Preparing for Surgery
Neurosurgery Pre-Op Care
Our surgeons are board-certified neurological surgeons with the compassionate nature you want, combined with the exceptional skills and knowledge base you need. Rest assured, your care and well-being is always our main focus. We created this helpful guide to walk you through the surgical process, and we will be there every step of the way to help you have the best possible outcome.
If your surgery includes an overnight stay in the hospital, please leave your suitcase/bag in your car on the day of surgery. After your stay in the recovery room, you will be assigned a room and the persons who accompany you can bring your belongings to your room.
If you are planning to go home on the day of surgery and you receive general anesthesia or any form of sedation or intravenous medication, you MUST have someone to drive you home after your operation. We also recommend that you have a responsible adult to stay with you for the first 24 hours, as you may be dizzy, lightheaded, and sleepy during the first day.
During your operation, your family can wait in a surgical waiting room in any of our facilities. If your family is unable to stay, you will be able to call them after your procedure. Your family can then meet you in the recovery area when you are ready for discharge.
Your time in the recovery room can vary, but it usually will last 1-2 hours. Your recovery room nurse will contact your loved ones in the surgery waiting room to give them an update on your progress.
Please do not bring your jewelry, credit cards, large amounts of money, or other valuables with you the day of your operation. Bring your co-pay, if required. You may also want or need to have some money with you for prescriptions. The person accompanying you can hold it for you. Be certain to bring comfortable clothing to wear while at the hospital.
If you wear glasses, contacts, dentures, or a hearing aid, bring along a case to put them in during surgery. Remove all jewelry prior to surgery. If you are unable to remove rings, have them removed by a jeweler prior to your surgery.
Please shower before coming to the hospital, shampoo your hair, and brush your teeth. Do not swallow the water when you brush your teeth. Do not apply lotions, perfume, or makeup. Nail polish and artificial nails are OK.
If you smoke, stop or at least reduce your smoking. No smoking after midnight. No alcoholic beverages prior to surgery. Eat a light supper the day before your operation and do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before surgery.
Have nothing to eat for at least 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. Solids include things like milkshakes, protein drinks, or anything that has particulate matter in it. This includes gum, candy, coffee drinks, or food of any kind. You may have clear liquids (water, clear juices, clear soda, black coffee or tea without milk or cream) up to 4 hours before your surgery time.
If you consume food less than 8 hours and liquids less than 4 hours prior to surgery, you may put yourself in danger, which can result in cancellation of your surgery. If your anesthesiologist calls you the night before your surgery and gives you instructions other than these, their instructions need to be followed precisely.
Some medications impair the body’s ability to form a clot and stop bleeding, or may interfere with anesthesia. Failure to normally form clots is undesirable around the time of surgery. Even over-the-counter medications such as aspirin can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. Medications that may cause complications include:
Aspirin: Ideally, aspirin should be discontinued a minimum of 7 (preferably 10) days prior to surgery. This advice includes products containing aspirin, like Percodan™.
Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Non-selective COX inhibitors (NSAIDs, e.g. ibuprofen, ketoprofen, Advil, Motrin, and many others) should be discontinued a minimum of 5 (preferably 7) days before surgery. Selective COX inhibitors (COX-2 inhibitors, like Vioxx and Celebrex) CAN be continued. If you have a question about your painkiller, ask your surgeon.
Vitamins, Supplements, Herbals: Many herbal medications and supplements may increase bleeding and/or interact with medications used for anesthesia. In many cases, the exact composition of herbal supplements and the potential interactions are unknown. Specific recommendations cannot be given. Therefore, DO NOT TAKE these medications for a minimum of 7 days prior to surgery.
Medications You May Take Before Surgery:
- Seizure medications (anti-convulsants)
- Anti-hypertensives (blood pressure medications)
- Bronchodilators (inhalers and medications for the lungs)
- Cardiac medications (medications for the heart)
- Anti-reflux medications (Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix)
- Birth control pills
- Steroids (prednisone)
- Thyroid replacement (Synthroid)
- Anti-Parkinson medications
- COX-2 antagonists (Vioxx, Celebrex)
- Opiates (without aspirin; Tylenol #3, Vicodin, fentanyl, etc.)
Do Not Take These Medications Before Surgery:
- Chewable antacids (TUMS, Rolaids, etc.)
- Diuretics (water pills, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide)
- Oral hypoglycemics (Glucophage, Avandia, Actos, DiaBeta, Micronase, Glucotrol, Amaryl)
- Aspirin (and aspirin-containing compounds)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Mobic, Orudis, etc.)
- Weight reduction agents
- Herbs and supplements