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Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your 鶹ýmember benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your 鶹ýcolleagues. It's all here.

Become a Member
Become a member and receive career-enhancing benefits

Our top priority is providing value to members. Your Member Services team is here to ensure you maximize your 鶹ýmember benefits, participate in College activities, and engage with your 鶹ýcolleagues. It's all here.

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ACS

The Day of Your Procedure

The 鶹ýis here to answer your questions about common surgical procedures. View our comprehensive overviews to learn what to expect before, during, and after you or a loved one undergoes a specific surgery.

The Day of Your Procedure

Knowledge Is Comfort

Having all your questions answered will keep you at ease before your procedure.

Eating and Drinking

  • Do not eat anything at least 6 hours before the procedure. This fasting period can be up to 8 hours depending on your age and the medication you are taking.
  • Stop drinking clear liquids 2 hours before your procedure. Your healthcare team will let you know your schedule and if you should stop drinking liquids earlier.
  • For surgery of the colon or rectum, you may have bowel prep to clean the inside of your colon before surgery. This may also include a clear liquid diet starting the day before surgery.

Fluids and Drinking

You may have an intravenous line (IV) started before your operation. This will be removed after your operation as soon as you start drinking.

Bathing and Brushing

To help lessen your risk of surgical infection:

  • The night before and the morning of surgery, remove bacteria on your skin by showering and washing the area where you will be having surgery.
  • Use an unscented antibacterial soup. (You may have a special cleanser from your surgeon.)
  • Dry with a clean towel. You may have a special cleanser from your surgeon.
  • Do not put on any cosmetic products, lotions, creams, powders, or deodorant after your shower.
  • Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash the morning of surgery. This will decrease the bacteria in your mouth and the risk of pneumonia.
  • Do not shave the area of your operation for several days before surgery. This will decrease your chance of having ingrown hairs or small cuts. Your surgical team will clip the hair near the incision site.

What to Bring

  • Insurance card and identification
  • Advance directive
  • List of medicines
  • Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes
  • Footwear that is easy to put on
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Someone to drive you home if you are going home the same day

What to Leave at Home

  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Remove contacts (wear glasses) and remove all piercings.

What You Can Expect – Safety Checks

The healthcare team will attach an identification (ID) bracelet and allergy bracelet on your wrist. These should be checked by all healthcare team members before giving medication or doing a procedure. Your surgeon will check, mark, and initial the operation site. You will ask all visitors to wash their hands when entering your room.

Home Medication

Bring a list of all the prescribed and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbs you are taking. Your medication may have to be adjusted before your operation. Usually, you take your routine medications with a sip of water the morning of surgery. Medications for diabetes may be changed the morning of surgery because you are not eating. Check with your surgical team about any changes.

Your Pain Plan

Your surgeon and anesthesia provider will talk with you on how to manage your pain during and after your procedure. Anesthesia is medication that prevents you from feeling pain during your procedure. The main types are general, regional, local, epidural, or spinal anesthesia and sedation. The type depends on the complexity of the operation and your overall health.

After your operation, the goal is to minimize pain, keep you moving, and help you heal. Your pain can be controlled with non-medication therapy, like deep breathing, ice, distraction, and walking. For mild to moderate pain, you may use non-opioid medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Opioids may be needed for severe pain that is keeping you from moving.

Decreasing Your Risk for Blood Clots

There is a risk of blood clots after any surgery. The risk depends on how long your operation takes and your . You may have support or compression stockings placed on your lower legs before surgery, or in the operating room. You will be asked to walk soon after surgery to help prevent blood clots. You may also be given medication to decrease your risk for blood clots.

Support Person Updates

Your surgeon or healthcare team will let you know how long the procedure will last. Your family member/support person will be called when the procedure is over.

Your surgical care team may have more specific instructions. Speak with your care team about the best way to prepare for your operation.

Overviews of Common Surgical Procedures