The Night Before Surgery

Being prepared the night before surgery can reduce your anxiety and avoid any unnecessary delays on the day of your surgery. Here is what you need to know about the last minute preparations for your surgery day.


  • Be aware of what time you have to show up at the hospital with a clear idea about directions and parking.
  • Know which medications you should and should not take tonight and the next morning. Ask your primary care physician if unsure.
  • DO NOT shave around the surgical site.
  • Take a shower to minimize the chance of a post-operative infection. Some patients may receive a special soap (Chlorohexidine Gluconate) to use instead of regular soap.
  • Pack any personal clothing (comfortable and loose fitting) and personal hygiene items that you may need if you are staying overnight in the hospital. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for post-op therapy.
  • Take off all jewelry or other valuables so that they can be left at home. This includes wedding rings, particularly if it is on the operative extremity.


  • Eat a normal healthy dinner the night before your surgery. Avoid foods that you are unfamiliar with.
  • DO NOT have anything to eat or drink after 11:30 PM the night before your surgery. It is important that you have an empty stomach so that your surgery can be completed safely (medications can be taken with a sip of water).
  • Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol.


  • Bring an up to date list of your medications, especially if they have changed recently.
  • Bring your insurance card.
  • If you have contacts/glasses, dentures, hearing aids, or a CPAP machine, keep in mind that you will need to bring them with you the morning of surgery.
  • Relax and do something fun with your friends or family if you feel up for it.
  • Anxiety is normal, but keep in mind that all of the providers that you will encounter the next day have undergone years of training to be able to take the best possible care of you.