Preparing for Surgery

Preoperative Patient Instructions

Have nothing solid to eat for at least eight (8) hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. Solids include things like milk shakes, protein drinks and anything that has particulate matter in it. You may have clear liquids (water, clear juices, clear soda, black coffee or tea without milk or cream) up to four (4) hours before surgery. Food consumed less than eight hours and liquids less than four hours prior to surgery can be dangerous and may result in cancellation of surgery. If your anesthesiologist calls you the night before your surgery and gives you instructions other than these, those instructions should be followed.

  • Please shower before coming to the hospital, shampoo your hair, and brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water.  Do not apply lotion, perfume or makeup. Nail polish and artificial nails are acceptable.
  • If you develop a cold or other illness prior to surgery, you must notify your surgeon before the day of surgery.
  • No smoking after midnight. No alcoholic beverages prior to surgery.
  • Wear your glasses and bring a case. If you wear contacts, you will most likely be expected to remove them prior to surgery, so bring a case and solution in which to store them.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Please leave all your valuables at home.  Items such as jewelry, electronic devices, expensive clothing, cash, credit cards or check books should not be brought to the hospital. Only bring your copay if required.  The hospital is not responsible for the loss of or damage to any personal property kept in your room.  If an item must be secured, please ask your nurse to arrange for hospital security to assist you.
  • All jewelry must be removed prior to surgery. If you cannot remove rings, have them removed by a jeweler prior to your day of surgery.
  • If your surgery includes an overnight stay in the hospital, please leave your suitcase /bag in your car on the day of surgery. After your stay in the recovery room, you will be assigned a room and the loved one who accompany you can bring your belongings to your room.
  • Your time in recovery (PACU) is variable, but usually takes 1-2 hours. Your recovery room nurse will contact your loved ones in the surgery waiting room to give them an update on your progress.  Please review the Family Visitation Information to the left.
  • If you are planning to go home the same day of surgery, and you receive general anesthesia or any form of sedation or intravenous medication, you MUST have someone to drive you home. We also recommend that you have a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours as you may be dizzy, lightheaded and sleepy during the first day.