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, Jantoven®, 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 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: 11/25/2019