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What to expect the day of Surgery

The day of surgery can be a stressful time.  Much of the stress and anxiety is related to not knowing everything that is going to happen.  This page will outline what will happen from arriving in the waiting room until you leave the post-operative area.

The Night Before Surgery

The night before  or morning of your surgery we highly recommend you shower with an antibacterial soap.  This decreases the risk of bacteria on your skin becoming a source of infection.  Please do not put on any products after the shower.  During surgery we place many monitors on your skin and any moisturizer, deodorant, makeup, or artificial eye products interfere with this process.  Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home.


Please stop all herbal supplements two weeks prior to surgery if possible.  Some of these cause bleeding problems during surgery.

We ask that you take all your medications the night prior and morning of surgery except:

DO NOT TAKE: Oral diabetes medications the night prior or morning of surgery

If you take INSULIN, please take 1/2 of your morning long acting product (Lantus, Levamir) and DO NOT TAKE any other insulin.

All patients are encouraged to drink clear liquids (coffee with no cream/milk, tea, apple juice, soda) 2 hours prior to departing for the hospital.  No products containing particulate matter (i.e., orange juice) or fats can be consumed. Any intake other than clear liquids will delay or possibly result in your surgery being cancelled.


If you are taking blood thinning medications (e.g., Aspirin, Plavix, Ticlid, Pradaxa, Arixtra, Xarelto, Eliquis, Coumadin) you will need to coordinate stopping that medication with the physician that prescribes it and your surgeon.  It is very important that patients taking these types of medications after a heart stent not stop them within the first year of stenting unless explicitly instructed by their cardiologist.

The Morning of surgery

You will be brought to the pre-operative area from the waiting room where you initially check in.  There you will change into a hospital gown and remove all jewelry.   In the pre-operative area you will meet a nurse who will review your health history and connect you to monitors to check your vital signs.  After this, you will meet your anesthesiologist.  Your anesthesiologist will review your medical history with emphasis on areas important to your anesthesia.  They will answer your questions and discuss what anesthesia options are available for your surgery.  In addition, they will be ordering medicine that may help with your pain, nausea and anxiety.  You will also see your surgeon in this area and have the opportunity to ask questions.

The Surgery
In the operating room you will be connected to the same monitors as in the pre-operative area.  Oxygen will be delivered either through your nose or a face mask.  If you are having a general anesthetic, medication will be given that will make you completely unconscious.  If you are having a regional anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedation, medication will be given to make you rest as if sleeping at night.  During sedation, you might open your eyes and be aware of your surrounding, but you won't feel pain or care what is going on around you.  This is normal.

After Surgery

You will recover in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) until you are awake and your vital signs are all back to where they started in the pre-operative area.  You will have the opportunity to see your family in this area.  If you are scheduled for an outpatient procedure, you will be discharged from this area. Before leaving you will receive written discharge instructions and have a follow-up appointment scheduled with your surgeon.   If you are staying in the hospital after surgery, you will be transported to your room from this area.  

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