Instructions Before Your Surgery

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You’ll get anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) during your surgery. That’s why it’s very important to follow these instructions. If you take the wrong medication or eat or drink too close to your surgery, it will be delayed or cancelled.

Talk with your healthcare provider about all the medications you’re taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, patches, and creams. For more information about taking medications before surgery, read our resources Common Medications Containing Aspirin, Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), or Vitamin E and Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

7 days before your surgery

  • If you take aspirin or a medication that contains aspirin, you may need to change your dose or stop taking it. Aspirin can cause bleeding. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Don’t stop taking aspirin unless they tell you to.
  • Stop taking vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, and other dietary supplements. These things can cause bleeding.

2 days before your surgery

  • Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®). These medications can cause bleeding.

1 day before your surgery

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

Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes hard candy and gum.

The morning of your surgery

  • If your healthcare provider gave you a ClearFast preop® drink, finish it 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Do not drink anything else, including water.
  • If your healthcare provider didn’t give you a ClearFast PreOp drink, you can drink a total of 12 ounces of water between midnight and 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Do not drink anything else.
  • If your healthcare provider told you to take certain medications the morning of your surgery, take only those medications with a sip of water. Depending on what medications you take, this may be all, some, or none of your usual morning medications.

Do not drink anything starting 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time. This includes ClearFast and water.

Contact Information

If you have questions or concerns about your medication instructions, talk with a member of the Presurgical Testing (PST) team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from to at 212-610-0488.

After , during the weekend, and on holidays, contact your healthcare provider’s office. If you aren’t sure how to reach them, call 212-639-2000.

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Last Updated

Monday, October 5, 2020