Pre-Op Instructions and Helpful Tips

In preparation for your surgery there are a few things that will help you heal more quickly:

You should quit smoking for at least two weeks prior to surgery. This will enable you to recover from anesthesia faster and help your lungs return to normal function quicker. You won’t cough as much and will have less risk for infection/pneumonia. Your body will actually heal faster if you avoid tobacco and alcohol.

Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet and get proper rest and exercise in the days/weeks prior to surgery for your best outcome.

Avoid any medications not prescribed by your physician. Ask your physician about all medications, even over-the-counter (OTC) medications and herbal supplements, to see if they should be taken prior to surgery. Some medications to avoid prior to surgery are:

  • NSAIDs and Aspirin products for 2 weeks prior to surgery ( some examples are advil, motrin, ibuprofen, aleve)
  • Medications that may affect your response to anesthesia should be discussed preoperatively. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (an older class of antidepressants), Plavix, Phentermine, Adipex, Redux, Ticlid are examples of prescription medications that need to be discontinued before surgery and need to be discussed with us or anesthesia at your pre-op visit.
  • Glucophage: (Metformin Hydrocloride) needs to be held before surgery.
  • Blood thinners like coumadin and Low Molecular Weight Heparin need to be discussed with anesthesia and your surgeon.
  • Herbal supplements: Because we don’t always know how certain drugs may impact surgery, discontinue herbal supplements at least 2 weeks prior to surgery or the surgery may have to be canceled. Many herbs can increase risk of bleeding, interfere with anesthesia medications, cause liver inflammation, cause an electrolyte imbalance, and increase the effects of some medications. Check with anesthesia for complete list. Some to avoid are: Ginseng, Kava-Kava, Valerian, Licorice, Echinacea, St. John’s Wort, Blond Psyllium, Coenzyme Q10, Ipriflavone, Ephedra(Ma-Huang), Goldenseal, Bitter Orange, Country Mallow, Synephrine, Caffeine, Green and Black Tea, Guarana, Cola Nut, Fish Oils, Gingko, Garlic, Ginger, Danshen, Feverfew, Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai, and Red Clover.
  • Stock up on foods that are easy on your stomach like rice, soup, applesauce, ginger ale, etc. In general avoiding red meat, cheese, and gas-producing foods is a good idea.
  • Consider stocking your medicine cabinet with tylenol, ibuprofen, and benadryl as these can sometimes be helpful additions to your prescriptions. However, do not take ibuprofen/tylenol with your prescription pain medications without consulting us. Also if you don’t own a thermometer, go ahead and get one.
  • You should have a postop visit scheduled about a week after your surgery. Check with our office if this has not yet been scheduled.
Prior to arriving to the hospital:
  • Nothing to eat or to drink for eight hours prior to surgery. In general, this means “NPO” or nothing in your mouth after midnight. Toothpaste is OK.
  • Follow any preparation ordered by physician (i.e. bowel prep etc.)
  • Arrive at hospital at least two hours before surgery or at time appointed by anesthesia pre- assessment team.
  • Leave all valuables at home.
  • Bring any advance directives you may have with you when you register.
  • For outpatient surgeries bring someone to drive you home and also go to the pharmacy to pick up any prescriptions. Wear comfortable elastic-waist clothing and bring a comfy sweater or sweatshirt and warm socks as the hospital can be cold.
  • For inpatient surgeries bring an overnight bag with your personal toiletries, chapstick and lotion, change of clothes, and favorite pillow, or other things that may help you feel comfortable and rest. The hospital does have WiFi if you would like to bring your laptop.
Consider having the following items at home for when you return:
  • Sanitary pads (many gyn procedures can cause some vaginal bleeding and we generally do not want you to use a tampon after surgery) The hospital provides these, but you may like your own favorite brand.
  • Stock up on items for entertainment. Suggestions include making a trip to the library to stock up on reading material, I believe their book limit is 50 ☺, or buy some stationary, or update your NetFlix movies, or borrow DVD’s from friends. Or log into Facebook, catch up with old friends, then visit our page and share advice or ideas you may have for other patients.