Five things to do and know before your surgery

Planning for your surgery can feel overwhelming, but our team at Northern Light Health is here to simplify it for you and your loved ones so that you can focus on what matters most: your health. Here are five things you can do to help you prepare for surgery:

  1. Arrange to have a responsible support person accompany you to and from surgery. The person you choose will receive your discharge instructions and will drive you home, so it’s important that they have a valid driver’s license and transportation, excellent listening skills, and know the right questions to ask if necessary. Your support person should also remain with you for at least 24 hours after your surgery.

  2. Preregistration is required before your surgery. If registration hasn’t reached you prior to your appointment, please call them at 207.973.8900 or 1.888.973.8900 between 7 am and 6 pm Monday through Friday, and 7 am to 2:30 pm Saturday. 

  3. Do not consume alcohol within 24 hours of your surgery. Avoid chewing gum, candy, and solid foods beginning the midnight before your surgery. Unless you’re told otherwise, you may consume apple juice, coffee, or black tea, and water up until two hours before your surgery.

  4. Don’t forget to pack! There are some important items you’re going to want to bring with you to your surgery, including:

  • A complete list of medications your take. You’ll want to bring an inhaler if you use one, but other medications should be left at home unless you’re instructed to by your surgical team. If you use a CPAP machine, and you’re going to stay at the hospital overnight, bring that with you.
  • ​ Loose, comfortable clothing.
  • A case for your glasses, contact lenses, dentures, and hearing aids.
  • Adults may want to bring small electronic devices, like a cellphone, and children may want a stuffed toy, blanket, or electronic tablet.

There are also several things you should leave at home or avoid, including:

  • All jewelry, including body piercings and your wedding band. It’s a good idea to leave all valuables at home.
  • On the morning of your surgery, do not use deodorant, skin cream, perfume or cologne. The person accompanying you should also avoid scented products.
  • Remove all nail polish.
  • Do not use dental adhesive.
  1. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to know where you’re going. Our team can certainly help navigate you, but it will be much easier for you and for your support person if you can easily locate the hospital, the best entrance for your procedure, and where your surgery will be taking place. This will not only make the process more efficient for you, but it will also help put your mind at ease before surgery.

If you have any questions regarding your surgery, consult the instructions provided to you by your surgical team, or call or email them in the weeks or days leading up to your procedure.