you will be transported to the Operating Room (OR) by the surgical team.


During surgery, family members are asked to wait in the North Pavilion, 5th floor Waiting Room. By phone, the OR staff will provide periodic updates on the status of the surgery. If your family members decide to leave the waiting area, they should leave contact instructions at the front desk. After surgery, your neurosurgeon will contact the Waiting Room to provide a detailed summary of the procedure and the subsequent care.

After Surgery

After surgery, you will be transferred to the Recovery Room, or be directly transferred to the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU), if intensive care is required. After a period of observation in the Recovery Room, you will be transferred to a private room, where your family will meet you. If you are transferred to the NICU, your family will be directed to the NICU Waiting Room on the 8th floor of the North Pavilion, and then to your bed, when appropriate. The length of post-operative care differs by patient, and is determined by your surgical team.

After Discharge

Your surgeon will decide when you are ready to be discharged from the hospital. At discharge, you will be given detailed instructions on wound care and medications, both verbal and written. You will be given a clinic appointment for staple/suture removal, typically 10-14 days after your surgery. For any questions or concerns you may have after discharge, please contact the neurosurgeon’s office, or go to the nearest Emergency Room if needed.