Instructions Before Your Surgery

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This information will help you get ready for your surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). Fill it out with your healthcare provider.

Your surgery is scheduled on: ____________________. A staff member from the Admitting Office will call you between 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm the day before your surgery. They will tell you what time you should arrive at the hospital for your surgery. If you’re scheduled for surgery on a Monday, they will call you on the Friday before. If you don’t get a call by 7:00 pm, call 212-639-5014.

You will get anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) during your surgery. For this reason, it’s very important that you follow these instructions about which medications to take and when to stop eating and drinking. If you take the wrong medication or eat or drink too close to your surgery, your surgery will be delayed or cancelled.

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Instructions for Medications

Talk with your healthcare provider about all of the medications you’re taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, patches, and creams.

10 days before your surgery, on ____________________________

  • Stop taking vitamin E.

7 days before your surgery, on _____________________________

  • Stop taking aspirin, if your doctor told you to.
  • Stop taking herbal remedies and other supplements.

2 days before your surgery, on _____________________________

  • Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

The morning of your surgery, on ___________________________

  • Take the following medications:
    • _________________________________________________
    • _________________________________________________
    • _________________________________________________
  • Stop taking the following medications according to your doctor or nurse’s instructions:
    • _________________________________________________
    • _________________________________________________
    • _________________________________________________

For more information about taking medications before your surgery, read our resources Common Medications Containing Aspirin, Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), or Vitamin E and Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

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Instructions for Eating and Drinking

12 ounces of water
  • Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes hard candy and gum.
  • Between midnight and up until 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, you may drink a total of 12 ounces of water (see figure).
  • Starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, do not eat or drink anything. This includes water.
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Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns about your medication instructions, talk with a member of the Presurgical Testing team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at 212-610-0488.

After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, contact your doctor’s office. If you’re not sure how to reach them, call 212-639-2000.

The NP you saw today was: ____________________________________

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