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Patients > While at Stamford > Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Your Surgery

One to three days prior to surgery, a nurse from Stamford Hospital’s Pre-Surgical Testing Center will call you to review your medical history, discuss your procedure, answer any questions, and advise you on what you can expect and what to bring on the day of surgery. Please have information on your medical history and current medications ready.
  • You will be advised by your surgeon or the surgical center on your expected arrival time. 
  • Chest x-rays, EKG, and lab tests are not required unless specifically ordered by your surgeon or primary care physician, and are medically indicated. If your surgeon has requested that you be “typed and screened” or “typed and cross-matched” for blood products, for patient safety, this test must be performed at a Stamford Hospital laboratory rather than any other independent testing sites. 
  • You will also receive a phone call to discuss financial information about your insurance coverage for the procedure, your copayment, and other required payments.
  • For your convenience, Tully Health Center has a Pre-Surgical Testing Center where all preoperative testing and preparation for surgery can be completed. 
  • If you are hearing impaired or require a translator, please advise us so that we may make the necessary arrangements. 

In preparation for your procedure:

  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT, including water, unless otherwise instructed.
  • If you take daily medications, please check with your surgeon or physician.  If recommended, these medications may be taken with a sip of water.
  • Please discuss any nutritional or herbal supplements that you take with your surgeon, as most of these should be discontinued 7-10 days prior to your surgery.
  • DO NOT SHAVE THE PLANNED SURGICAL AREA AND DO NOT APPLY ANY CREAMS OR LOTIONS TO THE AREA. If there is a rash or break in the skin near the surgical area please inform your physician PRIOR to the day of your surgery.
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.  Avoid form-fitting or constrictive clothing, such as jeans or tight-fitting shirts. If you wear dentures or contact lenses, you will be asked to remove them. 
  • You will need to make arrangements to have a responsible adult (over 18 years old) drive you home following your surgery. We recommend that you have someone stay with you the first twenty-four hours following your surgery. Your procedure will not be performed unless proper transportation arrangements are in place.
  • You may be given a prescription for postoperative pain medication or equipment (crutches/brace) during your pre-surgical evaluation at your surgeon’s office. It is best to fill all prescriptions prior to your surgery. 
  • For lower extremity surgery (hip, knee, ankle, foot): If you require crutches or a cane following your surgery, bring them with you. Wear loose-fitting pants or shorts.
  • For upper extremity surgery (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand): Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may be sent home with a sling following your surgery. Wear a loose-fitting, button-front shirt to assist in your comfort following surgery.
  • DO NOT bring: Large quantities of clothing, valuables. Please remove nail polish, rings, and all jewelry, including piercings.

On the day of surgery:

  • Please report to the registration desk located at either Stamford Hospital, Whittingham Pavilion 2nd floor, or the Tully Health Center 3rd floor. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and directed to the preoperative area.  Your family member or guest may wait with you in the preoperative area after the admission process.
  • The nurse caring for you will review your medical information, answer questions, and prepare you for your procedure.  At this time, you will change into a patient gown for surgery.  If you wear dentures or contact lenses, you will be asked to remove them.  All jewelry must be removed, including wedding rings. If you wear a hearing aid, please have it with you.
  • Your anesthesiologist will meet with you in the surgical area to discuss your anesthesia. Your surgeon will also see you before surgery. Your operating room nurse will then greet you and escort you into the operating room.
  • A nurse liaison will be on hand to keep you and your family informed of your progress throughout your surgical experience.
  • Bring your insurance card, a photo ID and your copayment.
  • Bring any pertinent medical information, including a list of all current prescribed medications, over the counter medications and vitamins/herbal supplements.
  • Please bring a copy of your advanced directive and/or power of attorney where applicable.
  • All minors must be accompanied by a legal parent or guardian.

After surgery

  • When the surgical procedure is finished, you will be transported to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit, where a nurse will monitor your progress.  Once you are awake, sitting up, and taking some fluids, your family member or guest may join you. In the second stage recovery area you will receive your postoperative instructions.  
  • If you are going home the day of surgery, a staff member will accompany you and your family member to your car after discharge.  A responsible adult (18 or older) must accompany you home after surgery, as you will not be able to take a taxi or drive yourself home after having anesthesia. We recommend that you have someone stay with you the first 24 hours following your surgery. 
  • When you leave the facility, please be sure that someone will be staying with you to care for you immediately after your surgery.
  • A nurse from the Surgery Center will call you within 72 hours of your surgery to see if you have any questions.  Should you have any problems the evening or night of surgery, please be sure to call your doctor’s office or answering service or go to the nearest emergency room.


  • In addition to your surgery bill, you will also receive separate bills for services provided by physicians and other healthcare professionals. These may include:
    • Stamford Anesthesiology Services 203.348.2614
    • Stamford Pathology Group: 203.276.4067
    • Pre-admission Testing Center: 203.276.4840
    • Tully Surgical Center: 203.276.6163
    • Hospital Day Surgery: 203.276.7016
    • Surgery Registration: 203.276.7312
    • Billing Customer Service: 203.276.7572
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