Preparing for Surgery

This information is intended to help prepare you for your surgical experience, from pre-op (before surgery) to surgery, hospitalization and recovery

Your questions and concerns are important to us. Please feel free to discuss them with anyone on your health care team.

Before surgery

Be sure to arrive at the day and time set by your doctor's office.

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery (including water, gum or candy).
  • Ask your doctor if you need to stop any medications before surgery such as blood thinners, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medicines, herbal supplements and diabetic medicines. On the day of surgery, take only the medications you were instructed to take by your doctor, with a sip of water.

Preparing for surgery

Taking these simple steps can help ensure a safe surgery and quick recovery:

  • If you smoke, quit or at least cut down before surgery. People who don't smoke heal faster than people who smoke.
  • Stop drinking alcohol (liquor, beer and wine) the night before surgery.
  • If you have a fever, cold or rash, call your surgeon. Surgery may need to be postponed.

Day of your surgery

Before you leave home:

  • Shower or bathe the night before or the morning of surgery with an antibacterial soap, if that has been provided to you.
  • Do not apply any lotion, powder, perfume or deodorant after bathing.
  • Remove all makeup, including lipstick and nail polish.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Remove jewelry, including rings, earrings and body piercings.

In the hospital, before surgery

  • Before surgery, you will change into a hospital gown and be given an I.D. bracelet to wear until you go home.
  • Remove your eyeglasses or contacts. If you usually wear a hearing aid or dentures, ask if you should remove them.
  • An intravenous (IV) line may be started in an arm or hand vein. This will provide medications and fluids during surgery.
  • Your family or friends will be able to wait with you before your surgery.

Discharge arrangements

Our hospital discharge time is 11 a.m. Whenever possible, we ask that you make arrangements to leave by this time once your physician has discharged you. This time allows us to prepare your room for use by other patients. Our staff can assist you and your family in making arrangements for discharge.

  • Make arrangements for someone to pick you up from the hospital and stay with you overnight. If you have sedation or anesthesia, you will need to have an adult accompany you home.
  • You should stay on a light diet for the first 24 hours after surgery. Suggested foods: gelatin, toast and soup. Drink plenty of liquids.

For patients going home the day of surgery:

  • You can expect to go home one to two hours after returning to the Same Day Surgery area.  You will also need to have an adult accompany you home.

For all surgical patients, be sure to ask about:

  • Medication (how much and when to take)
  • Pain (what to expect, what to do)
  • Physical activity
  • Resuming sexual relations
  • Driving

If you take medications for diabetes, heart disease or other conditions, tell your doctor. Ask about possible reactions between your regular medications and post-op medications.

Follow-up care is important to be sure you are healing and recovering safely. Find out:

  • When and where to return for your first follow-up visit
  • Who to call to schedule the appointment
  • When your stitches, staples, drainage tube or cast should be removed
  • Returning to work depends on your surgery and the type of work you do. Your surgeon will discuss this with you.