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Preparing for Outpatient Surgery

By now, you’ve been told that you’ll be having outpatient surgery. This is also called sameday or ambulatory surgery. It means you’ll stay at the hospital or surgery center for less than 24 hours. If you plan ahead, recovering at home can be comfortable. Start with a few of the tips listed below.


Prepare Your Home

Don’t let household chores slow your recovery or make it more painful. Plan now so you’ll have less to do after surgery. Try to:

  • Prepare and freeze meals ahead of time.

  • Clear clutter and stray cords from floors to prevent falls.

  • Arrange for an adult to stay with you, if needed, your first few days home.

  • Ask someone to help care for children or pets until you feel better.

  • Have some treats ready to take your mind off the pain. Rent a few videos, or check out some library books.


Prepare Yourself

Preparing your body for surgery helps limit problems later. Be sure to:

  • Stop eating and drinking after the midnight before surgery, or as directed.

  • Ask when to stop taking aspirin or other blood thinners, herbs, vitamins, and supplements. Some can interfere with surgery. Others interact with medications.

  • Ask which medications to keep taking. If told to take medication on the day of surgery, do so with only a sip of water, or as directed.

  • If you smoke, cut down or quit.

  • Know when to arrive for surgery. Get there on time.

© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.