Surgery Preparations

Before Surgery

To expedite your check-in process, we need to receive your registration information prior to your procedure.  We have provided online registration for your convenience.  If you are unable to provide your information online, please be certain to complete the paperwork provided by your physician’s office.  If either the online registration or the paperwork provided by your physician’s office is not completed at the time of your arrival, you may experience a time delay in going back to the pre-op area.

A health history nurse will call you prior to your surgery to collect information about your health to expedite your admission process.

It is important for you to follow these guidelines before surgery to prevent delay or cancellations.

Food and Drink

Do not eat food or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery unless directed differently by your doctor.  You may brush your teeth the morning of surgery, but be sure not to swallow water or toothpaste.  Do not chew gum or eat hard candy or mints the morning of your surgery.  You may take your daily medications the morning of surgery with as little water as possible unless otherwise indicated by your physician or our staff.  Children under the age of 12 have special fasting instructions.  Please refer to the Special Care For Children section for these guidelines.

  • Alcohol - Do not drink alcohol for at least 12 hours before your arrival.
  • Smoking - Do not smoke after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Makeup, Nail Polish, Jewelry (including body jewelry) - Please remove all these items before surgery.
  • Clothing - Wear loose, casual, comfortable clothing to fit over dressings.
  • Valuables - Please leave valuables at home.  This includes jewelry, cell phone, and cash.  You will, however, need to bring your photo ID and insurance card, Medicaid, or other medical assistance documentation.

Notify the Center & Your Surgeon if:

  • You have an elevated temperature, cough, cold, vomiting, or diarrhea between your last visit to the surgeon and the day of your surgery.
  • You suspect you may be pregnant.
  • You are taking diet pills, aspirin, ibuprofen, or certain herbal medicines.  You may need to stop taking these 1-2 weeks before your surgery.  You can discuss this with your surgeon.

What You Need the Day of the Surgery:

  • Information: Insurance cards, photo ID, Medicare or Medical Assistance information, numbers, and addresses.
  • Driver: You must plan to have someone drive you home.  Do not plan to use taxis or other public transportation.
  • Escort: A friend, relative, or dedicated caregiver MUST stay with you for 24 hours.
  • Legal Guardian: A legal guardian must be in the center AT ALL TIMES for children and dependent adults.
  • Care for Children: If you have young children at home whom you normally care for, plan for someone else to care for them for at least 24 hours following your surgery.
  • Interpreter: If the patient cannot read, speak English, or use sign language, an interpreter is required.  If you need assistance arranging for an interpreter, please contact the scheduling department at 713-525-7991 as soon as possible.

Day of Surgery

What you need to know for the day of surgery

  • Please bathe or shower prior to your surgery.  Remove all makeup, and do not use lotions or oils after bathing.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing such as sweatsuits and easy-to-button shirts or blouses that are big enough to accommodate a large bandage after surgery.  Wear comfortable shoes- no high heels, please.
  • Leave all valuables, including jewelry, cell phone, and cash at home.  We cannot be responsible for damaged or lost property.
  • Be prepared to sign a form giving your consent for the operation.  If the patient is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany the patient and sign the consent form.
  • Bring all insurance cards and your driver’s license or other photo ID with you to the facility.
  • Please arrive one and ½ hours before your scheduled procedure unless told otherwise by one of our nurses or your physician.
  • A nurse will provide you with a patient gown, slippers, and a bag to store your clothing in the pre-operative area.  We will also check your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse and ask you to empty your bladder before surgery.
  • One of the anesthesiologists will speak with you concerning your anesthesia options, if anesthesia is required for your procedure.
  • Your family will be asked to wait in the lobby.  Due to the restrictions of HIPAA legislation and to protect your privacy, no family members will be allowed to go to the pre-op area with you.  The surgeon will speak with your family following surgery, and one person will be allowed in the post-op area as soon as medically appropriate.


Anesthesia may be provided by a combination of board certified physicians and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) from Capitol Anesthesiology Association. The types of anesthesia provided range from local, sedation, regional, and general anesthesia. You will receive a separate bill for these services as the providers are not employees of the hospital.

After Surgery

Once your condition is stable, you will be discharged.  Most patients are discharged one to five hours after surgery for outpatient procedures.  It is normal to experience sleepiness and dizziness for 12 to 24 hours after surgery.

  • Before you leave the hospital, you will be given written instructions for your care at home.  It will be necessary to discuss these instructions with an adult who is accompanying you, as the influence of your anesthesia could affect your ability to remember and understand the instructions.
  • After you have returned home, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders regarding diet, rest, medication, and activity.  Unless directed otherwise, you should start your diet with clear liquids.  In four to six hours, you can begin to eat solid foods.  By the next day, you should be back to your normal diet.  Do not sign any important papers or make any significant decisions for at least 24 hours.
  • If you have any questions or problems after surgery, please contact your physician.
  • A nurse from Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital will phone you the day after your procedure to see how you are and answer any additional questions you might have.  If your surgery is on Friday, a nurse may not call you until the following Monday.
  • Do not drive a car, smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, operate machinery, or cook for 24 hours after surgery.