Pre & Post Op Instructions

Preparing for your surgery or pain procedure

Careful attention to the following instructions will help ensure your comfort and reduce the possibility of complications.

Unless you are specifically advised differently, do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the evening before your procedure.  Undigested food in the stomach may cause complications and your procedure is likely to be postponed if you forget to follow this instruction.  Do not smoke, dip, chew gum or eat candy after midnight the evening before your procedure.  Take only the medication your physician or nurse tells you to take on the morning of surgery with only a sip of water.

If you feel ill or have a fever, call your physician so he can evaluate whether to postpone your procedure to avoid complications.

Bathe or shower the morning of your procedure to clean your skin and reduce the chance of infection. If you were given a special cleanser at your pre-admit appointment, please use it according to the labeled directions. Remove all make-up, nail polish and jewelry, including all piercing, before coming to the hospital. 

While we have provisions for helping you safeguard your valuables, it is best if you leave them at home.  Wear casual, loose clothing.  During your procedure, you will wear a patient gown provided by the hospital. 

If you are scheduled for general anesthesia or sedation, arrange for an adult to drive you home and stay with you the first night following your return home from the hospital.  A member of our staff will be happy to contact the person you designated when you are ready to leave.  We will also provide you with detailed discharge instructions so that both you and anyone helping to care for you at home will know what to expect and how to keep you safe and comfortable.

Coming to the hospital

There is very little you need to bring with you to the hospital.  You will want to remember your eyeglasses, contacts, dentures, hearing aid and other personal items that will make you comfortable during your stay.

If you have an Advance Directive or Living Will, be sure to bring it with you to the hospital.

Please remember to bring the medications you take at home with you to the hospital in the original bottles (including over-the-counter meds and herbal or dietary supplements). This will help us make sure we have an accurate history of the medicine you routinely take.

You may wish to bring a book or other reading materials.  You may bring your own sleepwear, robe, slippers, makeup and other items that will make you feel comfortable.  Also bring a change of comfortable clothing to wear home. 

You should also bring insurance information and personal identification.  

Don't bring valuables, such as rings and other jewelry, credit cards, checkbooks or large amounts of cash.  Small amounts of cash for vending machines and incidentals is sufficient.  If you are staying overnight, the hospital can provide you with a hospital gown, warm socks/slippers and personal hygiene items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, lotion and powder.


If you require anesthesia, your doctor and anesthesia provider will talk with you and review your medical history.  They will help you understand the anesthesia process and what to expect.  If you have any questions or special needs, please feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to clarify them before the day of your procedure.


Bring all of your medication, in the original containers(s), with you to the hospital.  This includes prescription, over-the-counter and dietary supplements/herbal medications. While you are at the hospital, your medication will be given on a set schedule, which may be slightly different than what you are accustomed to at home.  For your safety and to ensure all medication is properly given, medication is distributed within a certain timeframe, depending on what your doctor has ordered.

If you have special needs related to the timing of your medication, please discuss these needs with your nurse.  It is best to bring all of your home medication with you to the hospital so that we can verify what you are taking.  Your medication will be sent home with your family member or secured with your valuables until you are discharged.  Please remember to bring both prescription and over-the-counter medication and any herbal preparations you are taking at home.

Consent for Treatment

You will be asked to sign a consent-to-treatment form, which gives permission for the physician and facility to care for you.  There will be other forms that will need to be completed for your processing to begin.  Many of these forms are used to verify information so that we can ensure your safety during your stay.  While we understand that you may have completed similar documents at your physician's office, the hospital must also complete the same forms in order to process your procedure and, if necessary, your extended stay at our hospital.  If the patient is a minor, a parent or legal guardian must sign these forms. A step-parent or grandparent is NOT a legal guardian.  If you are the child's legal guardian, please bring a copy of the appropriate paperwork for our records. Any member of the hospital staff will be glad to help you to fully understand the consent process prior to your surgery or pain procedure.

After your Surgery or Procedure

If you have a surgical procedure, you will go to our main recovery room known as the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).  Your condition will be monitored by a nurse and an anesthesiologist.  When you are awake and stable, you will be transferred to the Post Operative Discharge (POD) area until you are ready to go home or to the inpatient Post-Surgical Unit (PSU) if you will require an overnight stay.  The hospital staff will provide to your family your room number and direct phone numbers so they may visit you when you are ready for visitors.  Your length of stay will depend on the type of procedure and your physician's instructions.  At all times during your inpatient stay, you will have specially trained, registered nurses available to provide you care. In order to protect you and other patients, visitors may not be permitted in the PACU.  Your family may wait in the waiting room until you have been released from the PACU.