Preparing for Surgery
The preparation for surgery varies slightly according to the nature of the operation to be performed. Ask your doctor if you need any special medical preparation for your procedure.
Prior To Your Procedure
If you are having a procedure, please also:
- Do not apply any powder, creams, lotions or make-up
- Please follow instructions from your doctor and hospital nursing staff, including fasting instructions.
Generally you should not eat or drink (except for water) for at least six hours prior to your procedure, unless your doctor has indicated otherwise. You may drink water up to three hours prior to your admission.
The fasting time may vary, depending on the type of anaesthetic you are having. You will be advised when to commence fasting by hospital staff prior to your admission. If fasting instructions are not followed, your procedure may have to be postponed in the interests of your safety.
If you take any regular medication (including non-prescription medications) you should discuss this with your doctor. You may need specific instructions regarding which medications you should cease and which you should continue.
Generally, you should take your regular morning medication at 6.00am with a sip of water. If your procedure is in the afternoon and you usually take your medication at lunchtime, you should take those at 11am with a sip of water.
Exceptions to this are:
Aspirin and anti inflammatory medications
- Patients attending Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory (eg for coronary angiogram/stent, electrophysiology studies) should continue taking aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or warfarin unless instructed otherwise by your cardiologist.
- All other patients should cease taking these medicines 10 days prior to your procedure unless you are taking it for your heart or for stroke prevention. If you are taking aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover), warfarin or anticoagulants for a heart condition or stroke prevention, you should seek specific instructions from your surgeon and cardiologist as to when or if these medications should be ceased.
- Patients with coronary artery stents, any vascular stent or cardiac implant should discuss with their cardiologist or surgeon before ceasing the drugs listed above.
- Patients attending the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory or the Radiology Department who are taking the diabetes medication metformin may need to cease metformin 48 hrs prior to certain procedures. Your doctor or nursing staff in these departments will advise if this applies to you.
- For all patients - it is important that you discuss diabetes medication instructions with your doctor prior to your procedure.
Herbal (complementary / alternative) medicines
- If you are having a procedure, you should cease taking these medicines for 10 days prior to your procedure unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.