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The shoulder
Hand surgery

Preparing for Surgery: What to Bring to the Hospital

By now, many preoperative conversations with the surgeon have taken place and you are fully informed about the surgical procedure. And, your surgeon, other participating medical professionals and the hospital are prepared. So, what do you need to do yourself to prepare? We’ve prepared the checklist for you. You will want to bring:

  • A list of all medications, over-the-counter drugs and vitamins that you take (your doctor and healthcare team will ask you many questions regarding this. Be forthright about this information, as it will be important to your recovery.)
  • A list of your drug and food allergies and sensitivities (very important, too!!!)
  • Your insurance card
  • Copies of any legal documents if you have a medical proxy or power of attorney
  • The name and phone number of your primary contact while you are in surgery or, if you are having same-day surgery, the name and phone number of the person who will be picking you up
  • DO NOT BRING valuables or jewelry
  • Give your cell phone, reading glasses, hearing aids and other personal items to a friend or family member before you go into the operating room. These items will be returned to you when you are awake and in recovery.

While you are at the hospital, an I.D. band will be given to you. If the band comes off, be sure to have it replaced. The hospital will provide everything you need, bed clothes, slippers, pain medication, etc.

Pre-surgery, you will continually be asked some of the same questions, such as what are your drug allergies and identification of the surgical site. This repetition is planned, and you should expect these questions from your team over and over again. Some of these questions that you may be asked repeatedly include:

  • Do you have diabetes and take diabetic medications?
  • Do you take any blood thinners?
  • Do you or any member of your family have a history of problems with surgery — such as adverse reactions to anesthesia — or problems with medications?

Finally, your doctor will review, discuss and then ask you to sign a consent form that clearly outlines the surgical procedure.

It is important that you be a good patient by giving the doctors and medical workers who will be participating in your procedure truthful and comprehensive answers and information to the questions they ask. This will get you the best care possible.