Preparing for your surgical appointment

    New patients

    • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
    • Be prepared to provide necessary information including your legal name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, employment, insurance and any required co-payments.
    • Be prepared to provide a photo ID, documentation, such as insurance card and address of insurance company; Illinois Department of Aid card, list of prescription or over-the-counter medications you take, and managed care referral information if applicable.
    • Ahead of your appointment, send any necessary worker’s compensation information for approval.
    • In some cases, your health care team may ask you to bring past medical records, X-rays, MRI and other laboratory reports.
    • Ahead of your appointment, you’ll receive a brochure, map, instructions, and your appointment date and time.

    Appointment reminders

    Two days before your appointment, you will receive an automated appointment reminder call. If you’re unable to keep your appointment, please notify SIU Medicine at least 24 hours in advance by calling 217-545-8000.


    Clinic office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a reduced schedule during holidays. A physician is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. To reach a physician after office hours and on weekends, call SIU Medicine’s answering service at 217-545-8000. The answering service will contact your physician or the physician on call, who will then return your call as soon as possible. For medical emergencies, go directly to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

    Nurse calls during the day

    Your call is important to us. The SIU Call Center will be happy to assist you in any way possible. A member of your health care team will return your call as soon as possible.

    Prescription refills

    To refill your prescription, call your preferred pharmacy at least 24 hours, or one business day, in advance of needing additional medication. Your pharmacist will contact your health care team to obtain the necessary information for your refill. Please note: Prescriptions will not be refilled outside of normal business hours.

    Before Your Surgery

    To help prepare you and avoid cancellation or a delay on your day of surgery, please review the following information:

    Arrival time

    To allow sufficient preparation time before your procedure, please arrive at the time specified.

    Insurance forms and cards

    Have all cards available to present at the time of admission. Please present school- or work-related forms on admission.


    Wear loose, comfortable clothes.  Leave jewelry and valuables at home.

    Medical history and test results

    Bring all forms that your physicians have provided to you. Take only the medication your physician or nurse tells you to take on the morning of surgery, with only a sip of water. Don’t forget to bring a list of all medications you are currently taking.


    Do not eat anything after midnight the night before surgery, unless instructed by your physician or nurse.


    Do not drink anything after midnight including water. Do not chew gum or eat candy. These actions reduce the likelihood of vomiting or breathing in stomach contents during surgery.


    If you feel ill or have a fever, call your physician prior to surgery. It may be necessary to postpone your surgery to avoid complications.


    Do not smoke after midnight the night before your surgery.


    Children may have different needs. Please discuss with your physician and/or the child life specialist.

    Pre-admission registration and testing

    SIU Medicine surgeons operate in in-patient and out-patient settings at both St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois. Your insurance may dictate which hospital you use. Regardless of which hospital you choose, SIU Medicine health care providers will work closely to provide you with the best and safest experience possible.

    Before your surgery, the hospital’s pre-admission team may contact you to schedule any necessary tests, ask questions and verify your information. Please follow up with them as soon as possible or your surgery may be delayed.

    Day of procedure

    Arriving at the appropriate check-in location on your surgery day is extremely important. Both St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center offer several surgery location options, depending on the type of procedure being performed so double check the location prior to your departure from home. For your safety, you will be asked multiple times to verify your name, medications, allergies and side/site of procedure if appropriate.


    If you require anesthesia, an anesthesiologist will talk with you and review your medical history.


    The scheduled time for surgery and the actual time can vary. Delays or revisions to the operating room schedule might change the start time of your surgery. At the completion of your procedure, your physician will meet with or call your family members.

    Following Surgery

    Recovery area

    After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area where your progress will be monitored. When you are awake and stable, you will be transferred to a nursing care until discharged. A volunteer in the waiting lounge will notify your family and friends of your room number or status so they may eventually join you.

    Outpatient discharge

    When you have recovered sufficiently from anesthesia, you will be taken to the recovery area where you will relax in a recliner or on a stretcher and will be given something to drink and possibly something light to eat. Your progress will be monitored until discharge. You must have a responsible adult available to drive you home. If you have received any type of anesthesia, it is recommended that someone stay with you the remainder of the day and night, as you continue the recovery progress. Please follow all instructions given to you by the hospital staff and your physician.

    Whenever we perform an operation, there is the possibility of complications. Although the chances of this happening are very low, it is important to be aware and to watch for early signs of complications.
    Potential complications include, but are not limited to: poor wound healing, persistent pain, infection, fever, or drainage. Following some surgeries, you may have a hard or soft cast dressing. You should call us immediately if you have problems with your cast such as tightness, persistent pain, excessive drainage, severe swelling or numbness.

    Do not remove dressings unless you are instructed to do so.

    Please call (217) 545-8000 for non-emergency problems. For emergency situations and for calls after business hours, call 217-545-8000 and ask for a resident doctor or go directly to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.
    Please call (217) 545-8000 for a 2 week post-operative appointment unless you have been given other instructions.

    Billing and insurance

    SIU Surgery accepts the following insurance plans:
    Aetna PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, Blue Choice, Cigna PPO/GPPO, Div. Of Specialized Care for Children, Group Health Plan HMO, Health Alliance Medical Plan HMO (pediatrics only), Health Alliance Medical Plan PPO & SF, Health Link PPO, HMO, Work Comp, HealthCare’s Finest Network, HMO Illinois/PHAI, Humana Choice Care, Illinois Department of Public Aid, MDCR, Personal Care, Preferred Plan, Private Healthcare Systems, Inc., Quincy Healthcare, TriCare, United Healthcare.

    Patients should make sure our physicians are covered by their plans and provide necessary referrals before appointments. For more information, call 217-545-4966. Due to the increasing number of plan restrictions from managed care companies, patients should know the following information:

    • Selected primary care doctor
    • Hospital approved by their plan
    • Laboratory and X-ray facilities approved by their plan
    • Co-payment amount required
    • If a referral is needed

    Payment is expected at time of service for office visits and procedures unless patients are covered by Medicare, Worker’s Compensation or a special agency. Co-payment will be expected for HMO and IDPA as indicated by the plan. Laboratory tests and X-rays will be billed at a later date. SIU accepts cash, check, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

    As a special service, SIU Medicine files primary insurance claims for patients free of charge. Claims for Medicare patients are filed automatically as required by law. This department also completes all Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and disability forms. Please take the forms to 401 N. Walnut Street or mail them to that address. SIU Medicine does not complete functional capacity evaluations. These require a physical therapy evaluation scheduled by your insurance plan or workman’s comp case manager.