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Surgery: What to Expect

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Before Surgery

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Tests before surgery

Before surgery, your surgeon may also ask you to see your regular doctor for an exam and possibly for tests. A surgeon may ask this to make sure that surgery is not likely to be too hard on you. The tests may include:

You may also be scheduled for other tests, such as X-rays or an electrocardiogram (EKG), if your surgeon thinks they are needed before your surgery.

Your surgeon may include other doctors in your care, depending on your other medical conditions. For example, if you have heart problems, your surgeon may discuss your care with a cardiologist.

If you have many medical problems, your regular doctor may do your physical exam before surgery. To help make sure that no problems are missed, you may find it helpful to have a doctor who knows you well do this exam and your medical history.

Donating blood

If you will need blood during your surgery, you may wish to donate your own blood. This has to be done several weeks before your surgery.

dplink.gif Blood Transfusions: Should I Bank Blood Before Surgery?

Talking to a nurse before surgery

Many hospitals or surgery centers have a nurse who will meet with you or call you at home a few days before your surgery. This nurse makes sure all your forms and tests are complete before your scheduled surgery. The nurse also:

  • Makes sure the date and time of your surgery are correct.
  • Talks about when you should stop eating and drinking before surgery.
  • Answers any questions you may have.

Preparing for surgery

Before your surgery, your surgeon or nurse will remind you to do the following:

  • Bring any X-rays or other tests that you may have.
  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If your doctor has told you to take medicines on the day of surgery, do so using only a sip of water.
  • Do not use aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) for 1 week before your surgery.
  • Leave all valuables, such as money and jewelry, at home.
  • Bring what you will need after surgery, such as your inhaler if you have asthma or a cane if you use one. Also bring your insurance information.
  • If you are having same-day surgery, arrange for someone to take you home. And make sure you have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours.
  • Shower the morning of surgery, but don't use any perfumes, colognes, or body lotion.
  • Remove all nail polish and body jewelry, such as piercings.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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