Skip to main content
Banner: Preparing for Surgery - Doctor standing next to patient who's laying in bed

Preparing for surgery

Find all the information you need to get ready for your surgery.

How long will you stay?

The length of your stay depends on the type of surgery you have. Our procedures fall into three categories:

  • Same-day surgery: You’re admitted for surgery or a diagnostic procedure and return home the same day.
  • Morning admission: You’ll arrive at the hospital in the morning for your surgery. When your surgery is done, you’ll be admitted. How long you stay depends on the type of surgery you have and how your doctor thinks you’re doing.
  • Observation: You’ll stay in the hospital for 23 hours or less after a procedure. You might stay overnight, but you won’t be admitted to the hospital.

How to prepare for your surgery

What you need to do to prepare can vary quite a bit, depending on the type of surgery you’re having. Your care team will tell you everything you need to know ahead of time. But here’s a general idea of what to expect:

  • Get a full medical history and physical exam. You’ll likely see your primary care doctor for this unless your surgery team says otherwise. Ask your doctor to send the results to the Regions Hospital Surgery Center. The fax number is 952-883-9645.
  • Ask your surgeon questions you may have about your procedure.
  • Stop herbal supplements two weeks before surgery. This includes fish oil and vitamin E.
  • Let your doctor know if your health changes. This includes a cold, fever or major change in the condition you’re having surgery for.
  • Take prescription medications as directed. But check with your surgeon about medications with aspirin or ibuprofen. These can cause problems with blood clotting and anesthesia.
  • Follow eating and drinking instructions. A nurse will call you the day before (or Friday for Monday surgeries) with instructions on eating and drinking, based on your surgery time. If you’re unavailable, call 651-254-3404 for instructions.
  • No tobacco after midnight. This includes chewing tobacco and cigarettes.
  • Take medication with a small sip of water, if directed by your surgeon.
  • Take a shower or bath the night before AND the morning of surgery. This helps reduce the risk of infection. Use a liquid antiseptic soap. Your surgeon’s clinic may give you soap ahead of time, or you can use Dial brand soap. Sleep on clean bedding and dress in clean clothes after bathing.
  • Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner only. No hairspray, mousse, gels or similar hair products – these are flammable and a potential fire hazard. Don’t wear wigs, hair extensions or hairpieces, either.
  • Don’t wear makeup, glued wigs or false eyelashes.
  • Bring your advance directive, if you have one. An example is a living will.
  • Make personal arrangements. Set up any child or pet care you may need. Ask a friend or family member to give you a ride home when you’re ready to leave the hospital.
  • Arrive 1.5 to 2 hours before your surgery time. (A nurse will confirm your arrival time a few days before surgery, too.) You’ll check in and meet with your nurse, anesthesiologist and surgeon during this time.
  • Bring your health insurance card.
  • Leave most personal belongings at home. This includes credit cards, jewelry and large amounts of money.
  • Bring your contacts or glasses case. You can’t wear contacts or glasses during surgery. We’ll keep them in a safe place, along with any other belongings, while you’re in surgery.

View these preparing for surgery tips in PDF format:

After your surgery

Once your procedure is done, you’ll be moved to the recovery room. You’ll stay here until the anesthesia starts to wear off. A nurse will watch you closely and make sure you’re comfortable.

When your care team says you’re ready to go home:

  • Have someone drive you home. We highly recommend having someone stay with you for the first 12 to 24 hours after surgery to make sure you don’t have any problems.
  • Don’t drive for at least 24 hours. Your care team will tell you when it’s safe.
  • Rest and eat lightly. Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after surgery. Drink plenty of clear liquids.

Additional resources

 

Patient and guest support

Get info about support services, food options, guest lounges and more.

 

Preparing to go home

Get an idea of what to expect after you leave Regions.

 

Arrange a ride

Use our medical transportation service to get home or go to an appointment.

Get detailed information about every part of the surgery preparation process. Preparing for Surgery video

Get more details on our services, resources and policies. Guest and Patient Services guide

Contact us

Call us anytime at 651-254-3456

Get directions to Regions

Campus and parking map

Hospital floor map

Back to top