On the Day of Your Surgery
Make sure you understand the instructions your doctor or nurse gave for taking medications prior to surgery. There may be some medications you should stop taking.
Eating & Drinking
It is extremely important to follow instructions for eating and drinking because your surgery or procedure could be canceled or postponed if you don't observe the stated restrictions.
- Adults (age 13+): Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. This includes gum, candy and water. No smoking the day of your surgery.
- Children: No solid foods, candy or gum after midnight. Children may have clear liquids up to four hours before surgery unless otherwise directed. Clear liquids include clear carbonated beverages, water and apple juice (not cider).
- Infants: If your child is nursing, you can breastfeed or give breast milk until four hours before surgery. Infants who drink cow's milk, soy milk or formula must stop drinking six hours before surgery.
Note: It can be hard to explain to children why they can't eat or drink on the day of surgery. Be prepared with plenty of distractions for your child, such as books, toys and hugs. It's also helpful to keep food and drink out of sight.
What to Wear
- Shower or bathe yourself or your child.
- Do not apply any lotions, powders or cologne to the body.
- Do not use any hair products.
- Dress in loose comfortable clothes.
- Remove make-up and all nail polish.
- Leave valuables such as jewelry (including wedding bands), cash and credit cards at home.
- Wear glasses rather than contacts (contacts must be removed) and bring a glasses case.
What to Pack
You may want to bring a book or magazine.
- If you'll be staying in the hospital overnight, please bring your own sleepwear, slippers, crutches and slings, CPAP/BiPAP supplies, inhalers, toiletries and loose comfortable clothes (to wear home).
- For children, a special toy or blanket is suggested to help them feel more comfortable while in the hospital.
- Insurance cards or forms.
- Photo ID
- All of your medication bottles which list the dosage and frequency.
- Overnight clothes (if necessary), such as a robe and slippers.
- A case with your name on it, for personal items that you may need to remove, such as dentures, glasses or contact lenses
Coming to the Hospital
Plan on arriving at the hospital one and a half to two hours before your scheduled surgery time unless directed otherwise. You can park in lots P8, P8a or P8c off of Donald St. Free valet parking is also available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at Entrance 8. View Map
When You Arrive
When you arrive, you'll sign insurance release forms and a surgery consent form if you haven't done so already. If you are a minor, your parent or guardian will fill these out. To protect your confidentiality and privacy, your friends and family will be asked to wait in the waiting room briefly.
You'll be guided to a surgery preparation area. You'll change into a hospital gown and get an identification bracelet. You should remove your glasses or contact lenses. If you have a hearing aid or dentures, ask whether you should remove them for surgery. A nurse will go over your health history with you and have you sign your surgical consent. An intravenous line will be started in an arm or hard vein to provide medication and fluids during surgery, except in local procedures. Once you are settled into your admitting room, your friends or family will be able to visit with you.
Your Health Care Team
A team of trained professionals staffs the surgical suite or operating room (OR). Your surgeon heads the team, often assisted by a surgical assistant. A surgical technician sets up the instruments needed for surgery and assists in surgery. A circulating nurse is charged with your care and ensures sterile procedures are used.
A member of the health care team will take you to the surgical suite. Your blood pressure, heart function, and oxygen level in your blood will be monitored.
You may also be attended by an anesthesiologist who administers anesthesia during the operation.