Preparing for Your Surgery

We want you to have a positive experience from the first time you consult with your surgeon all the way after your surgery. We are here to answer your questions and help with your concerns. Our goal is always to ensure that you have the best possible outcome.

Please review this information. By following these steps, and taking an active role in your care, you help to ensure a more positive surgical experience.

What to wear

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Please do not wear any makeup or fingernail polish. Please remove all jewelry and piercings. If you are unable to remove a piece of jewelry such as a wedding ring, please information your nurse upon arrival at the hospital.  

If you wear contact lenses, please wear your glasses on the day of your surgery. Please bring a container for glasses and dentures. Leave money, jewelry, and other valuables at home.

Eating and drinking

Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery unless your doctor tells you. This includes gum, mints, and candy. You may brush your teeth the night before and morning of surgery. Make sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions.


If you take prescription or non-prescription medicines ordered by your physician or over-the-counter, please make sure that your surgeon is aware that you take these medications.  Follow the instructions regarding which medications you should take prior to surgery.  

Note:  Many medications, such as blood thinners, aspirin, Aleve, Advil, Motrin and some herbal supplements may cause bleeding.  It is especially important that your physician team is aware that you take these medications.  You will be instructed on when to stop taking prior to surgery.  . If you have any questions, call your surgeon and ask.  

After Your Surgery

The length of your hospitalization depends on your procedure, your physician and your post-surgical care needs. Most patients for same-day surgery stay approximately one to two hours after surgery is completed, but some patients require overnight admission. Your surgeon will speak with you about this ahead of time. It is recommended that you have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery. 

You may want to prepare your home ahead of time by stocking your refrigerator with ready-to-eat foods and beverages and making sure you have all things you need in the home. 

Keep your surgeon’s phone number handy. If you have an emergency, immediately dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room and notify your surgeon. 

When you are discharged 

When you receive general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, you must have a responsible adult 18 years or older drive you home. Your surgery may be calcelled if you are unable to comply with this. Some types of local surgery not requiring general anesthesia or sedation, such as on the hands, feet, or eyes, may also necessitate a driver. Your ride should be available to pick you up when we call. You will receive instructions from your surgeon as to when you can resume this activity. 

Post-Surgical Pain Management 

Your team will work with the surgeon and anesthesiologist to keep you as comfortable as possible. We will provide you with Written post-operative instructions, including information about pain management and medications. 

Filling Your Prescriptions 

We recommend that you choose a pharmacy with evening hours and one that is close to home. 

Post-Operative Instructions 

Written post-operative instructions regarding post-surgical pain management, medications, diet, rest and activity will be reviewed by you and a member of your healthcare team. When you get home, please review your post-operative instructions immediately and call us if oyu have any questions. 

Preventing Infection

The team at HeackensackUMC is committed to following the proper steps to protect patients from surgical site infections (SSIs). 

Our healthcare team and you work together to prevent SSIs during surgery.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed some information to help you prevent surgical site infections.


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