Pre-Operative Instructions

Thank you for choosing us to care for your gynecological needs. Our goals are your safety and a prompt recovery. In preparation of your upcoming surgery, we ask that you follow a few important instructions:

First and foremost, please notify your surgeon of any underlying medical issues. Some conditions i.e. asthma and high blood pressure require pre-operative clearance from your primary care physician. If you are referred to blood management or other services/specialists, please follow their management and treatment plan. You must keep all appointments. Optimizing your health status prior to the surgery is vital to a safe surgery and promotes healing. This also includes informing your doctor of any medications, vitamins or herbal supplements you are taking.

Some medications i.e. blood thinners need to be stopped up to a week prior to surgery to avoid excessive bleeding. Your doctor will discuss your patient-specific treatment plan with you at the time of your pre-operative consultation. Aspirin and other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs i.e., ibuprofen) should be avoided in the days leading up to your procedure. If you must take them, please notify your doctor.

A bowel preparation is often not necessary for our surgeries, however if you are instructed to perform one, please follow as directed. If you choose to perform one on your own, please notify your physician. It can play a role in fluid management post-operatively. It can be beneficial to stick to a light diet or even clear liquids only the day or two prior to surgery.

If you have any allergies or have ever had a reaction to anesthesia, please endorse this to your surgeon. If you are a smoker, have sleep apnea, or any issues with your airway (or spine i.e. scoliosis), we need to know. Sometimes a pre-operative anesthesia consult is warranted.

If you are ill the week leading up to your surgery it may be necessary to provide treatment or even postpone the case. Although this can feel inconvenient, it can avoid unnecessary complications.

Avoid alcohol for at least 3 days prior to your anticipated surgery date. Excessive alcohol intake should always be avoided.

Please arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. You will not be able to drive yourself due to anesthesia, pain medications, and probable mild discomfort.

Please do not eat or drink anything for 8 hours prior to your surgery. In most cases this means nothing to eat or drink after midnight. There are some medications that are an exception. Your doctor will inform you of which medications i.e. blood pressure pills you should take with a sip of water the morning of your surgery.

Please avoid perfumes, lotion and makeup the day of surgery. Contact lenses should not be worn and jewelry, particularly in the anticipated surgical field should be removed and left home to avoid loss or damage. Acrylic nails can often interfere with a satisfactory measurement of your oxygenation (via pulse oximeter) and should be avoided. Nail polish may need to be removed from one finger to allow for proper monitoring.

The hospital and/or our office will contact you before the procedure. It is very important that you answer or return these phone calls in order to avoid delays or cancellation of your procedure. In some cases, the time of your surgery may be changed by the hospital the day of the surgery. Please plan accordingly and be available. A great deal of effort and scheduling goes into your surgical appointment.

Pre-admission testing occurring a few days before the surgery is often necessary. This consists of laboratory tests, EKGs (heart rhythm strips), and is at the discretion of your doctor. Eileen, our operating room scheduler, will notify you of your requirements. Testing should be done at Saint Barnabas Medical Center whenever possible.

Your family and loved ones will be able to be with you in the pre-operative area, but not in the operating room. The staff will guide them to the waiting room and they can see you a short while after the procedure is completed. Other than for non-emergent cesarean sections, there are no exceptions to this. Your surgeon will inform the person whom you designate of the details of the surgery as well as any additional post-operative instructions. Please make sure they are available and that we have a working phone number. You will be given any appropriate prescriptions prior to leaving the hospital.

Proper planning and open communication between doctor and patient will help to minimize surgical risks. Your health and safety are our number one priority. Please keep your doctor informed, follow instructions, and ask any questions that you may have.

Pre-Operative Instructions (PDF)