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
- 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
- Talks about when you should stop eating and drinking
- 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
- 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
- Shower the morning of surgery, but don't use any perfumes,
colognes, or body lotion.
- Remove all nail polish and body jewelry, such as
Just before surgery
When you arrive for
your surgery, your nurse will:
- Check your name, your birth date, and your
signed consent for surgery. Your nurse will also check the correct body area
for your surgery. If you have any last-minute questions, ask to discuss them
with your surgeon.
- Check your vital signs (temperature, heart
rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen level).
- Measure or ask about your height and weight.
- Make sure you have not had anything to eat or drink
for the length of time your surgeon told you.
- Check your medical chart for any allergies you have and any
medicines you take.
Your nurse will also explain to you what will happen and will reassure you to help you
stay calm. He or she may go over a
pain scale , which may be used to help see how you are doing
Your surgeon or the surgical team may also give you
some information on what will happen after surgery, such as whether you will
have special equipment, like another IV, a urinary catheter, or wound
The nurse will have you:
- Urinate and change into a hospital
- Remove any dental work, such as dentures or
- Remove any hearing or visual aids, such as
hearing aids or contact lenses.