Instructions for Surgery

Enter via the Hospital Main Lobby. Walk through the lobby, take the elevator on the left to the second floor and turn right. Check in with the volunteer at the desk.

Please review the following information before your visit to better understand what you need to do to prepare for surgery.


Registration, Insurance & Testing

During your pre-operative visit with the surgeon, the office staff will schedule your surgery and send the required registration information to the hospital. Your surgeon’s office and a financial counselor at Doylestown Hospital will verify your insurance.

Your surgeon may order pre-admission testing and will have your registration and presurgical testing forms sent to the hospital. A hospital scheduler will call you to schedule your pre-admission appointment. If you need to fast from food for blood work, you will be told so. You may drink water only.

Your insurance plan may require you to have testing done at another site or at your primary care doctor’s office. If so, you may not need come to the hospital for a pre-admission appointment. A Registered Nurse will call you the day before your surgery to review your health history and give you specific instructions.

Your Pre-Admission Visit

It is important to be prepared for your pre-admission visit. Wear comfortable clothing, i.e. a button front shirt and socks for easy access for testing. A registrar will verify your insurance, other information and collect co-payments (if applicable). You must bring the following with you:

Nurse Interview/ Testing

During your visit you will meet with a pre-admission nurse to review your health history and be given instructions to follow before and after surgery. This interview is a perfect time for you to ask questions you may have about your surgery. Pre-admission studies may include blood tests, urinalysis, x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, Pulmonary Function Studies or electrocardiograms (ECG).

Preparing Children for Surgery

Our goal is to care for the special needs of children during their surgical and anesthesia experience. During your pre-admission visit, your child will be given a tour of Same Day Services. A room is available with a TV. Bringing a familiar toy to the hospital may help your child feel more secure. Assure your child that coming to the hospital is only for a short time and that they will be going back home. Encourage your child to ask questions. Be honest with your answers.

Preparing for Surgery


During your visit with the surgeon and hospital pre-admission nurse, the medicines you take will be reviewed. You may be told to stop taking some medicines such as aspirin, blood thinners and MAO inhibitors. Be sure to have an up-to-date list of all your prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including supplements, with dosage.


For the comfort of all patients and visitors, we ask that only one visitor be at your bedside. Both parents of children that are having surgery are allowed. Please have other children under 16 years of age cared for at home.

Services/ Special Needs

Non-English speaking patients may use family members as interpreters. If a patient has special needs (physical disabilities, hearing impairment, is ventilator dependent or mentally challenged), please tell the Pre-Admission nurse so that we can plan ahead.

If you have any health changes between your last visit to your surgeon and the day of surgery, tell your surgeon. These include a fever, sore throat, cough or cold. If you think that you may be pregnant, tell your surgeon.

Pre-Operative Patient Instructions

Follow the instructions given to you by your Surgeon or Primary Care Doctor about your surgery or medicine. If you have not received instructions, please follow these guidelines as advised by Doylestown Hospital’s Department of Anesthesia.

The Day Before Surgery

  • Call your surgeon’s office between 3 and 4 PM the day before surgery to find out what time to come the hospital. Call the Surgeon’s office on Friday if your surgery is scheduled for Monday.
  • The day before your surgery drink more fluid than you usually do, especially water. Stop drinking alcohol at least 2 days before surgery. Caffeine
    and alcohol may dehydrate you.
  • Do not smoke after midnight before surgery. Smoking slows healing.

General Instructions for Preparing for Surgery

(unless you have been given other instructions by your surgeon)

  • Adult Fasting Guidelines:
    • Nothing to eat (solid foods) for 8 hours before your arrival time for surgery.
    • You may have clear liquids (water, apple or cranberry juice ONLY). Take in small amounts (no more than 3 ounces).
    • Absolutely no fluids for the last 2 hours before arrival time for surgery.
    • No chewing gum or sucking candy.
    • You may take a sip of water if told to take medicines before surgery.
  • Pediatric Fasting Guidelines – (Ages newborn to 17 years):
    • May have clear liquids up to 2 hours before arrival time for surgery.
    • May have breast milk up to 4 hours before arrival time for surgery.
    • May have formula up to 6 hours before arrival time for surgery.
    • No solid foods for 8 hours before arrival time for surgery.
  • Skin Conditions: Let your surgeon know if you have any rashes, cuts, or non-healing sores before you come to the hospital for your surgery.
  • Jewelry/Piercings: Remove ALL jewelry and leave at home to avoid problems with blood flow (includes rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces or others). Piercings worn during surgery may increase risk of infection, or damage your skin.
  • Valuables: Leave jewelry, money, wallets, credit cards and other valuables at home. (Unless you are told to bring in a co-pay)
  • Contact Lenses: Remove before surgery. You may bring glasses.
  • Nail Enhancements: Remove acrylics, wraps or polish from fingernails for shoulder, arm or hand surgery and from toenails for hip, leg or foot surgery.
  • Dentures or Mouth Appliances: Your Anesthesiologist will talk to you about this.
  • Tampons: Remove before surgery.
  • Hair Styling Products Containing Alcohol: Do not use hairsprays and gels before surgery.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be told to remove your underwear before surgery.
  • Cell Phones: Are not allowed in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Operating Room, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Catheterization Lab.
  • An Escort Driver: If you are being discharged the same day of surgery a person 18 years of age or older is needed to take you home. Someone should be with you for the first 24 hours after surgery to help you.
  • Medicines: Please bring your blood pressure and/or heart medicines in the original container with you on the morning of surgery.

Download the Pre-Operative Patient Instructions(pdf)

The Morning of Surgery

Check in with the volunteer on the second floor of the Main Lobby.

When you arrive, a nurse from Same Day Services will greet you and take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. For your type of your surgery, you may need to have surgical stockings applied, a prep of the surgical area or an IV (intravenous) line.

An anesthesiologist will visit with you, review your health history and talk about anesthesia options.

You will be taken to the operating room on a stretcher. We will make every effort to keep your scheduled surgical time. If your surgery is delayed we will tell you.

After Surgery

Your family or visitor may wait in the second floor atrium during your surgery and recovery time. If they opt to leave the hospital, they need to give us a contact phone number so that we can let them know when you are ready to go home.

You will wake up in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)/Recovery Room or in Same Day Services. Your vital signs (blood pressure, heart beat, etc.) will be checked often and you may be given oxygen. Please tell your nurse if you are nauseated or uncomfortable so that you can be made as comfortable as possible.

Going Home

You will be discharged from Same Day Services. At the time of your discharge, your nurse will give you written instructions to follow for your care at home. Once home, you may feel sleepy, slightly dizzy or nauseated. We advise that you have someone with you during the first 24 hours after surgery to help you. It is advised that you arrange for childcare as well.

If you are staying overnight, you will be taken to a hospital room from the PACU (recovery room). At the time of your discharge, your nurse will give you written instructions to follow for your care once home.

Infection Prevention

While in the hospital, everyone who comes into your room to care for you or to visit you should first wash their hands with soap and water or the alcohol hand rub. Wash your hands often. Do not touch your incision. When at home, wash your hands before and after wound care. If your incision is red, hot, swollen, is draining, or if you have a fever, call your doctor immediately.

Download the Instructions for Surgery(pdf)