Your care is our primary concern at Rutherford Regional Health System. These general guidelines are designed to help you prepare for surgery. Follow any specific instructions from your doctor to help improve the likelihood of a successful procedure and a speedy recovery.
Weeks leading up to your procedure
- Arrange a ride home: Line up a friend or relative to give you a ride home, and for someone to be available to be with you through the evening after your procedure. You may not go home by taxi, public transportation, or unsupervised rideshare.
- Stop smoking: Smoking restricts the amount of oxygen your lungs can send into your bloodstream. This may cause complications with your surgery. Quit smoking at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery. Better yet, quit for good!
- Eat healthy: Good nutrition supports your body no matter what, but it especially helps maintain your strength during and after surgery.
- Tell your doctor about herbal supplements: Some herbal supplements have unexpected side effects for surgery patients, including heavy bleeding, high-blood pressure and liver damage. Some supplements also can delay anesthesia medicine from starting or stopping.
- Exercise: Stay active as long as you can before your surgery. Exercise keeps your muscles strong and helps your circulation and breathing.
- Plan ahead: Take care of grocery shopping, meals, laundry, pet care, banking, prescription medicine and anything you might not be able to take care of while you recover from surgery.
- Check your health: Notify your doctor if your physical health changes (fever, sore throat, cough, and/or infection) between now and the day of your procedure.
The night before your procedure
- 12 hours before:
- Bathe or shower the night before (or the morning of) your surgery.
- Do NOT shave around your surgical site. It is important that your physician be responsible for shaving the area when needed.
- Do NOT take tranquilizers, narcotics, marijuana, drink alcohol or smoke or chew tobacco.
- Notify your doctor immediately if your physical health changes (fever, sore throat, cough, and/or infection).
- After midnight: Do NOT eat or drink anything, including hard candy, cough lozenges or breath strips, until you are cleared by your doctor after surgery.
The day of your procedure
- For children:
- Children receiving treatment should be accompanied by two adults.
- Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the Outpatient Department. Arrangements should be made to leave children at home with family or friends.
- Medicines: Take only the medications as directed on the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water. Do not begin any new medications without your doctor's approval.
- What to wear: Comfortable clothing that is easy to remove and store. You will change into a gown to wear for surgery.
- What not to wear: Do NOT wear makeup, nail polish or hair accessories. Remove these before your procedure.
- Leave these at home: Do NOT bring jewelry, money or anything valuable. You won’t need it for surgery, and might lose track of it after coming out of anesthesia.
- Last-minute removal: If you wear dentures, glasses, contact lenses, wigs or hearing aids, they must be removed before surgery. Leave these items with family or friends.
After your procedure
- Going home: When you are fully awake and alert and your condition is stable, you will be discharged into the care of your designated driver.
- Take it easy: Plan to rest at home for 24 hours after your procedure. You may still have anesthesia in your system, which may temporarily impair your ability to function normally. After that, follow your doctor's instructions about activity.
- Someone to watch over you: DO NOT drive a motor vehicle, drink alcoholic beverages, make any important decisions, or be alone. Plan to have a responsible adult with you at home the evening of your procedure.