Preparing for Your Surgery

Before Your Surgery

Call your surgeon if you have any feeling of illness that comes up (cold, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, fever or flu). It is important that you promptly notify your doctor as you need to be as healthy as possible before surgery.

Ask about medications

  • Inform your doctor of any medications you are currently taking
  • Take only those medications prescribed by your doctor with a sip of water on the morning of your surgery. This includes your usual blood pressure medication (except diuretics) and heart medication, use inhalers as you normally would on the morning of surgery. It is a good idea to bring your inhalers with you the day of surgery.

Expect a call 1–4 days before surgery

  • A nurse will call you to confirm your surgery time and review pre-op health history and instructions with you. This is a good time to ask specific questions that you may have.

Pre-Admission Tests

  • You may need to have routine pre-admission tests before surgery to advise your physician of your general state of health. Tests may include lab work, X-rays or an EKG.
  • Tests must be completed 3–10 business days prior to your surgery date. This gives your medical team time to review the test results and prevents delays in your surgical schedule.
  • Bring your health insurance card and pre-admission testing orders at time of scheduled tests.
  • Bring a list of your medications (not the actual pills) including medication name, dosage amount and frequency.
  • If your pre-admission testing is not performed at a Sentara facility or if your physician's office performs these tests, the results must be sent in writing to the hospital (either by mail or fax) no later than 48 hours before surgery.

Night Before Your Surgery

Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions. In general, follow these guidelines:

  • Eat a light dinner
  • Do not eat solid food after 9 p.m.
  • Do not drink any fluids after midnight including gum and mints, unless your surgeon instructs otherwise.
  • Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before your surgery.
  • Do not swallow any water when brushing your teeth the morning of surgery.

For Your Safety

Please follow these three critical rules which will ensure your comfort and safety. Your surgery may be canceled or delayed if these instructions are not followed.

  • Do not eat solid food and do not drink any liquid after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise instructed to do so by your anesthesiologist.
  • You must arrange for someone to take you home after your surgery. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Outpatient surgery cannot be performed without responsible adult transportation to take you home. A cab or bus will not be acceptable. Please arrange for someone to be with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery.
  • A legal guardian must accompany minors and must be physically present in the facility from admission to discharge.

Sentara in the Community