NashobaPatients and Visitors

Guide to Surgery

Preparing for Surgery

Your preoperative visit

Your physician may ask you to have preoperative tests, such as blood tests and a urinalysis, or an EKG, a chest X-ray, and/or PFTs (pulmonary function tests). You may be asked to go directly to the admitting department. There you will meet with the admitting department and a peri-operative nurse who will discuss these orders and instructions with you and answer any questions you may have. If you are not doing this today, our admitting department will call you to schedule an appointment.

The length of your preoperative visit is determined by the amount of testing required. The nurse or admitting personnel will help you estimate how much time to allow for your visit, so that you can plan accordingly.

If you have had recent testing done elsewhere, the preoperative nurse will discuss this with you. They will help you complete a preoperative questionnaire for the anesthesiologist who will be with you the day of your surgery. They will also tell you when to report to the hospital on the day of your surgery.

Review your hospital plans with your health insurance provider to be sure that any precertification requirements are met. If insurance is a problem, or if you have any questions, please call our patient financial counselors at 978-784-9237 or 978-784-9222.

Preoperative Instructions

  • For your comfort after surgery, wear loose clothes and low-heeled shoes
  • If you are having surgery on your arms or legs, wear clothing that will fit over your bandages, splints, or casts
  • If you will need crutches after surgery and you have some at home, bring them
  • Leave jewelry/valuables at home
  • Wear no contact lenses, makeup or nail polish
  • If you are under 18 years of age, your parent/guardian must accompany you


Your anesthesiologist, a physician who specializes in administering and monitoring anesthesia during surgery, will talk to you and your surgeon, and review the nature of your surgery, your overall health, and medical history. He or she will select the most appropriate anesthetic for you. You will then need to sign a consent form for anesthesia.

You will receive either general anesthesia, which enables you to "sleep" comfortably through the entire procedure, or regional or local anesthesia, which numbs only the area of your body undergoing surgery. If you are scheduled to have any type of sedating medication or anesthesia, you must have a ride home and someone to stay with you until the morning following surgery. This is for your safety and is a requirement.

Infants and Children

Children have special needs when they are given anesthesia for surgery that are important for their comfort and safety:

  • Infants, one to five months old, need to be given a clear liquid breakfast (one eight-ounce serving of water or apple juice only) four hours before the scheduled time of surgery.
  • All other children may have water or apple juice until four hours before the scheduled time of their surgery.
  • If the infant takes a special formula, bring in a bottle for your child after surgery.
  • You may help put your child at ease by bringing a favorite toy, blanket or pacifier.
  • Please make arrangements for the care of your other children the day of surgery, so that we may focus on your child, the patient.

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