Before Surgery

Your doctor will explain your surgery to you and answer your questions. He or she will ask you to sign a consent form for the surgery.

In addition, you will be asked to sign a consent form to receive blood in case you need it during the operation. If you and your doctor feel it is best to set aside your own blood, or provide your own blood donors, it can take about two weeks to process. Please talk with your doctor as early as possible about this.

Pre-Admission Testing (PAT)

You will get an appointment to meet with a nurse in our Pre-Admission Testing Office. If you are unable to meet with the nurse in person, you will get a call from the nurse at home. Your nurse will review your medical history and any medicines that you take, make sure you understand your planned surgery, and answer questions you and your family may have. We will schedule your evaluation at least two weeks before your surgery to make sure all of your tests and doctor visits are complete.

Your nurse will tell you what tests you need to have done, such as blood tests, X-rays, an EKG (electrocardiogram) or any other studies. These tests will be done as an outpatient. They can be done at Fox Chase Cancer Center (preferred choice), at your primary doctor's office, or at another site approved by your insurance plan.

The Day Before Surgery

One of the nurses from the Pre-Surgical Unit will call you the afternoon before your surgery. You will be told what time to arrive and where to check in for surgery.  You will be told what medicines you should or should not take.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

It is very important that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes gum and mints.

How to Manage Your Medicines Before Surgery

  • You will be given instructions on how to use your regularly prescribed medications and whether to stop taking them before surgery.
  • If you take blood thinners because of a history of heart problems, heart surgery, heart attack, vascular disease or stroke, please DO NOT STOP these medications until you are told to do so by Anesthesia.
  • You will be told which medications to take on the day of surgery and which medications to stop.
  • Stop all herbal medicines two weeks before your scheduled surgery.
  • You will be given instructions on when to stop taking over-the-counter medications, like Motrin®, Aleve®, Mobic, ibuprofen or naproxen before your surgery. You may use Tylenol®.

Getting Your Home Ready

Before your surgery, there are a few things to do to make your home safer and more comfortable for when you return:

  • Clear paths by moving furniture and throw rugs. This will make more space for you to move around and help prevent a trip or fall. You may need to use a walker, crutches, cane, scooter or wheelchair after your surgery.
  • Think about how you will get from the car into your home.

  • Think about setting up a place to sleep, such as a bed on the first floor.

  • Use a large firm pillow to keep your surgery site raised.

  • Stock up on food, toiletries and medications.
Cook and freeze meals before your surgery.

  • Ask a family member or friend to stay with you or come by often for visits after your surgery.

  • Make your bathroom safer and easier with raised toilet seats, hand-held showers and shower chairs.
Next: What to Expect on the Day of Surgery