Day of Surgery

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

On the day of your surgery:

  • You may take your regular medication (unless your surgeon or pre-operative nurse told you otherwise). Take these medications as directed, with only small sips of water.
  • If you are diabetic, follow your doctor's guidelines about your insulin.
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink.
  • Do not chew gum or tobacco, smoke, or eat mints or hard candy. Shower and wash your hair. You may brush your teeth but do not swallow water.
  • Remove any makeup before surgery. During surgery, we will check your circulation by looking at your skin, so it should not be covered by makeup.

Arriving for your surgery

Please arrive at the surgery site as instructed by your surgeon's office or the pre-op nurse. If you were not given a specific arrival time, please arrive two hours before the time of your surgery.


Parking is available for patients and guests in:

  • Parking A at 222 E. Huron Street, across from the Galter and Feinberg pavilions or at 223 E. Superior St., across from Prentice Women’s Hospital. Recommended for patients having surgery at Prentice or Same Day Surgery. Recommended for all patients who have a planned hospital admission after their surgery.
  • Parking B located within the facility at 259 E. Erie Street, valet and self-parking are accessible from the driveways on both Erie and Ontario streets. Recommended for patients having same day surgery at the Lavin Family Pavilion.
  • Parking C and D – Erie/Ontario at 321 E. Ontario Street between Erie and Ontario streets, a second-floor bridge connects it to the Lavin Family Pavilion.

For additional information about parking:

Pre-surgery preparation and visitors

Once in the pre-op room, we ask you to change into a hospital gown. You must also remove glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures, hairpieces, jewelry/body piercings before you go to the operating room (OR). In preparation of surgery:

  • The nurse will review your medical history and take your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and weight. Be sure to tell the nurse the exact time you last had anything to eat or drink.
  • We will place an IV line in your hand or arm so we can give you fluids and medicines. Based on your specific needs, antibiotics or other medicines may be given. To prevent blood clots, you may also wear sequential compression devices (SCDs). SCDs gently squeeze your calves every so often to copy the muscle movement that happens when you walk.
  • If you are a woman under the age of 60, we may perform a pregnancy test.
  • Your surgeon, anesthesiologist, or primary care doctor, as well as residents, nurse anesthetists, physician assistants and medical students may visit. (If you have already met with the surgeon and anesthesiologist, you may not see them before your surgery. If you do have questions for them, please ask your nurse.)
  • A member of the surgery team will:
    • Confirm the type of surgery you are having
    • Mark the surgery site (if needed)
    • Review the plan for anesthesia
    • Ask about any past problems you may have had with anesthesia

We make every effort to begin surgery at your scheduled start time but delays do occur. We will keep you and your family updated about any delays.

Before your surgery starts, your surgeon will tell you and your family how long your surgery is expected to last. Once you are in the OR and have received anesthesia, your surgery will begin.

Visitor guidelines

While in the pre-op room, two visitors age 17 or older may be with you at a time. To maintain your privacy, we may ask visitors to leave the room when we ask you personal questions about your health.

Please note during influenza season, any visitor with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat) will not be permitted.

Other visitors can wait in the family waiting room. Visitors may not go with you when you are moved to the OR. Please note no one under age 18 is permitted to stay in the waiting area without adult supervision.