Preparing for Surgery


All surgeries require some form of anesthesia. Since anesthesia affects different people in different ways, it is important that our surgery care team choose the best anesthesia method for you and your type of surgery. Our surgical care team including doctors specializing in the administration of anesthesia and our Anesthesia Care Team will spend time with you prior to your surgery to review your medical record and any lab data previously collected. The care team will talk to you about any concerns or any preferences you may have.

Before Surgery

  • Write down the name and dosage of the medications (including nonprescription medications, vitamins, and supplements) you are currently taking and or have taken in the past year. Bring this list with you
  • Appoint someone to stay at the hospital during your surgery. This person can phone family and friends and watch your belongings. Refrain from eating or drinking after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Discontinue prescription and over-the-counter medications, especially blood-thinning medications such as aspirin the morning of the surgery unless instructed otherwise by your physician. Taking or discontinuing a medication depends on your medical condition, the type of drug(s), and the type of scheduled surgery. Discuss this with your doctor before the day of the surgery. If you must take medications, do so with small sips of water.
  • Do your very best not to smoke at least three weeks prior to surgery.
  • If you develop any signs of illness (a cold, the flu, bronchitis, respiratory infection, fever,) notify your surgeon.

After Surgery

After surgery, you will be brought to the recovery room where your vital signs - blood pressure, respiration, temperature, and oxygen levels - will be monitored closely. Most people spend between one and two hours in recovery before being discharged home in the case of Ambulatory Surgery or moved to a patient room. After some surgeries, you may be placed in the Intensive Care Unit to be more closely monitored.

Most people feel groggy when waking up after having received anesthesia. You may also experience nausea or feel cold.

Pain is expected following surgery. Medications may be given intravenously, through an injection, orally, or through a patch placed on the skin to help control the pain.

Helpful Hints

  • If your surgery is scheduled before noon, do not eat or drink anything the night before after midnight. If your surgery is scheduled after noon, do not eat any solid foods after midnight. You may have clear liquids such as coffee or tea with no milk, clear juice, broth or gelatin until 8:00 a.m.
  • Bring a list of the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take along with the dose you take.
  • If you wear glasses, bring them.
  • If you take blood pressure medications, ask your surgeon if you can take them on the day of your surgery.