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Before Surgery

It’s About You

Specific health screenings, including pre-anesthesia testing (PAT), are important. For some surgeries or procedures, the health screening may be handled by phone. An in-person appointment will last about 30 minutes depending on your procedure, personalized education plan and the lab work or diagnostic tests your doctor requests. During your PAT visit you may:

  • Fill out the hospital admission forms.

  • Talk with a registered nurse to plan your hospital stay.

  • Get lab work and other physician-ordered testing done.

  • Find out where to arrive on the day of surgery.

  • Plan for care when you leave the hospital after surgery.

Make sure you bring your health insurance card and a photo ID to your PAT appointment, as well as a list of your current prescription medications and over the counter drugs or supplements. You will also need to bring paperwork such as physician’s orders, lab results, or X-rays.

Your Role in Preparing for Surgery

Your Marshall team will provide you with the information you need to prepare in advance of your surgery and taking a few simple steps ahead of time can help ensure a safe surgery and quick recovery.

While preparations for surgery depend on your procedure and diagnosis, most patients follow these general guidelines before surgery:

  • Quit smoking: If you smoke, follow your doctor’s directions to quit or cut back well in advance of your surgery. Smoking can also lead to heart and lung difficulties and will place you at greater risk of developing pneumonia. Nonsmokers heal faster and more predictably than people who smoke.

  • Stop drinking alcohol: At least two days before surgery, stop drinking liquor, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol too close to the date of surgery can interfere with how your body metabolizes anesthesia, and can cause post-op recovery challenges like delayed wound healing.

  • Consult your surgeon: Ask about taking aspirin or ibuprofen before surgery as well as any medications for diabetes.

  • Fasting: It’s important to have an empty stomach at the time of surgery. Patients are advised to stop eating or drinking by midnight the night before surgery unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.

  • Arrange for someone to pick you up: Depending on the type of anesthesia your procedure requires, you may need assistance for 12 to 24 hours after arriving home. Please note that minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

For any patient, it’s important to be honest and candid with your surgeon and medical team. It may not seem relevant to you that your doctor is aware of your drinking habits or that you used to be a cigarette smoker, but these facts will impact your operation and how well you recover. Be honest. Take the time to answer all questions carefully.