Preoperative General Instructions

Understanding Your Preoperative Responsibilities:

The thought of having surgery can be frightening; therefore, we want to make your surgical experience as pleasant and safe as possible for you. The following information will guide you in preparation for your procedure. It is important for you to follow these and any other instructions given to you by your anesthesiologist, surgeon or related nursing personnel.

It is critical that you provide your anesthesia care team a thorough and accurate medical history, so that they can prepare the right anesthesia care plan for you. During your preoperative visit, please be prepared to address with any member of your anesthesia care team any questions you may have concerning your anesthesia care. Commonly asked questions include issues pertaining to nausea and vomiting after surgery, concerns regarding adequate pain control and awareness under anesthesia. You will have an opportunity to ask your anesthesia care team members any remaining questions on the day of your surgery.


1-2 Weeks prior to surgery

Stop all use of tobacco products and refrain from any illegal drugs.

Ask your surgeon or prescribing physicians for guidance regarding blood thinners (examples include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Coumadin, Lovenox, Aggrenox, Plavix and herbal medicines).


24 Hours before Your Surgery

Please verify the time and location of your surgery.

Allow adequate time to arrive prior to your surgery time.


The Night before Your Surgery

For your safety, it is imperative that you do not eat or drink anything after 12:00AM midnight on the eve your surgery. This rule applies to all patients unless you have been given specific instructions otherwise. Please note that this also includes water and other clear liquids, lozenges, mints, chewing gum, hard candy, etc. Food and drink in your system while you are sedated is dangerous. If you eat or drink within the forbidden period specified above, your surgery will most likely be cancelled.

Please notify someone on your anesthesia care team if you notice any change in your physical condition such as a cold, fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or other illness.

If you have an urgent question about your anesthesia prior to your surgery, you can reach our on-call anesthesiologist 24 hours per day at (972)233-9139.


The Day of Your Surgery

Do not eat or drink any foods or liquids, including, but not limited to, water, lozenges, mints, chewing gum, hard candy, etc.


Most medicines can be taken with a sip of water; however, ask your surgeon about blood thinners. If you have any questions about your medicines, please speak with a member of your anesthesia care team.

Do not smoke any tobacco products on the day of your surgery.

You are encouraged to brush your teeth, but do not swallow any toothpaste or drink any water.

Remove any dentures, removable bridges, contact lenses, retainers or other prosthetic devices that may dislodge and cause a complication or injury during surgery.

If you must wear contact lenses, glasses, dentures, etc, to the hospital, then please bring a container to store these items. Glasses are helpful to bring since using contacts can be difficult when you initially awaken in the recovery room.

Do not wear any jewelry, makeup, false eyelashes, nail polish, hairspray or hair pins. Acrylic nails should not be worn for hand, arm or shoulder surgery.

Wear casual or loose-fitting clothing.

Where possible, leave all valuables at home.


After Surgery

After surgery you will be transported to the recovery room – also known as the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (“PACU”). This is usually where you will awaken and the effects of anesthesia will terminate. You will be watched by your physician and a specialized team of nurses who will address any concerns or discomfort that you may have. When you have reached the required state of post-operative recovery, according to the type and severity of your surgery, you will be discharged to go home, held over night for observation, admitted to the hospital if a longer recovery period is required or be taken directly to the intensive care unit.

Patients going home the day of surgery must arrange for a responsible adult to accompany them home. A taxi, bus or para-transit driver cannot be considered a responsible escort. Patients who receive sedation or general anesthesia have residual effects that make it unsafe to drive, even after the most minor procedure.

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