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What to Expect

Preparing for surgery

Ask your doctor:

  • Are there any prescription or over-the-counter medicines that you should not take before your surgery?
  • Can you eat or drink before your surgery?
  • Should you trim your nails or remove any nail polish?
  • Write down any other questions you may have, and take them with you to see your doctor.

Ask someone you trust to:

  • Take you to and from the hospital
  • Be with you at the hospital.  This person can make sure you get the care you need to feel comfortable and safe.

Before you leave home:

  • Shower and wash your hair.  Do not wear make-up.  Your caregivers need to see your skin to check your blood circulation.
  • Please leave your jewelry, money, and other valuables at home.

At the Surgery Facility

 The staff will ask you to sign an informed consent form.  Read it carefully, it lists:

  • Your name
  • The kind of surgery you will have
  • The risks of your surgery
  • That you talked to your doctor about the surgery and asked questions
  • Your agreement to have the surgery

Make sure everything on the form is correct, and all your questions have been answered.  If you do not understand something, please feel free to ask!

For your safety, the staff may ask you the same questions many times, including your name, type of surgery you are having, and what part of your body will be operated on.

After your surgery:

Tell your doctor or nurse about your pain.  Hospitals and other surgical facilities that are accredited by the Joint commission must help relieve your pain.

Ask questions about medicines that are given to you, especially new medicines.  Ask:

  • What is it?
  • What is it for?
  • Are there any side effects?

Tell your caregivers about any allergies you have to medications.  If you have more questions about a medication, talk to your doctor or nurse before taking it.*Find out about IV (intravenous) fluids that you are given.  These are liquids that go directly into your veins.  Ask how long the liquid should take to “run out.”  Tell the nurse if it seems to be dripping too fast or too slow.

Ask your doctor if you will need therapy or medicines after you leave the hospital.