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Preoperative Instructions

General Guidelines

  • If you develop a cold, sore throat, fever, or any other illness prior to your procedure date, notify your surgeon immediately.
  • You will receive a phone call the day before your procedure from your surgeon’s office or the hospital informing you what time you should arrive for your procedure.
  • Same day surgery patients need to arrange for a responsible adult, age 18 years old or older, to drive you home and stay with you a minimum of 24 hours once you arrive home. If this has not been arranged it may result in possible cancellation of your surgery.
  • If you have young children, please make arrangements for their care while you are at the Medical Center
  • Plan to bring your glasses, hearing aids, dentures, or other assistive devices with you if you rely on them. Once you go into surgery these devices will be given to your family or safely stored with your belongings.
  • Please dress comfortably
Medications and Supplements

  • Blood thinners: Medications such as Coumadin, Heparin, Aspirin, Plavix, Xarelto, Eliquis or any other blood thinning medication should be stopped as instructed by your cardiologist or the provider who prescribes the medication.
  • NSAIDS - Any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin, naproxen, Aleve should be stopped prior to you procedure as instructed by your surgeon or the physician completing your procedure. Please contact your physician regarding a stop date for these medications.
  • Diabetics: if you take insulin or an oral hypoglycemic medciation, contact your doctor for instructions on how to manage your diabetes for the night before and the morning of surgery.
  • Diuretics: Do not take diuretic medication on the morning of your procedure.
  • Inhalers: Use your inhaler the morning of surgery and please bring it with you on the day of surgery.
  • Vitamins and Supplements: due to interactions with anesthesia, the anesthesiologist requests you STOP all herbals, supplements, and vitamins 7 days prior to your surgery.
  • Weight Loss Medication: You must stop all weight loss medication at least 2 weeks prior to surgery, Ex: Phentermine.
  • All other Medications: On the morning of surgery, you may take all your medications, except those listed above, with a small amount of water. If you have questions regarding specific medications contact your surgical team or the Pre-Admission Testing Department for specific guidance.
Day Before Surgery

  • The day before your surgery you should eat a normal meal for dinner and drink plenty of fluids, 6-8 glasses of water or juice, unless you are on a fluid restriction or your surgeon has specified otherwise.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke for 24 hours prior to your procedure.
  • In an attempt to prevent infection, shower the night before and the morning of surgery. If your surgeon has not provided specific bathing instructions please follow the instructions included in this document.
Day of Surgery

Stop eating everything 8 hours prior to your arrival to the hospital, except clear liquids. No food at all, this includes hard candy, mints, or gum.


  • If you have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Achalasia (difficulty swallowing), Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying), GERD (acid reflux), or History of a Gastric Bypass Surgery, then all oral intake must stop at midnight.
    • PLEASE NOTE: It is extremely important to follow the above instructions. IF you do not follow the above instructions, your surgery may be delayed or cancelled.
    • If you have questions, please call CHMC Pre-Admission Testing at 410.535.8343
  • Perform thorough oral hygiene by brushing teeth with a new tooth brush (if possible).
  • Remove all jewelry, make up, finger/toe polish, and body piercings prior to arrival at the Medical Center and leave all valuables at home.
  • Do not bring any valuables with you to the Medical Center including credit cards, money in excess of $5.00, or large bags or purses.
  • Bring your Medicare, all applicable insurance cards, and a photo ID with you.
  • Do not wear contact lenses. If you wear eyeglasses remember to bring a case to store them in while you are in surgery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes and low-heeled, closed toe shoes.
  • Bring reading materials or devices to help pass the time. Wi-Fi is available in the Medical Center.
  • Be sure to give any personal items to family or friends to hold while you are in surgery.
  • Pediatric patients may bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help ease their anxiety. A special bottle or sippy cup may also be appropriate for after surgery. Please bring a change of underwear
  • Patients staying overnight may bring a bag of items needed for the Medical Center stay such as toiletry items, slippers, robe, and a change of clothes for your discharge. Please leave your bag in the car and have your visitors bring it to you when your post-op room is assigned.
Make arrangements for someone to care for you at home. Case Managers are available to help you locate resources if needed.

Patient Role in Prevention of Surgical Infections
Good hand washing is the best defense in preventing infection!

  • After your surgery, make sure everyone on your health care team cleans their hands with soap and water or hand rub before taking care of you.
  • Ask family and friends who visit you not to touch the surgical wound or bandages. Instruct them to clean their hands thoroughly before and after visiting you.
  • Ask your doctor to explain why you are continuing to receive antibiotics if you are still receiving them for more than 24 hours after your surgery.
  • Learn about taking care of your wound and know who to contact if you have questions or problems before leaving the Medical Center.
  • Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound at home.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you have any signs of infection such as redness or increased pain at the surgical site, drainage, body aches or fever.
  • Remember- If you do not see your visitors or members of your health care team clean their hands, please ask them to do so!
Pain Management

  • Pain is a common experience after surgery and it our goal at CalvertHealth Medical Center to make you as comfortable as possible to aid in your recovery. Pain management is important because it allows you to be comfortable during your healing process, get rest, and with less pain you are able to move more easily and return to your normal level of activity faster. After your procedure, clinical staff will ask you to use a numeric pain intensity scale to rate your pain by asking “If 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst possible pain, please give me a number that indicates the amount of pain you are having now.” Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this scale so we are able to communicate effectively and manage your pain post procedure. Because everyone has a different tolerance for pain, the nurse will also ask you what your pain goal is.
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CalvertHealth Medical Center
110 Hospital Road, Suite 210
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Phone: 410.535.4000
Phone: 1.888.906.8773

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