Getting Ready for Surgery

 
 

As physicians, our anesthesiologists will ensure your medical needs are met throughout your surgical experience.

Preadmission Testing

For some procedures and for patients with complex medical histories, your surgeon may arrange for a consultation with one of our anesthesiologists several days prior to your surgery. These consultations usually take place in the preoperative testing centers at Winnie Palmer Hospital, South Seminole Community Hospital or one of the surgery centers covered by AGO. For many surgical procedures, you will meet with your anesthesiologist and others from the anesthesia care team on the day of your procedure. Your medical history and the anesthetic plan will be discussed and you will have the opportunity to ask questions at that time.

Should I Take Medications?

Some previously prescribed medications may be taken with a minimal amount of water on the day of your surgery. The list of those medications include:

  • Heart medications
  • Most blood pressure medications
  • Cholesterol medications
  • Bronchodilators (inhalers for the lungs)
  • Reflux and heartburn medications (Prilosec, Nexium, Zantac, Protonix but not Tums, Rolaids or similar chalky medications)
  • Anticonvulsants (seizure medications)
  • Thyroid replacement pills (Synthroid and others)
  • Steroids (prednisone and others)
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Birth control pills
  • Narcotic medications if needed for pain control and only if they do not contain aspirin or ibuprofen

Previously prescribed medications to avoid on the day of surgery include:

  • Diuretics -water pills such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorthiazide.
  • Insulin
  • Please refer to your surgeon and primary physician for specific instructions regarding other medications which may need to be witheld prior to surgery.

It is prudent to avoid the following for at least one week prior to surgery:

  • Garlic
  • Gingko
  • Ginseng
  • Vitamin E
  • Fish oil
  • Alfalfa
  • Chamomile
  • Kava
  • Licorice
  • Weight reduction medications
  • Herbal medications or similar supplements

The risks and benefits of taking aspirin, Plavix, Ticlid and similar anti-clotting medications should be discussed with your prescribing physician (typically your primary care physician or cardiologist), your surgeon and your anesthesiologist well in advance of the date of your procedure. A decision on whether or not to continue these medications is best made jointly by the patient and all of the physicians involved.

Diet

We usually ask that patients not eat or drink after midnight on the date of surgery to decrease the risk of aspiration while under anesthesia or sedation.

Exceptions to this rule are rare and should be discussed with your anesthesiologist. It is often a good idea to stay well hydrated on the day prior to surgery and to avoid alcoholic beverages.

Smoking

Avoid smoking for 12 hours prior to your procedure and particularly the day of surgery. There are many reasons to quit smoking as soon as possible prior to your surgery. Please see the link below for a free resource offered by the American Society of Anesthesiologist to help you get started towards stopping smoking for good. Multiple medical studies have shown that smoking prior to surgery leads to a higher risk of postoperative wound infection and interferes with tissue healing.