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The Day of Surgery

All Patients

  • Bathe or shower the morning of your surgery to minimize the change of infection. Exception: patients given CHG bath instructions.
  • Follow your pre-anesthesia testing nurse’s instructions about your insulin dose and diabetes medications. Take your morning dose of heart, blood pressure, seizure, pain, or asthma medicine with a sip of water unless your pre-anesthesia testing nurse or surgeon tells you otherwise. Heart surgery patients should not take any medications, unless instructed by the surgeon.
  • Do not shave the surgical area.
  • Teeth may be brushed, but DO NOT swallow water.
  • Call your surgeon prior to surgery if you have a cold, flu, fever or other illness.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • Bring your C-PAP or Bi-PAP if you use one at home.
  • After removing your clothes and undergarments, you will put on a gown.
  • Your clothing and other belongings will be placed in a personal bag for family to keep.
  • Leave valuables at home, including jewelry and money. You will be asked to remove all jewelry before surgery. This includes body piercings, dentures and hearing aids.
  • Remove contact lenses.
  • Do not wear heavy makeup.
  • Please plan to arrive at Patient Registration promptly at the time you were instructed.
  • Bring a list of all medications that you are taking on a regular basis. Inform your nurse if you have taken blood thinner medications (Plavix, Heparin, coumadin, Ticlid, Effient, Lovenox) within the last month prior to surgery.
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form for your surgery and anesthesia prior to surgery. If the patient is a minor, a parent or legal guardian must be present to sign the consent. Proof of legal guardianship must be provided. Also prior to surgery, your anesthesiologist will meet with you in pre-op to discuss your plan of care.

As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the utmos safety for our patients, you may be asked the same questions by more than one caregiver. The staff responsible for your care will verify who you are, what kind of surgery you are having, and the part of your body on which surgery is to be performed. You will be asked these questions many times. Staff will also double-check what you tell them against the documents from your doctor’s office. While it might seem redundant, it is an important part of our quality assurance process.

Depending on the type of surgery you are having, your surgeon will mark the correct location on your body to indicate where the procedure is to be performed. Called site marking, this is a critical step in ensuring your safety and preventing errors, especially if you are having surgery on one of your arms, legs, hands, fingers, eyes, ears, etc. Just before the surgery begins the entire surgical team will take a “time out.” During this time out, the members of the team assure that they are performing the correct procedure at the correct site and on the correct person.