Prepare for ​Your Visit

What to do before, on the day of and after your surgery

At Reagan Street Surgery Center, we work to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible. Your role is to prepare as much as you can for your visit. Following are some instructions to follow before, on the day of and after your surgical procedure: 

Before surgery 

To prepare for your surgery: 

  • Do not eat or drink anything on the day of your surgery, beginning at 12:01 a.m This includes water, mints and gum. You may brush your teeth, being careful not to swallow any water. Do not take any medications or supplements after midnight unless specifically instructed by your doctor.
  • If you are taking medication to control your blood pressure, blood sugar or heart condition, ask your doctor if you should temporarily discontinue these medications prior to your surgery. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, are sometimes stopped a few days prior to surgery.
  • Refrain from smoking on the day of your surgery, beginning at 12:01 a.m.
  • For infants and children, pack a bag that contains diapers, an extra bottle or a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Make a list of the medications you take, including the name of the drug, the dosage, how often and at what times you take it each day and the reason for the medication. The list should include any over-the-counter remedies, such as aspirin, vitamins, minerals or other supplements. In addition, list your allergies to medications, foods and/or environments.
  • Invite no more than two people to accompany you to the surgery center.
  • If there are any changes in your physical condition before surgery — including a cold or flu — contact your doctor immediately. 

Day of surgery 

On the day of your operation or procedure: 

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for eating, drinking and taking medications or supplements.
  • Bathe or shower with antibacterial soap. Avoid use of personal care products that contain alcohol, such as many hair care products, moisturizers and facial creams.
  • Do not wear makeup, nail polish or jewelry.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to remove.
  • Wear low-heeled, sensible shoes since you may feel a little unsteady following surgery.
  • Leave unnecessary valuables and jewelry at home. For any valuables you do bring to the center, such as your wallet, you have the option of placing it in a secure storage locker or having your designated driver hold it for you until you are out of recovery.
  • Bring a case for glasses, contact lenses or dentures if you wear them.
  • Bring your insurance card, government-issued photo identification and a form of payment for any copayments or co-insurance you will owe.
  • Arrive at the surgery center at your scheduled time, allowing 1 to 1 ½ hours to prepare for the procedure or surgery. 

When you arrive at the center on the day of your surgery, here is what you can expect: 

  • A member of our staff will greet you and complete your pre-admission and registration process.
  • A nurse will escort you to a private area, where you will change into a gown. A few simple tests — such as blood pressure and temperature — will be done. A nurse will ask you for a brief medical history.
  • If you are having general anesthesia, an anesthesia specialist will meet with you. Be prepared to discuss your recent health history, chronic medical conditions, prescription and over-the-counter medications, allergies, past experiences with anesthesia (and the experiences of blood relatives) and your use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. 

Following surgery 

Here is what you can expect immediately following your surgery or procedure: 

  • You will be taken to a spacious recovery room.
  • When you have met our discharge criteria, your nurse will give you verbal and written instructions for recovery at home — along with any prescriptions your doctor has written. We will carefully review those instructions with you, including your post-operative diet, when to follow up with your doctor, your schedule of activity, required rest and prescribed medications.
  • A nurse may call you the day after your surgery to see how you’re doing and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If a nurse does not call you, and you do have questions or concerns, call the surgery center.
  • You will receive a copy of your discharge instructions for your convenience. 

Some important information about your post-operative recovery at home: 

  • Be sure to follow your discharge instructions. Your discharge summary sheet has specific instructions and a contact telephone number. You can call this number at any time to reach your surgeon or another surgeon who is providing call coverage.
  • You should have someone stay with you for 24 hours following your surgery, even though you may feel fine. During this time, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery. Your judgment may also be clouded, so avoid making important decisions.
  • Rest is important while you recover from surgery.
  • Call your surgeon if you have any unusual symptoms or unexpected changes in your condition. If you cannot reach a physician, you should go to the nearest Emergency Department for care.
  • Do not take any medications other than those prescribed by your physician.
  • Avoid alcohol after receiving anesthesia or while taking oral pain medications.