Checklist for Surgery


By Your Side as You Prepare for Surgery

The decision to have surgery is a very important one. You will need to be fully informed and prepared for the surgery, as well as for any special needs that you may have following the surgery. Your preparation will affect the outcome and the results. The following is a checklist to assist you in your preparation for surgery:

  • Make a list of questions to ask your physician/surgeon regarding the type of surgery recommended.
  • Determine if the surgical procedure is right for you.
  • Obtain a second opinion, if desired.
  • Check with your health plan regarding costs and coverages of the upcoming surgery.
  • Obtain costs from physicians and hospital or outpatient facility.
  • Schedule the surgery.
  • Prepare lists of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements that you are currently taking (or have recently taken) for physicians; review with the anesthesiologist and surgeons.
  • Schedule preoperative laboratory tests.
  • Arrange for preoperative interview with the anesthesiologist.
  • Follow all instructions during the weeks and days preceding surgery.
  • Discontinue indicated prescription or over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements prior to surgery, as directed by your surgeon/physician.
  • Arrange for necessary home care, equipment, etc., following surgery.
  • Sign all informed consent, and other legal forms, before surgery.
  • Quit smoking to help in your recovery process.

What is "informed consent"?

Prior to surgery, you will receive a careful explanation of the procedure, its purpose, any risks, and the expected outcome. You may also be asked to sign an "informed consent" form, which states in detail that you understand everything involved with your surgery. You should read through the consent carefully before signing it. If you have any questions or need more information, ask your physician.

What are "advance directives"?

Advance directives are legal documents that state a patient’s preference in treatment and resuscitation -- if the patient is unable to speak for himself or herself. In an effort to advocate for your wishes, we strongly encourage all our patients to complete an advanced directive. If you fill these out; bring them with you and tell the physician you have them.

What about minors consent to medical care?

Parental consent is required for any diagnostic procedure or surgery on a pre-adolescent child. However, "mature minor/emancipated adolescents" may consent to their own medical care. This is someone who meets any of the following criteria:

  • is married
  • financially independent & living apart from the guardian with their permission
  • has a child
  • is in the military service

Insurance information

After a patient is diagnosed and surgery is recommended, most insurance companies require "precertification" from the physician’s office before allowing a patient to undergo the procedure. Please check with your insurance carrier on the appropriate steps to take. Some insurance companies also require patients to pay a co-payment for the hospital stay.