Getting Ready for Surgery

Follow these pre-operative guidelines once you know the date of your test or procedure.

Many medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, can interfere with normal blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Follow the guidelines below. If your doctor gives you different instructions, always follow your doctor’s instructions.

Medication Instructions to Prepare for your Test or Procedure

2 weeks (14 days) before your procedure

  • Schedule any appointments you may need to clear you to have surgery.
  • Update your medication and allergy lists and a list of questions.
  • Talk to your doctor to see if you will need aftercare such as visiting nurses.

1 week (7 days) before your procedure

  • Obtain and fill prescriptions for medications as indicated by your doctor.
  • Call your surgeon immediately if you have fever, flu-like symptoms, or sore throat.

2 days before your procedure

  • Double check your arrangements for a ride to and from the hospital. You will be sedated during your procedure and a responsible adult must drive you home afterward. Your procedure will be canceled if you do not have a responsible adult to drive you home. If this will be a problem, notify the nurse in your clinic and the Department of Social Work will try to assist you.

The day before your procedure

  • Follow any special instructions your surgeon gave you about a clear-liquid or bowel prep.
  • Pack your bag: Bring personal items such as toiletry items and reading materials. Do NOT bring credit cards, jewelry, or money to the hospital.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, including gum, candy, water, coffee, etc.

The day of your procedure – at home

  • On the day of your procedure/test, take only the medications your doctor has instructed. Take them with a very small sip of water.
  • Remove any nail polish.
  • Bathe or shower the night before or the morning of your procedure.
  • Do not apply any body lotions, deodorant, or powder after taking your shower.
  • Do not shave anywhere near your operation site.
  • Brush your teeth, swish, and spit.
  • Remove contact lenses. (Bring storage case and give them to your family/friend). You may bring an extra pair of eyeglasses.
  • Remove all piercings and jewelry, including rings.
  • If appropriate, bring your crutches or walker with you to the hospital, labeled with your full name and telephone number.
  • Other than a sip of water to take medications, do not eat or drink anything.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Be sure you have your health insurance ID card(s), Roswell Park “Green Card”, a list of your allergies (especially if allergic to latex or iodine), a list of your medications, and a copy of your Health Care Proxy Form, Advance Directive, or Living Will, if you have one. (If you would like information about these documents, speak with the Patient Access staff when you arrive and they will be glad to assist you.)