Be Prepared Before You Arrive

Here are some tips for how to prepare yourself for your upcoming surgery.

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

You may experience some anxiety prior to surgery. A good way to prepare for surgery is by practicing meditation/relaxation exercises. Relaxation techniques can involve things such as music therapy, deep breathing exercises, use of visualization and imaging techniques, thinking positively, art therapy or getting a message the day before your procedure.

Another way to prepare is to make a plan for managing pain after surgery. Discuss this with your surgeon before surgery and be sure to ask any questions you may have. Asking questions and taking steps to better prepare yourself ahead of time can help you feel more at ease. It is important to review and follow any instructions provided by your physician. Also, be sure to share any concerns with your family or support person.

Bring Your Medications

When you go to the hospital for any reason it's important to bring your medications with you or a list of your medications. Doctors and nurses need to know what medicines you currently take to provide the best, safest care.

You should be prepared to inform the hospital about prescribed medications you take, as well as over-the-counter drugs and supplements, such as aspirin, cold relief products and vitamins. You may bring the actual medicine bottles in a bag, or take a photo of the labels, or write out a list of your medications. If you bring the actual medicine, be sure to include the bottles with labels and not just a pill box so doctors can see doses and other information.

If you recently stayed in the hospital and were given discharge papers, you should bring those too. Discharge papers include a summary of your diagnosis and the care provided during your hospital stay, as well as medications and follow-up instructions.

Why This Is Important

During your hospital visit, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of your medicines or stop certain drugs and begin new ones. Also, there can sometimes be interactions between medications, or you may have prescriptions that have expired. Your doctor can look at the medications you take in relation to your current health needs to determine the best, most up-to-date care. This is called medication reconciliation. Doctors can use this information for their patients’ benefit and better healthcare.

Remember to Bring:

  • Prescription medications you currently take, including dosage information
  • Over-the-counter medications and supplements you take, such as vitamins and aspirin
  • Discharge papers if you recently stayed in the hospital