Preparing For Surgery

The following instructions will help you arrive feeling prepared and confident. Knowing what to expect and doing your part to prepare will help ensure the best possible outcomes for your surgery. Call your physician if you have questions specific to your surgery.

Knowing what to expect will help ease any anxiety you may have about your procedure.


Arrive early
Time in hospital or surgery center operating rooms is precisely scheduled, and arriving late could mean having to reschedule the procedure. Be prepared for a little waiting time. It’s a good idea to bring a book or magazine to read.

Do not eat or drink
The length of time to not eat or drink before your procedure will vary depending on the nature of the surgery. The reason for not eating is primarily due to the anesthesia that can cause nausea and vomiting if the stomach is not empty. If the surgery will involve the abdomen, you also will need to have an empty bowel. Your doctor will provide specific instructions for your preoperative diet. Pay close attention to these instructions./dd>
Check with your doctor about whether or not you should take your regular medications that morning. Your doctor may ask that you take them with a sip of water.

Pack light
Your belongings should be limited. It’s best to start with only necessary items and have someone bring additional items later. A bag of toiletries and some loose comfortable clothing is a good start. Leave all valuables at home, including cell phones (not allowed in most hospitals), laptops, cash (bring a few dollars, but no more), and jewelry.

Bring any hospital documents and current medications
Bring your insurance information and any documents your doctor has given to you. Also, have your current medications, in their original containers, with you. Do not copy the medication information separately as it is best for the doctor to have all the information printed from the pharmacist.

What to expect
What you can expect will vary depending on the procedure being performed. However, the general schedule of your day will be somewhat consistent. Before your procedure, the pre-operative assessment team at your facility will call you with information regarding your expected schedule.