Before Surgery

  • Bring to the hospital:
    • A list of all medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbs and vitamins that you take
    • A list of your drug and food allergies and sensitivities
    • Your insurance card
    • Copies of any legal documents, including medical proxy, power of attorney or a living will
    • The name and phone number of your primary contact while you are in surgery or, if you are having same-day surgery, the name and phone number of the person who will be picking you up
    • A small amount of cash, but no valuables or jewelry
    • Little else. Most hospitals provide everything you need, even toothbrushes, bed clothes, and slippers. Men may prefer their own razor, women some cosmetics, but not perfume.
  • An I.D. band will be given to you. Hospitals may have two patients with the same name, but your number is unique to you. If the band comes off, be sure to have it replaced.
  • Before surgery your doctor and healthcare team will ask you many questions. You may be asked some questions — such as your drug allergies and identification of the surgical site —several times. This repetition is planned, and you should expect these questions from your team. Some questions that you may be asked include:
    • Do you have diabetes and take diabetic medications?
    • Do you take any blood thinners?
    • Do you or any member of your family have a history of problems with surgery — such as adverse reactions to anesthesia — or problems with medications?
  • Your doctor will review, discuss and then ask you to sign a consent form that clearly outlines the planned surgical procedure.
  • Your doctor will confirm the surgical site with you and then mark the correct area on your skin.
  • Give your cell phone, reading glasses, hearing aids and other personal items to a friend or family member before you go into the operating room. These items can be returned to you when you are awake and recovering.


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