FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Preparing for Surgery

If your physical condition changes (for example, if you develop a cold, persistent cough or fever), please notify your doctor.

The Day before Your Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes chewing gum, hard candy, mints or cough drops. Your surgery may be postponed and/or cancelled if you eat prior to your procedure.
  • If you take heart, blood pressure, thyroid or seizure medication, ask your doctor about taking these with a sip of water.
  • Remind your doctor if you are on blood thinner (Coumadin), aspirin, Persantine, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or any herbal supplements.
  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages during the 24 hours before or after surgery. If you smoke, it is recommended that you avoid smoking for at least 24 hours before your surgery.

The operating room nurse will schedule you for pre-operative evaluation and teaching 2 – 4 days before your surgery.

The Day of Your Surgery - Before Leaving Home

  • Cleanliness decreases post-operative infections. Take a complete bath or shower and make sure your hair is clean.
  • If you will be staying overnight or longer, you will need a robe, gown or pajamas, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and deodorant.
  • Do not apply makeup, mascara, lipstick, body powder, lotion, after-shave or cologne, and do not wear contact lenses.
  • Prior to going into the Operating Room area, you will be asked to remove your dentures and removable dental work. You will also be asked to remove your undergarments. Your privacy and dignity will be safeguarded.
  • Hair pieces that are easily removed cannot be worn to the Operating Room.
  • Leave valuables at home. 
  • Please do not wear jewelry - earrings, watch, rings, medals, or any metal in any pierced part of your body.
  • You should bring your eyeglasses and hearing aid(s) and extra batteries with you to the hospital.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable clothing, especially low-heeled shoes.
  • If you have an advance directive (living will and/or health care power of attorney), please bring it with you.
  • Have all medications that you are taking with you or on a list with dosage. Medication brought to the hospital must be in correct bottles. If you use C-PAP please bring it to the hospital with you.
  • A responsible adult who is able to drive must come with you to the hospital and be available to drive you home after your surgery.
  • Changes in the schedule can occur. Please be available by phone before your scheduled time in the event of a change. You may be asked to report to the hospital earlier or later than scheduled.
  • Please be prepared for a possible wait. Bring reading material or other small projects to help pass the time.
  • If you are going to be late for your scheduled time, please call (910) 571-5156 and let us know. Your operation may be postponed. Allow plenty of time.

Before Surgery - At the Hospital
Parking is available in the Outpatient Parking Area. Report to the Outpatient Department to check in for your surgery.

You will be taken from Outpatient Registration to a room and prepared for surgery. Family and/or friends will be shown to the appropriate Waiting Room.

From your room, you will be taken to the Holding Area. This is where the final preparations for the Operating Room are completed. The average waiting time in the holding area is 30-45 minutes. If there is a delay, your family/friends will be notified in the Waiting Room.

The doctor will contact the family after surgery. The surgical team intends to keep your family and/or friends informed during lengthy procedures or when there is a delay. If your family and/or friends have concerns that your procedure has taken longer than planned, a volunteer will be available to assist them.

For your family’s convenience, vending areas are located throughout the hospital.

After Surgery
From the Operating Room, you will be taken to the Recovery Room. The average length of stay in the Recovery Room is one-two hours. Your family/friends will be notified if it takes longer. They will also be notified of your nursing unit room and floor number. From the Recovery Room, you will be taken to your room or returned to the Outpatient Department.

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