Preparing for Surgery

We know that surgery can be nerve-wracking, whether it’s your first time or you’ve been through it before. We believe that knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help ease some of the anxiety and ultimately set you up for the best possible outcome.

Children can be especially nervous about an upcoming surgery. Watch the video below to help prepare your child for an upcoming surgery (run time is about 11 minutes).


  • You will have a scheduled call with one of our nurses in advance to review your medical and surgical history, medications, and allergies. There will be important instructions delivered during the call so be sure that you are somewhere where you can write them down.
  • Know what type of surgery you are having. If it’s inpatient, you’ll spend at least one night in the hospital. If it’s outpatient, you’ll go home that day and need to arrange a ride home with a responsible adult. You will not be allowed to take a taxi home.
  • If you have a fever, cold, sore throat or flu-like symptoms call your doctor or surgeon. Your surgery may need to be postponed.
  • Be sure to arrive at the day and time set by your doctor's office.
  • Don’t smoke or use any recreational drugs for at least one week prior to surgery.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery (including water, alcohol, gum or candy.

Contact your insurance company to confirm if a co-payment is required before surgery. If it is, please bring this with you on the day of your surgery.

Adults and children over the age of 12

  • If surgery is scheduled before noon, don’t eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • If surgery is scheduled after noon, you can drink clear liquids before 7 AM (i.e. water, apple juice, black coffee/black tea).

Patients 2-12 years old

  • Clear liquids until four hours before surgery.
  • No solids or milk after midnight.

Patients younger than 2

  • Clear liquids until two hours before surgery.
  • Breast milk until four hours before surgery.
  • Solids and cow milk until six hours before surgery.

Personal Care

  • You may shower the night before or day of surgery. Don’t use conditioner or hair products such as hair gel, mousse, or hairspray.
  • Do not use perfume, cologne, lotion, or powder after your shower.
  • Do not use deodorant near the operative site.
  • Do not shave the operative site.
  • Remove all makeup, nail polish, hair accessories, contact lenses, and jewelry (including body piercings) before leaving home.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Do not bring any valuables with you. 

  • You will change into a hospital gown and will meet your surgical team.
  • After you have changed and your IV is established, you may have a family member or friend stay with you in the pre-operative area until you are ready for surgery.
  • The pre-operative area may be cold. Don’t hesitate to ask a nurse for a warm blanket. 

Advice for Family and/or Guardian

  • Recovery times vary but our goal is to reunite patients with their family and/or friends as soon as possible.
  • Parents/guardians of children under the age of 18 having surgery may not leave the surgical waiting area. The nurses will bring you into the recovery area with your child immediately after surgery.
  • Upon discharge, you will be given written instructions from your surgeon and anesthesiologist. Make sure the person caring for you is there so they can ask questions and understand your discharge plan.

  • We will call you the day after surgery to check on you and address any concerns.
  • You will receive a survey bout the care you received. Please take the time to provide your feedback as we take it very seriously.