Before surgery

Follow these general guidelines in preparing for your surgery at our HCA Virginia facilities unless your surgeon or doctor directs you otherwise:

  • Stop eating and drinking at midnight the night before your surgery
  • Take your prescribed heart, blood pressure, asthma, thyroid, seizure or pain medications, as discussed with your doctor, with just enough water to swallow them
  • Talk to your doctor if you are on blood thinners
  • Stop insulin the day of your surgery
  • Bathe or shower prior to your procedure and don’t apply make-up or lotions
  • Wear comfortable clothing and remove all jewelry (including body piercings)
  • Leave valuables, credit cards and money at home
  • Bring containers for glasses, dentures or hearing aids, and place these items in their containers before entering the operating room
  • Pack a small bag with what you’ll need for an overnight stay, including pajamas, slippers and toiletries

After surgery

  • Your doctor will talk with your designated caregivers about your procedure
  • Depending on the use of anesthetics during your procedure, you may be taken to a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) to continuously monitor your blood pressure
  • Let your nurse know about any symptoms you experience after your surgery, even if they seem normal, such as dry mouth or blurred vision
  • Your doctor or nurse will determine when it is appropriate for you to return home or be moved to a post-operative room to continue your recovery
  • Before you are discharged, you’ll be given written instructions on how to care for yourself at home and who to call with questions you may have during recovery

More information

Don’t hesitate to ask a member of your surgical team if you have further questions about preparing for your surgery or postsurgical care.

You may also check our online health library for information about what to expect before, during and after your specific medical procedure.