Before Your Surgery
How to Prepare for Your Surgery in Greater DeKalb County
Our surgery centers are happy to provide your pre-operative testing so all necessary results are available to the hospital the day before your scheduled surgery. Pre-operative testing may include:
A member of the pre-admission nursing staff will contact you within one week prior to your surgery to start your pre-operative assessment. The assessment will include a 30 minute pre-admission interview that can be done over the phone or at the facility that you'll be receiving your procedure. A nurse will ask questions about your health to help our staff get to know you better and provide you with personal care. If you have been a patient at one of our facilities before, your information may simply need to be updated. Have your medication list available with dosage for the interview. You will be given instructions regarding what medications to take the morning of your surgery based on this information.
Call your physician if you develop any cold or flu symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or exposure to infectious diseases) or any other medical problems before your surgery.
Avoid the following prior to surgery:
- Alcoholic beverages (24 hours prior)
- Smoking or chewing tobacco after midnight the day before surgery
- Eating or drinking after midnight the night before surgery, unless otherwise directed—including mints, chewing gum and hard candy
Be prepared for your visit:
- Bathe or shower the night before or the morning of your surgery—ensure hair is fully dried upon arrival
- Brush your teeth and/or use mouthwash—do not swallow water
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing
- Remove all body piercings
- Avoid makeup, jewelry, contact lenses or metal hair clips the day of surgery
- Leave money and jewelry at home
- Bring your medication list with you
- Bring glasses and hearing aids if you rely on them
- Bring a copy of your Living Will or Advance Directives, if applicable
- Wear dentures and/or partials
Take the medications that you have been told to take with a sip of water only. If you cannot bring a list of all your medications, bring your medications with you in their original bottles. Make sure to inform your surgeon and anesthesiologist before surgery of any drugs you take that are not prescribed for you, or if you drink alcohol (liquor, wine, or beer) regularly. Remember, all information of this type is confidential but important to share with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
Arrive at the time given to you by the nurse. Park in the main parking lot and enter through the Main Entrance. Stop at the Registration Desk in the Front Lobby.
Make arrangements for a responsible adult (18 years or older) to take you home after surgery and to stay with you for 24 hours. While you are waiting for surgery in the preoperative areas, you may have two family members or companions with you.
Preventing surgical site infections
- Tell your doctor about other medical problems you may have. Health problems such as allergies, diabetes, and obesity could affect your surgery and your treatment.
- Quit smoking. Patients who smoke get more infections. Talk to your doctor about how you can quit before your surgery.
- Do not shave near where you will have surgery. Shaving with a razor can irritate your skin and make it easier to develop an infection. Hospital staff will clip the hair of the appropriate area the morning of surgery.