Preparing For Your Surgery

As a patient, you are an equal partner in the surgical process. You can help assure a better outcome by following these orders:

  • If you have questions about your surgery/same-day surgery, ask your physician. You have a right to be properly informed. It's also your responsibility to fully understand what will take place before, during and after your procedure.
  • If you develop a cold, fever or change in your condition before surgery, contact your physician immediately.
  • You must not drive yourself home after surgery, even same-day surgery. Arrange for transportation home after your procedure.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes water, coffee, tea, and chewing gum. Unless your stomach is empty before anesthesia is administered, nausea or vomiting could occur and surgery may be cancelled.
  • Take your medications for heart, breathing, and blood pressure with a sip of water. Some same-day procedures are performed in the afternoon. In this instance, you usually may have clear liquids before 7 a.m., then nothing to eat or drink until after surgery.
  • Do not smoke after midnight before your procedure.
  • Don't wear make-up, especially eye make-up. Injury to the cornea may result when mascara flakes get into the eye.
  • Remove contact lenses before surgery.
  • Do not wear nail polish.
  • Bring a list of your medications and your insurance identification cards.
  • Do not bring valuables to the hospital.

The Hospital Routine

By 5 p.m. the day before your surgery, a nurse will call you. The nurse will register you for surgery, give instructions, go over your medical history, confirm your schedule and review orders from your physician. You should call the hospital at 882-7690 or toll-free at 1-888-338-9369 if you will not be home or if you have any questions.

Any laboratory tests may be done up to seven days prior to surgery.

Unless directed otherwise, you should report to the hospital admitting office, located inside the emergency entrance, one hour before your surgery. You will be asked about your insurance and Social Security number. If any lab tests or X-rays need to be completed prior to surgery, you will need to be admitted two hours early, or come in the day before.

  • You will be directed to your assigned room to change clothes and prepare for surgery. Later, an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will talk with you, review your medical history, assess your physical condition and determine the anesthesia best suited for you.
  • After surgery, you will spend a short time in the recovery room. If you received a local anesthetic, you may go directly to your assigned room.

Special instructions for infants and children

  • Infants and children to age 3 should not drink or eat anything four hours before surgery.
  • Children over age 3 are not allowed food or liquid – including water – eight hours prior to surgery.
  • Children may brush their teeth, but must now swallow water.
  • For comfort, bring your child's favorite toy or blanket. You will be with your child until he or she is taken into surgery and as soon as possible after the procedure is complete.
  • For an infant, bring one full bottle of formula and one empty bottle.

Leaving the Hospital

Your driver may park in the visitor lot east of the emergency entrance. When your physician allows you to go home, your driver may pick you up at the entrance. And remember, don't try to drive yourself.