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Your Surgery Journey: Patient Guide

Your Before Surgery Checklist

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Do the following before your surgery to help you feel better sooner and recover faster.

The day before surgery

  • Know the time of your surgery, when you need to be at the hospital, and where you need to go when you get there.
  • Follow any instructions the PAC or your surgeon gave you for your medicines (including herbal or complementary medicines).
  • Don’t drink alcohol 24 hours before your surgery.
  • Mark the times you need to stop eating and drinking on the Eating and Drinking Before Surgery: Patient Instructions handout. This is for your safety. Not having anything to eat or drink before surgery prevents food or fluid going into your lungs (called aspiration) during your surgery. If this happens, it can cause serious health problems (complications). If you don’t follow all of the instructions, your surgery may be cancelled.
  • If you were told to carb load, have clear apple or cranberry juice on hand for the day of surgery.
    • Pack for the hospital and make sure to bring:
      • ​​your photo identification
      • ​Alberta Health Care card
      • all of your medicines or a list of your medicines (including herbal or complementary medicines)
      • your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine (if you use one)
    • Do the bowel prep (if you we​re told to do one).
    • Remove your jewelry and piercings.
    • Shower before bed but don’t shave the area where you will have surgery. Wear clean pajamas to bed. This can lessen your chance of getting an infection.
    • Follow all instructions the healthcare team gave you to prepare for your surgery.
Morning of surgery
  • Plan to arrive at the hospital on time.
  • Follow any instructions the PAC or your surgeon gave you about your medicines (including herbal or complementary medicines).
  • Read and follow all of the Eating and Drinking Before Surgery: Patient Instructions. (See the day before surgery section above.)
  • Bring all of the things you packed for your hospital stay. (See the day before surgery section above.)
  • Follow all other instructions the healthcare team gave you to prepare for surgery.

Current as of: May 31, 2019

Author: Surgery Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services