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Pre-Surgery Instructions

The South Shore Hospital surgical team is looking forward to providing you with the best possible care. We understand that the prospect of surgery can be a little frightening and that you may have questions. Please read these instructions carefully to help you prepare for your surgery.


Your anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist play a very important role in your surgery. They will administer and monitor the anesthesia that will let you “sleep” during your operation or “numb” a certain part of your body. Before surgery a member of the anesthesia team will meet with you to determine the most appropriate type of anesthesia for you.

Your Surgery Checklist

This checklist will help you prepare for surgery:

Several Days Before

  • Avoid aspirin. Check with your surgeon’s office regarding how long you should avoid aspirin prior to your surgery. If necessary, for at least a week before surgery, take a non-aspirin pain reliever, such as Tylenol®.
  • Monitor how you’re feeling. Any unexpected illness — such as fever, cough, sore throat, or sniffles — could postpone your surgery. Please let your doctor know if you’re not feeling well up to the day of surgery.

The Day Before

  • Refrain from alcohol.Please do not drink alcohol in the 24 hours before surgery. It may interfere with your procedure.

The Night Before

Your stomach must be empty prior to surgery. If not, your appointment may be postponed or cancelled.

Follow these important diet guidelines:

No solid foods, gum, hard candy, breath mints, or cough drops past midnight. Clear liquids (apple or cranberry juice, water, coffee – without cream or milk) are allowed up to 5 hours prior to surgery.

For infants: infant formula and any other milks are allowed up to 6 hours prior to surgery. Breast milk is allowed up to 4 hours prior to surgery.

The Day of Surgery

Personal Care

  • Hair should be clean and freshly shampooed. No hair products (mousse, gels, conditioners, hairspray, etc.) the night before or day of surgery.
  • Do not use perfumes, skin cream/lotions, or after shave.
  • Do not use deodorant near the operative site.
  • Do not shave the operative site.
  • Remove make-up, nail polish, hair accessories, contact lenses, and jewelry (including any body piercings) before leaving home.

South Shore MyChart Patient Portal

Introducing South Shore MyChart, the new and improved Patient Portal.

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