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Home / Patients / Day of Surgery

Day of Surgery

Check In

You will be asked to arrive early to register, undergo preoperative testing, and meet with the anesthesiologist. First, you will register at the front desk either (BMC or Moakley) to fill out paperwork. After you have registered, a nurse will take you to the holding area. You will be asked several questions about your medical history. They will take your vital signs and you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. Please see further instructions below.

  • Notify your nurse or anesthesiologist if you have experienced any health changes (a cold, persistent cough, fever, etc.) since your last visit to schedule this surgery.
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the surgery center. For day surgery, if you have general anesthesia or sedation, you will not be allowed to leave alone after surgery. It is required that a responsible adult is present to receive discharge instructions, accompany you home, and be with you for 24 hours following surgery.
  • Do not smoke for 24 hours before your surgery.
  • Eat normally and take your routinely prescribed medications the day before your surgery, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
  • Take your routine daily medications with a sip of water unless instructed not to do so. Take a bath or shower before coming into the surgery center. Do not wear make-up (including mascara) or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • Wear casual, loose fitting clothing and slip-on shoes for your comfort and ease of dressing after surgery.
  • Leave all valuables at home. Do not wear a watch, jewelry or contact lenses.
  • Arrive 2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time to allow time for preparation and a visit from you anesthesiologist.

Pre-Operation Preparation

In the pre-operative area, a registered nurse will help you get ready for your surgery. In this area you will:

  • Sign your informed consent. Read it carefully. It lists:
    • Your name
    • The kind of surgery you will have
    • The risks of your surgery
    • An acknowledgement that you have spoken with your doctor about the surgery and had an opportunity to ask questions
    • Your agreement to have the surgery
  • Change from your clothing into a hospital gown
  • Have an intravenous (IV) line started
  • (Possibly) have the site of your surgery shaved and scrubbed
  • Meet your anesthesiologist to discuss your anesthesia care
  • Meet other members of your surgical team – Dr. Li will come and talk with you before your surgery.


The nurse will start an intravenous (I.V.) line that will be used to deliver medications to your bloodstream during and after surgery. The anesthesiologist will talk with you about the options for anesthesia, which include general, sedation, and block. Any questions you have regarding the type or method of anesthesia along with the risk and benefits of each will be discussed.


After you have been prepared, the nurse from the operating room (OR) will take you to the surgery area. You will be asked to wear a surgical cap to cover your hair. When you arrive into the OR, you will be asked to move to the surgical table from your stretcher. In the OR, the lights are bright and the temperature is cool. Since it is important to your health that you stay warm during the surgery, we will provide warm blankets or a warming device. At this time, the OR team will do a check list for the procedure, including reading out your name, medical record number, and the procedure. This is a routine part of the surgical procedure. After the checklist is done, the Anesthesiologist will start the anesthesia by using your IV line to administer medication. You will then fall asleep for the procedure.

Post-Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU)

When you wake up from the anesthesia, you will be in the PACU. A nurse will be assigned to monitor your progress and address your needs. When you are stabilized after the procedure, then your family members will be able to come into the PACU to visit you. This process usually takes about 1 to 2 hours after the procedure. Dr. Li will come out and talk with your family members after the procedure is complete.

Medications and Pain Management

Immediately after surgery, you will be given your post-operative prescription for pain medication. Remember for the first 24 to 48 hours to stay ahead of your pain with the medication. Please take the pain medications on a regular basis every 4 or 6 hours depending on the prescription. By doing so, this will minimize the amount of pain medications that you may need when the anesthesia block wears off.

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