Skip to main content


Surgery: What You Need to Know Online Manual

Skip section navigation

How to prepare at home

Have your pre-surgery physical exam and/or lab tests done as directed by your doctor. Schedule them with your family doctor within 30 days before surgery.

Do any special exercises your doctor wants you to do.

Write down questions for members of your health care team.

Stop smoking, if you smoke. Ask your doctor about the different ways to quit.

Ask your doctor which medicines you should take before surgery and when.

Check with your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medicines (such as aspirin, Coumadin®, Plavix® or Ticlid®). You may need to stop taking them within certain times before surgery. Your doctor will tell you how long to be off these medicines.

If you have diabetes and are on insulin, ask your doctor about how much insulin to take before surgery.

Prepare and freeze meals to eat after surgery.

Arrange for house or yard help, if needed.

Install grab bars, night lights or other equipment you may need after you return from the hospital.

Go through your house and remove possible hazards. Remove throw rugs and keep furniture out of the hallways.

Put items you will use often within easy reach. If you have a cordless phone, make sure it's charged so you can carry it with you from room to room.

Plan to bring a family member and/or friend with you to the hospital. They will be responsible for your belongings during your surgery.

Arrange to have an adult drive you home if you are having same-day surgery. This is because the anesthesia will affect your judgment and you will not be able to drive. If you do not have someone to drive you home, your surgery will be canceled.

Arrange to have an adult stay with you at home the first 12 hours after your discharge from a same day procedure.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ahc-21686

First published: 01/15/2011
Last updated: 01/15/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts