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 primary care provider 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.

 If you use tobacco, stop. 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.

 For your safety, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home and to stay with you for 24 hours. 

If you do not have someone to drive you home, your surgery will be canceled.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ah-21686
First Published: 01/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 06/15/2015