The Day Before Your Procedure

Health Centers

The Day Before Your Procedure
You will be given instructions about fasting prior to surgery. In general, you will need to have an empty stomach (no food, no liquids) for eight hours before the procedure. This is to reduce the risk of stomach contents refluxing into your lungs during anesthesia. You are permitted to take your medications with a sip of water.

If you are having a procedure at the hospital, pack a small overnight bag. It should have the following items (if applicable):

  • A list of your medications and doses
  • A list of your important phone numbers
  • A copy of your advanced directive, if you have one
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hearing aids/case
  • Inhalers
  • Any special wound care items
  • Insulin pump, TENS unit
  • CPAP machine
  • Consider: books, crosswords, music, earplugs, slippers, eyemask, neck pillow
  • Eyeglasses or contacts, contact solution, and case
  • Dentures/case/cream

Do not bring:

  • Any jewelry or unnecessary valuables
  • Cigarettes, candles, or anything flammable (the hospital has a strict no smoking policy, and we can assist you with nicotine patches or gum if needed)
  • Illegal drugs or weapons

Special Instructions for Abdominal Surgery If you are having an abdominal surgery (open aneurysm repair), you may be given special instructions:

  • Liquid diet (soups, shakes, jello, juice, milk)  the day before.
  • Bowel prep starting early afternoon the day prior to surgery. Moviprep is available in the pharmacy. Follow the directions on the bottle. The goal is to decompress your bowels so that visualization is better during surgery, and also so that you are not constipated after surgery. Do not wait until late in the day to begin this. The bowel prep may take several hours, and you will want to be near a bathroom while you do it.
  • Typically, you will receive a call from the anesthesiologist the day prior to surgery. He or she will review any anesthetic concerns you may have and will review the instructions for the following day.