Pre-Operative Instructions

Preoperative Instructions for Surgical Patients

Safety is our top priority when it comes to surgery. Pre-operative instructions need to be followed closely to ensure successful outcomes.

Sickness. If you become ill sometime just before your scheduled surgery, we need to know. It may mean your surgery needs to be postponed. Why? Any kind of infection can travel to the site of the surgery. If you are congested, that can create problems with your sedation — your lungs need to be clear to receive anesthesia. Your primary care provider may need to ascertain your condition before going forward with your surgery.

Medications and Supplements. Medications and supplements can adversely react with your anesthesia and cause problems such as reduced blood clotting. We need to know all medications and supplements you are currently taking. Most will need to be stopped a week before your surgery.

Patients taking Celebrex, Mobic, Indocin, and other anti-inflammatory drugs, will be advised to stop taking these medications five days prior to surgery. This goes for over-the-counter inflammatories including aspirin, ibuprofen, and Advil, as well. They need to be halted one week prior to surgery.

Patients on aspirin or Coumadin therapy need to speak with their primary care provider directly and discuss any dosing adjustments before surgery.

One day before surgery, patients can take Tylenol as needed to alleviate pain.

Supplements may cause the same problems as medications. We recommend not taking any supplements at least one week prior to surgery, unless your doctor specifically recommends otherwise.

Night before surgery. After midnight, patients must fast — no food or drink. Certain medications prescribed by the doctor or surgeon may be taken with a sip of water.

Follow-up visits. Patients usually need to return for a follow-up appointment three to 15 days after surgery to have their surgical wounds redressed. Dressings should remain in place unless we tell you to remove them on your own.

Blood and urine tests. Before surgery, certain laboratory examinations are needed, including blood and urine tests. For patients over 40 years old, a medical clearance from their primary care physician may be needed before undergoing a surgical procedure.

Grooming. Before surgery, it is required to remove any finger or toenail polish to facilitate monitoring of your blood circulation. Any new cuts or wounds should be reported to the physician or nurse to avoid cancelling the procedure on the scheduled day.

Surgery appointment. You may be asked to arrive at the hospital or facility where your surgery is to be performed several hours in advance of your appointment time. If you do not receive a call from the hospital by 4 p.m. on the day before your surgery, it is important to call the hospital or surgical center and speak with the preoperative nurse.