Preparing for Your Surgery

There are some things you will need to do to get ready for your surgery. 

Before Surgery  

  • Before surgery, you may be scheduled for some tests such as:  
  1. Physical exam  
  2. Blood tests  
  3. Chest x-ray  
  4. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) 
  • Tell your doctor what medicines you are taking including prescriptions, over the counter medicines, vitamins and herbs.  
  • Your doctor may tell you to stop taking some medicines before your surgery.  
  • Ask your doctor if you should take any of your medicines the morning of your surgery.  
  • Call your doctor before surgery if you have an infection or other illness.  
  • Plan to have an adult family member or friend take you home when your doctor discharges you. It is not safe for you to drive or leave alone. 

The Day Before Surgery  

  • If you are a smoker, do not smoke for at least 24 hours before your surgery.  
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. This includes water, gum and candy.  
  • Your doctor may need you to clean out your bowel before your surgery. Follow these steps if checked ( yes )
  1. Take a laxative as ordered by your doctor the day before surgery.  
  2. For the evening meal the night before surgery, drink only clear liquids. These include:

■ Water 

■ Clear broth or bouillon 

■ Clear fruit juices without pulp such as apple, white grape and lemonade  

■ Clear drinks such as lemon-lime soda, Kool-aid or sport drinks 

■ Coffee or tea without milk or nondairy creamer 

■ Jello or popsicles 

  • You may be told to take a shower with a special soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) before your surgery. This soap may be given to you, or you will need to buy a 4-ounce bottle or larger of 4% CHG soap at a drugstore. A common brand name for this soap is Hibiclens. There may be a store brand that costs less. Ask the pharmacist where to find it in the drug store. It is often with first aid supplies. You need to shower with CHG soap: 
  • The day before your surgery  
  • The morning of your surgery 

Follow the instructions from your doctor or nurse on how to use CHG soap or ask for the handout, “Getting Your Skin Ready for Surgery.

The Day of Surgery  

  • If you are to take any of your medicines this morning, take them with small sips of water only.  
  • Take a shower before coming to the hospital. Shower with CHG soap if you were told to do so by your doctor.  
  • Bring these with you: 
  • A list of the medicines, vitamins and herbs you take  
  • Health insurance card or financial assistance form  
  • Identification card  
  • Please leave valuable belongings at home.  
  • If you have any allergies to medicines, foods or other things, tell the staff.

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