Pre & Post Surgery Advice


Please shower at home the evening before or the morning of surgery.

For morning surgery, do Not Eat or Drink anything after midnight the night before surgery unless otherwise instructed. This includes coffee, tea, water, and juice! Medication with a small sip of water is OK. Your surgery may be cancelled if you do not follow these instructions.

Do Not Drink Alcoholic beverages 24 hours prior to your surgery.

Do Not Smoke for 4 weeks before surgery or your risk of serious complications increases.

Ask us if you are permitted to take your routine medications (such as those for heart, blood pressure, or insulin etc.) before arriving for surgery.

Stop aspirin, warfarin, or any other blood thinner 5-7 days prior to surgery

Do Not bring valuables such as money, jewelry etc.

Do not wear make-up.

Bring toiletries and loose fitting, comfortable clothing to wear upon discharge.

You will be required to remove contact lenses, jewelry, dentures, and wigs

Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home after discharge.

Notify us there is a change in your condition prior to surgery (such as a cold, cough, fever or

infection). If severe, your surgery may need to be postponed for your safety.

Stop all herbal medications 1week before surgery unless discussed beforehand. Especially

Ginseng, Garlic, and Gingko, or St. John’s Wort, which increase the risk of bleeding.

Stop taking the following medications 10 days before your surgery:

  • Aspirin
  • Vitamin E (vitamin w/Vit E ok)
  • Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil
  • Garlic/ginko biloba
  • Glucosamina
  • Any “anti-inflammatory
  • Feldene  medication or “NSAIDS”

Bring a list of your current medications  to the hospital

You will receive a phone call the day before your surgery,  to tell you what time you need to be at the hospital. You will also be told where to go on your day of surgery.  If your surgery is on a monday, will call you on friday afternoon. Although we can give you estimated times for your surgery, we will not know for sure your surgical time until the day of surgery.

At home on the day of surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink anything.
  • If your doctor told you to take any medicine on the day of surgery, take it with a small sip of water.
  • Brush your teeth or rinse your mouth but spit out all of the water.
  • Take a shower or bath.
  • Take off any jewelry. Remove any body piercings.
  • Do not wear contact lenses. If you wear glasses, bring a case for them.

The day of your surgery

On the day of your surgery, report to hospital reception at the scheduled time.
 You may need to arrive up to 2 hours before your surgery. The staff will prepare you for surgery. They will ask you to:

  • Change into a gown, cap, and paper slippers
  • Put an ID bracelet around your wrist
  • State your name, your birthday, and the surgery you are having
  • Have an IV put in
  • Have your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate checked

You will meet your anesthesiologist ,you may need a blood test or ECG prior to surgery
, after the operation, you will BE some time in the recovery room (1-2 Hours) before going to the room.

After discharge, you are not permitted to:

  • Drive a Car nor operate power equipment
  • Drink Alcoholic Beverages
  • Smoke
  • Sign important papers

The above are not permitted on the day of surgery, nor while taking any prescription pain medication

Checklist for surgery:

The decision to have surgery is a very important one. You will need to be fully informed and prepared for the surgery, as well as for any special needs that you may have following the surgery. Your preparation will affect the outcome and the results. The following is a checklist to assist you in your preparation for surgery:

  1. Make a list of questions to ask your physician/surgeon regarding the type of surgery recommended.
  2. Determine if the surgical procedure is right for you.
  3. Obtain a second opinion, if desired.
  4. Check with your health plan regarding costs and coverages of the upcoming surgery.
  5. Obtain costs from physicians and hospital
  6. Schedule the surgery.
  7. Prepare lists of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, even illegal substances that you are currently taking (or have recently taken) for physicians; review with the anesthesiologist and surgeons.
  8. Schedule preoperative laboratory tests.
  9. Follow all instructions during the weeks and days preceding surgery.
  10. Discontinue indicated prescription or over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements prior to surgery, as directed by your surgeon/physician.
  11. Arrange for necessary home care, equipment, etc., following surgery.
  12. Sign all informed consent, and other legal forms, before surgery.
  13. Quit smoking to help in your recovery process.
  14. Bring any CT scan results, X-rays or mammography’s to the hospital, if you have not already given them to Dr. GUZMAN. These are required for most surgeries and failure to have them may result in cancellation of your surgery.

What is an informed consent form?

Prior to surgery, you will receive a careful explanation of the procedure, its purpose, any risks, and the expected outcome. You may also be asked to sign an “informed consent” form, which states in detail that you understand everything involved with your surgery. You should read through the consent carefully before signing it. If you have any questions or need more information, ask your physician.

Insurance information:

After a patient is diagnosed and surgery is recommended, most insurance companies require “precertification” from the physician’s office before allowing a patient to undergo the procedure. Please check with your insurance carrier on the appropriate steps to take.

Preparing for Surgery Checklist

Please take the time to check off these important points to remember before your surgery or test. If you become ill or, for any reason, do not plan to keep your surgery appointment, contact your surgeon or his care unit.

What to Bring

A list of your current medications.

Something to read or do while you are waiting to be called to the operating room.

A copy of your advance directives, if you wish.

For Your Safety

Have someone to drive you home (if you are scheduled to go home the same day). Do not drive yourself to the hospital, as your procedure may be postponed. If you plan to take a taxi, bus or other form of transportation, you will still need someone to be with you until you get home.

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are easy to change and will not fit tightly over the area of your surgery.

What Not to Bring

Please try not to bring more than two family members on the day of surgery. Only one person will be allowed to stay with you in the room before and after surgery. Other visitors will be directed to another area to wait for your return from surgery.

Children should not come unless absolutely necessary. There must be another adult with them if they should come to the hospital.

Don’t bring large sums of money, jewelry, valuables such as electronic equipment or suitcases, even if you are staying overnight.

Getting Ready for the Surgery — Night Before Preparations.

Remove your nail polish, makeup and jewelry, including piercings.

Do any special preparations your surgeon has ordered. This might include special cleaning of the surgical area. Instructions for this are in your packet.

Take your usual medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Bring your medication list.

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery.

On the Day of Surgery

Take any needed medications with a small amount of water.

Park at the Medical Center Garage. Enter on Paca Street. Bring your parking ticket in with you to recieve a voucher. Parking costs are listed in your packet.

Please arrive at the time given by your surgeon’s office. If you are unsure of the time, call (410) 328-6247 after 5:00 p.m. the day before surgery (call on Friday for surgeries scheduled for Monday).

What To Do If You Get Sick Before Your Surgery

When having surgery or anesthesia, it is important that you are in the best possible health. If you have a new illness or a flare up of an old condition around the time of a planned surgery, sometimes the safest practice may be to delay the procedure until you are well.

Don’t assume that your surgery will be delayed if you are sick. If the procedure is urgent or your illness is  related to the surgical problem, then it might be best to go ahead with the procedure as planned.

Contact your surgeon’s office as soon as you think you have an illness that might delay surgery.

If you get sick, call the Ambulatory Surgical Care Unit at (410) 328-6247 and ask to speak to the nurse in charge. The unit is open 24 hours on weekdays (Monday through Friday).

If your surgery is canceled, contact your surgeon’s office to reschedule. Pre-operative testing will usually not need to be repeated.

Examples of Conditions that May Delay Surgery Include:

  • Cold or sinus infection within two weeks before surgery
  • Pneumonia or bronchitis within a month before surgery
  • Stomach virus or flu
  • Fever
  • Asthma attack or wheezing within two weeks before surgery
  • Chest pain which is worse than usual
  • Shortness of breath which is worse than usual
  • Diabetes severely out of control
  • Infected skin or rash in the area of surgery
  • Generally not feeling as well as usual

What to Expect After Surgery

Immediately following surgery:

Following surgery, you will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where highly skilled nurses will care for you during the first stage of your recovery.  You can expect to stay in the PACU for 1-2 hours*.  You will then be transported to the Outpatient Day Surgery Center (ODC).  Your stay in the ODC will last from 2-4 hours and you will not be released until the nurses and physicians feel that you are stable for discharge.

*If you are scheduled for inpatient surgery, you will leave the PACU and be taken to your hospital room.

Family members and friends should wait in the assigned surgery waiting area near the operating room where the procedure is being performed.  For procedures lasting more than 2 hours, the operating room nurses will provide you with regular updates as to the progress of the surgery and will answer questions to the best of their ability.

You will go to the recovery room after surgery. How long you stay there depends on the surgery you had, your anesthesia, and how fast you wake up. If you are going home, you will be discharged after:

You can drink water, juice or tea.

You have received instructions for a follow-up appointment with your doctor, any new prescription medicines you need to take, and what activities you can or cannot do when you get home

If you are staying at the hospital, you will be transferred to a patient room. The nurses there will:

  • Check your vital signs
  • Check your pain level. If you are having pain, the nurse will give you pain medicine
  • Give any other medicine you need
  • Encourage you to drink if liquids are allowed

What to Expect Going Home

Have a responsible adult with you to get you home safely. You cannot drive yourself home after surgery. You can take a bus or cab if there is someone with you.

Limit your activity to inside the house for at least 24 hours after your surgery.

Do not drive for at least 24 hours after your surgery. If you are taking narcotics, talk to your doctor about when you can drive.

Take your medicine as prescribed.

Follow the instructions from your doctor about your activities.

After surgery and discharge:


Call the office if any of the following conditions should develop:

  • Persistent fever above 38 C that is unresponsive to Tylenol™
  • Redness of the wound
  • Bleeding or drainage from the wound
  • Pain that is not relieved by medication prescribed by Dr. Guzman
  • Take all of your medications, as instructed.  Continue to take your antibiotics until they are all gone, even if you feel well.  Regarding medications for pain – take this medication as scheduled for the first 24 hours following surgery.  Beginning the 2nd or 3rd day, you will experience less and less discomfort and you can reduce the amount of pain medication you take, accordingly.  you have any questions or problems, please call your doctor.