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Before Your Surgery (Pre-Op) Instructions

Pre-Surgical Testing

Depending on your surgical procedure, you may require a physical exam and some diagnostic tests. These tests may include blood work, chest X-rays, EKG, stress tests, and pulmonary function studies. Your surgeon will advise you on what tests you need.
Our pre-surgical testing office staff will call you to schedule an appointment if requested by your physician, or your physician’s office will schedule an appointment. If you prefer to make the appointment yourself, please call the office Monday through Friday at (212) 844-8240. Testing will take place in the:

Pre-surgical Testing Suite
10 Union Square East – PACC
Third Floor, Suite 3N

On the day of your pre-surgical appointment, our staff will direct you through the tests that have been ordered by your physician. Testing will take from two to four hours depending on the tests required. If you are unable to come in for the required pre-surgical testing, your physician may be able to arrange for the tests to be performed by an accredited laboratory near your home.

If your pre-surgical testing is done at Beth Israel, the results will be automatically forwarded to the appropriate place. If your pre-surgical testing is done elsewhere, written test reports must be received by the Medical Center at least seven days prior to the date of your surgery.

Seven days prior to the anticipated surgical procedure a complete history and physical examination including past medical history, a list of present medications with dosage and frequency, allergies, and a review of systems are required.  Please have your primary care physician complete the below form.   Kindly include all pertinent test results as well.

Medications to Discontinue Before Surgery

If you use prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and/or herbal supplements for any reason, please discuss taking them with your surgeon.

Normally, you will be asked to stop taking certain medications at least one week before surgery, because many of these drugs and herbs can increase your risk of bleeding and affect how you heal.

If you are taking blood thinners, you will need to consult your physician regarding plans for stopping these medications. They may be restarted shortly after surgery.

Medications such as Tylenol are normally acceptable to take before surgery.

Blood Donation

Your physician may discuss donation of your own blood prior to surgery if there is a possibility you will need blood during your operation. If you elect to donate your own blood, you will be told where and when you can donate. If you have any objections to blood products being used, please advise your physician and the anesthesiologists.

Preparing For Surgery

Pre-operative Instructions

  • Please follow all your physician’s instructions carefully. They are for your safety. If these instructions are not followed, it could result in the cancellation of your surgery.
  • Unless given permission by your surgeon, do not eat or drink after midnight in the evening prior to your surgery. You can brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, but do not swallow any water.
  • If you take medication regularly for any condition, ask your surgeon whether you can take it on the day of surgery. These include insulin, blood pressure pills, aspirin, birth control pills, heart or asthma medications. If you have been told to take medications, swallow them with small sips of water.
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol (liquor, beer, or wine) or use recreational drugs for at least 72 hours prior to surgery.
  • Do not shave surgical site.

What to Bring With You

Please pack lightly.
The following is a checklist to help you prepare:

  • The legal ID you used when scheduling surgery with your doctor, and health insurance card
  • Any forms that your surgeon’s office asked you to complete
  • Comfortable clothing for discharge
  • Any special toiletries that you use if you are going to be admitted
  • Telephone numbers of people you wish to call
  • Eyeglasses instead of contact lenses
  • Dentures – we will provide a container
  • CPAP Machine and mask for those with sleep apnea.
  • List of allergies you have and medications that you are taking

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