The Day Before Your Surgery
The information on this page is designed to serve as a guide to prepare you for your trip to the hospital. Please read carefully and feel free to ask any questions during your pre-surgical screening call.
Bathe or shower your body with the antiseptic soap provided by your surgeon.
ANTISEPTIC SOAP: Steps to follow
- Rinse your body and hair with warm water. If shampooing hair, use regular shampoo. Rinse hair and body completely to remove any shampoo residue.
- Take care not to get this cleanser in your ears or eyes.
- Apply the chlorhexidine soap to a washcloth and wash your entire body, especially the surgical site(s). You will notice this cleanser does not lather like regular shampoo or soap.
- Completely rinse the chlorhexidine from your body. This cleanser will continue to kill germs even after you rinse.
- Do not apply any lotions, powders or deodorants to your skin after showering. These items may prevent the cleanser from killing germs.
For best results: Shower with chlorhexidine rather than tub bathing. Studies prove showering removes more germs than a tub bath. Have someone wash any body parts you cannot reach. Hard to reach areas may include your back, legs or feet. Do not shave any body hair in the planned surgical area.
Warning: Do not use if you are allergic to or have known sensitivity to chlorhexidine. If an allergic reaction does occur, stop using the product, phone your doctor or seek medical attention. Avoid getting chlorhexidine in your ears or eyes. If chlorhexidine should contact these areas, rinse out promptly and thoroughly with water.
- Receive instruction from your primary care physician, surgeon or anesthesia staff regarding your medications. Some medicines such as blood thinners, aspirin and ibuprofen are stopped several days before surgery. Some medicines will be important to continue and take even on the morning of surgery with a sip of water.
- Wear eye glasses instead of contact lenses the day of surgery.
- Brush your teeth, without swallowing water or toothpaste.
- DO NOT
- Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before surgery, unless otherwise instructed.
- Do not chew gum or suck on breath mints, hard candy or ice.
- Do not drink alcohol at least two days before your surgery.
- Do not smoke for 24 hours before surgery.
- Bring These Items to the Hospital
- If you have a living will or power of attorney for healthcare, bring a copy with you.
- Wear your glasses or bring them with you. You may need them during your pre op preparation. The glasses will be removed before you leave the pre op area.
- If you are wearing contacts, bring a content lens case with you.
- Wear your dentures; however, you may need to remove them shortly before surgery.
- Wear clothing that is easy to get on and off. The clothes you choose should be comfortable to wear home after your surgery. Examples:
- If your surgery is on your head or neck – wear a shirt that buttons up and doesn’t have to be pulled over your head.
- If your surgery is on your abdomen – wear loose-fitting pants with an elastic waist.
- If you already have crutches and will need them after surgery, bring them along with you.
- If you would like your prescriptions filled at your local pharmacy, bring the phone and fax number of that pharmacy.
- Bring your insurance pharmacy card.
- Leave These Items at Home
- All jewelry including rings, earrings, watches and body piercings.
- Make-up, nail polish, hair clips and other accessories.
- Any valuables such as money and credit cards unless you are specifically told to bring them to make a co-payment.
- Watch These Videos
- Find out where to park, the proper check-in desk and what you can expect from your surgical team by watching three short videos the day before your surgery.