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Preparing For My Surgery


After you and your doctor decide that surgery is the best treatment for your condition or injury, you may have a multitude of questions and concerns. The decision to have a surgical procedure is a major commitment because it affects your lifestyle for several weeks, and sometimes months, afterward. Preparing for surgery can be overwhelming, but you can make it easier on yourself and on your family by knowing what to expect and making arrangements so you can enjoy peace of mind as your surgery date approaches.

Basic Instructions for Surgery

Food & Drink: Do not eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight on the evening prior to your surgery date due to potential complications associated with anesthesia. This includes mints and chewing gum. Additionally, we recommend that you do not smoke, chew tobacco, or consume alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to your surgery.

Pre-surgery Hygiene and Dress: You may brush your teeth the day of surgery but remember not to swallow liquids after midnight. Jewelry, watches, and body piercings should NOT be worn on the day of surgery. Do not bring valuables with you. You may wear dentures and glasses. However, it is recommended that you bring the cases to place them during surgery. If you wear contacts, they will need to be removed, so bring your solution and a case with you. Please wear comfortable, loose clothing, appropriate for the procedure being performed, such as a button-front blouse/shirt for shoulder surgery. Please bring flat sole, slip-on walking shoes. You may also want to bring pillows and blankets for your trip home.

Ambulatory Assistive Devices: As a surgical patient, the use of a wheelchair, crutches, a walker, or other similar ambulatory devices may be necessary after your surgery. Discuss with the physician or physician assistant what type of assistive devices you will be using after your surgery. If you have been provided with any medical equipment prior to your surgery date, such as slings, braces, or walkers, please bring it to the facility on the day of your surgery.

Medications: Please provide an accurate list of daily medications when they are reviewing your health history at your pre-op appointment. You will be instructed on which medications to take the day of the procedure. This usually includes only necessary medications such as blood pressure or heart medicine, and/or acid reflux medications with a small sip of water. Please stop taking all herbal remedies, aspirin, and anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc.) seven days prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed. However, it is okay to take Tylenol (acetaminophen) if something is needed for pain. If you are currently taking a prescription blood thinner (Coumadin, Plavix, Eliquis, etc.) on a regular basis for heart problems or stroke, please call your surgeon’s office immediately for further instructions.

Transportation: As a reminder, you, the patient, will not be permitted to drive a car or leave the surgery center or hospital unattended after surgery. It is necessary to make arrangements for a responsible adult or caregiver to drive you home and stay with you following surgery.

If you experience any changes in your health, such as an elevated temperature, cold, cough, or other health-related problems, please notify your doctor immediately after symptoms occur.

Having Surgery at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center?

Having Surgery at Birmingham Surgery Center?

You may be contacted by the Birmingham Surgery Center with further instructions and information that will need to be completed prior to surgery.

General Post-Op Instructions

Total Joint Replacement preparation

Click here for Total Joint Replacement Preparation Risk Modification


Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
2020 Canyon Road, Suite 200
Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
Phone: 205-606-5232
Fax: 205-877-8377

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