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Preparing for Outpatient Surgery

You are scheduled for outpatient surgery. This is also called same-day or ambulatory surgery. This sheet gives you more information about how to prepare. If you have any questions or are unclear about any instructions, be sure to check with your surgeon.

The weeks before surgery

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  • Have any tests as instructed. These help show that you are healthy enough for surgery.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription medicines. It also includes over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins, and other supplements. Tell your provider if you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or medicine to prevent blood clots. You may need to stop taking some or all of these before surgery.

  • Tell your provider if you have allergies to any medicines, medical products such as latex or tape, or foods.

  • If instructed, call the surgical facility ahead of time. During this call, you may discuss how to register and fill out needed forms.

Preparing at home

  • If you smoke, quit or smoke less.

  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home after surgery.

  • If you have a cold, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, or other health problem, let your surgeon know. He or she can decide if the surgery must be delayed.

  • If you can’t keep your surgery appointment, let your surgeon and surgical facility know right away.

  • The night before or morning of your surgery, wash the surgical area if instructed. Do not shave the area. If needed, hair may be trimmed or removed at the surgical facility.

  • You may be told to stop eating and drinking for a time before surgery. Follow these directions carefully. If you don’t, your surgery may have to be delayed.

Arriving for surgery

  • Know when you need to arrive at the facility. Be on time.

  • Leave valuables at home.

  • Wear comfortable clothing. Don’t wear makeup or perfume.

  • Bring your insurance forms and card. If there is a copayment, bring a method to pay it.


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