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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Pre-surgery Preparation & Visitors

Once in the pre-op room, we ask you to change into a hospital gown. You must also remove glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures and hairpieces before you go to the operating room (OR).

The nurse will review your medical history and take your temperature, blood pressure and pulse. Be sure to tell the nurse the exact time you last had anything to eat or drink.

We will place an IV (into the vein) line in your hand or arm so we can give you fluids and medicines. Based on your specific needs, antibiotics or other medicines may be given. To prevent blood clots, you may also wear sequential compression devices (SCDs). SCDs gently squeeze your calves every so often to copy the muscle movement that happens when you walk.

If you are a female under the age of 60, we may perform a pregnancy test.

Your surgeon, anesthesiologist, or primary care doctor, as well as residents, nurse anesthetists, physician assistants and medical students may visit.

If you have already met with the surgeon and anesthesiologist, you may not see them before your surgery. If you do have questions for them, please ask your nurse.

A member of the surgery team will also come in and:

  • Confirm the type of surgery you are having
  • Mark the surgery site (if needed)
  • Review the plan for anesthesia
  • Ask about any past problems you may have had with anesthesia

While in the pre-op room two adult visitors may be with you at a time. To maintain your privacy, we may ask visitors to leave the room when we ask you personal questions about your health.

Other visitors can wait in the family waiting room. Visitors may not go with you when you are moved to the OR.

We make all efforts to begin surgery at your scheduled start time. But there might be the chance that your surgery may start sooner or is delayed.

Before your surgery starts, your surgeon will tell you and your family how long your surgery is expected to last. Once you are in the operating room and have received anesthesia, your surgery will begin.

Last UpdateMarch 25, 2011
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