Pre-Surgery Checklist

On The Day of Surgery

Patients are asked to arrive two hours before their scheduled surgery. The patient's family and friends are welcome to wait in the family waiting area. The nurse will inform the patient's visitors when the surgery begins and the doctor will visit the family after surgery.

Family members who are unable to wait at the hospital may leave a telephone number where they can be contacted. After surgery, the patient will go to the post-anesthesia care unit, and will return to day surgery or an assigned room when stable. When a patient is discharged from day surgery, arrangements must be made for a ride home.

The following information can help prepare you and your family for your procedure. If you have additional questions, please contact your physician's office.

  • A list of all medications (prescription and nonprescription, including dosage, how often you take them and why they are prescribed). If it is more convenient for you, bring all your medicines, including inhalers and eye drops, with you to the preadmission appointment.
  • Bring a complete list of allergies.
  • Bring all paperwork from your surgeon, including orders and consent for surgery.
  • Bring your insurance cards and photo identification
  • If you have had recent lab work, EKG, chest x-ray, or any diagnostic testing, bring copies to your appointment. Lab work must be within one month of surgery. The EKG and chest x-ray must be within six months of surgery.
  • Bring copies of your living will and health care power of attorney.

Plan for the preadmission process to take at least two hours of your time at the hospital. A spouse or family member is welcome to accompany you to your appointment. You will have lab work, EKG and chest x-ray, if ordered, and a nursing interview. Your surgical history, medical history and discharge planning will be started at this interview. If any preparation for your surgery is required, we will discuss how, when and what to use.

Ask your surgeon which medicines to stop before your surgery. Over-the-counter medications that thin your blood should be stopped before surgery (Naprosyn, ibuprofen, aspirin, Vitamin E, garlic and Aleve are a few examples). Discuss when to stop taking any prescription blood thinners with your surgeon.

If you become ill, have a cold or fever, please call your surgeon within 24 hours of your surgery.

  • No solid food for eight hours before surgery.
  • Clear liquids (water, tea, black coffee, broth, soda, Jello) may be taken until six hours before admission to the hospital.
  • No gum, chewing tobacco, or smoking after midnight the day before your surgery.
  • No eye makeup or hair spray.
  • Please brush your teeth and shower.
  • Take medications as directed by the preadmission nurse or your surgeon.
  • No jewelry or body piercing will be allowed.
  • Leave all valuables, including medications, at home except inhalers and eyedrops.
  • If you are spending the night, you may bring a small overnight bag with personal care items.

Enter the Surgery Center at Memorial or Memorial Hospital at the appropriate registration area. Inpatients need to register at the main entrance registration area. Outpatients register at the emergency department registration area. You will receive an ID bracelet and paperwork, and be escorted to the surgery waiting area.

Occasionally surgeries are rescheduled from the hospital to the Surgery Center at Memorial, or vice versa. This is to minimize waiting time for surgery.

  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown, slippers and robe. No underwear will be worn to surgery.
  • You may be given stockings to prevent blood clots.
  • Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight will be recorded. Anesthesia is based on these numbers.
  • You will mark your surgical site to confirm the planned operational site.
  • All clothing will be bagged and locked securely until you depart.
  • If you are spending the night, your clothing will be placed in your assigned room after surgery.

Key points after discharge

For your own safety, it is important to follow all discharge instructions given to you at the hospital in addition to these five guidelines for ensuring your best possible recovery.

  • Do not remove any bandages until directed by your surgeon.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours.
  • Take medication as prescribed before your pain becomes severe.
  • Do not allow your surgical area to get wet until directed by your surgeon.
  • Return to work only after your surgeon has cleared you to do so.

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