The day you arrive for surgery is very important and takes some preparation on your part and special attention from your care givers.  You will be given instructions before surgery on how to prepare and what to bring on the day of surgery.  Remember to follow the instructions they gave you at the doctors office.  In most likelihood you will have to be NPO (don’t eat after midnight the night before) and they will tell you what medications to take that morning.

What to Remember the Day of Surgery

Here are some of the other things you want to remember before heading to the hospital or surgery center.

  • Make sure you have followed the guidelines on eating before surgery.  In most situations you will be asked to be NPO (no eating after midnight).  If you do not follow this rule when you arrive for surgery it will be cancelled by the anesthesiologist.
  • If you have been given a preoperative history and physical from your physician for the surgery, do not forget these at home.  Today most physicians are connected through an electronic record, and this will not be necessary.
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing to surgery.  In some cases, you may be able to wear these during surgery if this is a small procedure requiring sedation only.  Most cases today are outpatient procedures, and you will be expected to go home.  Consider how you may be affected by the surgery itself.  Loose clothing would be much easier to put back on once your surgery is over.
  • One easily forgotten item is how to keep your feet warm throughout the procedure.  When they prepare you for surgery, they will give you short booties to keep your feet warm.  These are usually not enough.  It is a good idea to add some woolen support stockings as they will keep you warm but also help prevent blood clots in your legs.
  • One last thing to remember is arranging for someone to take you home.  Once surgery is finished you will not be able to drive as you will be under the influence of the anesthetic.  If you do not have someone with you, they will cancel the surgery.

What happens the day of surgery.

Arrive for surgery at hospital
Pre-surgical preparation
Anesthesia Evaluation

Register at the Hospital

Registering on the day of surgery is very important. It helps the system determine who you are, whether you are the correct person getting surgery and that there will be payment for services.

Pre-Surgical Preparation

Once a patient is registered they will be taken to an area where they will be prepared for surgery. This area has many names such as pre-op or surgicare.

Anesthesia Evaluation

While you are prepared for surgery by nursing personnel you will likely receive a visit from the anesthesiologist and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Checking in at Hospital

Remember to bring your identification, insurance card and any preoperative evaluations you may have received.