Patient Surgery Guide | Allen Hospital, Waterloo IA



Tips for Preparing for Surgery

Before surgery you'll meet with your doctor, discuss risks and benefits, pre-register and complete necessary tests and procedures. It is important that you get answers to all of your questions. You should never hesitate to ask your physician, surgeon or the Allen staff any question you may have.

Talk to Your Doctor

Asking your doctor what you should expect before, during and after your procedure will help immensely as you begin preparing for surgery. Discuss any medications you're currently taking and those you may have to take after surgery. Your doctor may ask you to quit taking some medications before your surgery.

Pre-Surgical Appointments & Tests

To prepare you for surgery, a pre-surgical teaching nurse may meet with you or contact you by phone. This nurse gathers information regarding your general health. At this time, you may also be scheduled to meet with other health care professionals.

Routine tests and procedures may be required to determine your state of health. If you have had recent tests, please tell the pre-surgical nurse. Tests will vary, but may include blood and urine tests, an EKG for heart analysis, and a chest X-ray to determine if your lungs are safe for surgery and anesthesia.  

Register Online

Preregister online

Call Your Insurance Provider

Call your insurance provider to confirm the details of your coverage and pre-certification.

Arrange Transportation

Plan on arriving at the hospital one and a half to two hours before your scheduled surgery time unless you're 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

Follow Pre-surgical Instructions

  • Quit smoking or at least cut down before surgery.
  • Stop drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before surgery.
  • Advise the pre-surgical nurse of any illegal drug use.
  • Ask your doctor about taking any medications (including herbal supplements) before surgery.
  • Arrange for rides to and from the medical campus.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight the night before surgery. You may drink clear fluids (apple juice, water, tea and coffee without milk, creamer or sugar) as directed by the pre-surgical nurse or your doctor.
  • If you get a fever, cold or rash, call your doctor. Surgery may need to be postponed.
  • Plan for post-surgery needs such as transportation, home care or skilled care.
  • Make changes in your home. For example, if you're told not to climb stairs, you may want to prepare a bed on the first floor.
  • Prepare food ahead or buy pre-made meals to reduce the amount of work you have after surgery.
  • Arrange for friends or relatives to check in on you after surgery.
  • Provide the hospital with a copy of your advance medical directive, if you have one. This statement describes the medical treatment you'd want or names the person you'd wish to make health-care decisions for you if you could no longer speak for yourself.
  • Remove all jewelry and piercings (including wedding rings).