What to Expect

If you come prepared, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed. By knowing what to expect, you’ll feel confident and comfortable.

We’ve provided a collection of answers to frequently asked questions about your first hospital visit or upcoming surgery.

If you have additional questions or suggestions, please contact us.

Preparing for a Visit to the Hospital

Do I need to complete additional paperwork when I arrive at the hospital?

Yes, upon arriving at the hospital admissions department you will be asked to complete additional forms.

Here are some of the forms you might be asked to complete:

  • Authorization to Release Protected Health Information During This Admission
  • Consent for Treatment and Conditions For Admission
  • Acknowledgement of Receipt of Notice of Privacy Practices

Do I need Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) done prior to my scheduled surgery date?

You are encouraged to get Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) done 2 to 10 days before your surgery. Your physician will order specific tests based on the procedure, your age and your medical condition. Pre-Admission Testing appointments usually take less than an hour, and they are an important step in making sure both you and you doctor are prepared.

These tests may include:

How do I get directions to the hospital?

Visit the Maps & Directions page for more information.

Preparing for Your Surgery

Do I need to stop taking any of my medication in preparation for surgery?

Talk to your physician prior to surgery for recommendations.

What if I become ill?

If you develop flu-like symptoms, or if you have a fever for more 24 hours, notify your physician.

What food and drink restrictions must I follow in preparation for surgery?

  • Eat a light dinner the evening before your surgery and do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not eat or drink anything — including water, chewing gum and mints — after midnight the night before your surgery, or as instructed by your physician.

Will I be able to drive home after surgery?

No. Make arrangements to get a ride home after your surgery with a responsible adult. You are not allowed to drive the day of surgery, and afterward you should wait until you have clearance from your doctor.

The Day of Surgery

When should I arrive at the hospital on the day of surgery?

Please arrive at least two hours prior to your scheduled procedure, unless your physician instructs you otherwise.

Am I permitted to bathe, brush my teeth, and wear make-up and body piercings?

You may bathe or shower (use antibacterial soap) and brush your teeth before coming to the hospital, but do not drink any water. It is advised that you limit make-up and remove all body piercing and jewelry.

What happens after surgery? Will I be allowed to see friends and loved ones?

After surgery, the time you spend in post anesthesia care will depend on the type of procedure and your response to the anesthesia. Visitors will be restricted at this time, but your nurse will keep them informed.

Who do I contact if I need to cancel my surgery?

If you need to cancel surgery, please notify your physician and the hospital’s surgery scheduling department as soon as possible.

To learn more about what to expect from a certain condition, explore our Health Library. And if you have any other questions, please contact us.