Preparing for Surgery

Thank you for choosing CHI Health for your surgery. We take great pride in making your experience as comfortable as possible. A registered nurse will contact you by telephone several days prior to your surgery. The nurse will

  • Provide you with information on your surgery
  • Ask for your medical history
  • Answer any questions you may have

Please complete the pre-admission questionnaire in the MyChart portal prior to the nurse contacting you. Based on your medical history and/or procedure, you may also be asked to make an appointment for a preoperative anesthesia clinic visit. You may receive a call to verify your insurance and notify you of any co-pay required the day of the procedure.

Plan ahead and arrange for transportation to and from the hospital. You may NOT drive yourself home or take public transportation after your procedure without a responsible designated person. Please make arrangements before arriving at the hospital.

Before your surgery

  • Please do not wear jewelry or hair pins and remove all piercings.
  • Leave all unnecessary valuables at home.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing that will be easy to put back on after surgery.
  • Please avoid using any alcohol-based products in your hair, including gels, hairspray or mousse products.
  • Take your morning medication as instructed by your provider or nurse.
  • Follow specific fasting instructions.
  • If you become ill the morning of surgery, you are running late or unable to make it to your procedure, please notify your doctor right away.

Items to bring with you the day of surgery

  • Insurance card, identification card and your co-pay
  • Copy of advanced directive or living will, if not currently on file
  • Storage containers for eyeglasses, contacts, dentures and hearing aids
  • An up-to-date medication list
  • Cane, crutches or walker, if needed
  • C-Pap or Bi-Pap machine, if needed
  • Small bag of personal items if staying overnight (robe, slippers, toothbrush, pajamas, undergarments)
  • Portable oxygen for your trip to and from the hospital, if needed
  • Rescue inhalers, if needed

Medications and surgery

Some medications may need to be stopped prior to surgery. Recommendations will vary based on your medical history and the type of procedure you are having.

  • Blood thinning medications may need to be stopped several days before surgery. It is important that you discuss with your surgeon and/ or provider the optimum timing for stopping these medications.
  • Herbal medications/supplements and prescription diet medications should be stopped one week prior to surgery.
  • Aleve and Naproxen should generally be discontinued at least three days before surgery. Ibuprofen should be stopped 24 hours prior to surgery. Acetaminophen can be taken up to the day of surgery.
  • If you are taking certain rheumatologic medications, please discuss the timing of discontinuation with your rheumatologist.
  • If you have insulin dependent diabetes, refer to your endocrinologist or primary care physician for day of surgery insulin dosing.

When to stop eating and drinking before Surgery

“Fasting or NPO” means not eating or drinking for a certain period of time. Fasting is necessary to prevent food or liquids in your stomach from entering your lungs (aspiration) when you are given anesthetic medication for your procedure. If you do not follow preoperative fasting instructions as recommended, your surgery may be delayed or canceled.

If you are instructed to drink a bowel preparation prior to your surgery or procedure, you may only drink clear liquids from the start of your prep up until the recommended stopping time.

If you were instructed to take medication the morning of surgery, please take it at least two hours prior to your scheduled procedure time with clear liquids.

Patients with medical conditions that may affect stomach emptying (uncontrolled gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia or gastroparesis) should not eat eight hours prior to your surgery with the exception of clear liquids as recommended.