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Preparing for Surgery

Your surgery is very important, and the best way for you to prepare is to take care of yourself, eat well and get plenty of rest. At Howard County General Hospital, we are committed to ensuring that your stay with us is safe, successful, and convenient. Always review your doctor’s instructions for specific directions, and if you have questions or concerns, please call your doctor or our preoperative nurse at 410-884-4526.

Important things to remember

  • If you become ill or experience any change in your health before surgery, contact your surgeon or the preoperative nurse at the hospital immediately.
  • If you are a woman of childbearing age and suspect you are pregnant, please notify your surgeon immediately.
  • Transportation: Please arrange for an adult to drive you home from the hospital, and to stay with you for 24 hours following surgery. If you do not make such arrangements, your surgery will be cancelled.
  • You may receive a preoperative health assessment call one to three days in advance of your surgery.
  • Many of our forms may be filled out in advance.

What to do on the day of surgery

  • Do not eat any solid food or drink any liquids after midnight. This includes water and chewing gum.
  • When you brush your teeth, rinse your mouth without swallowing any liquid.
  • Take only medications your physician has instructed, with a small sip of water.
  • Shower or bathe to minimize the chance of infection.
  • Wear or bring loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Wear flat shoes – well fitted slip-on styles are best, but not flip-flops.
  • Remove any body-piercing jewelry.
  • Leave all jewelry and valuables home.
  • Please bring your glasses for reading and your eyeglass case.
  • Young children who will be undergoing surgery may bring a comforting toy or blanket with them.

What to bring with you on the day of surgery

  • Bring a list of all your current medications and pills, including name, dosage and how often each is taken. This includes all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal remedies. Do not bring the bottles.
  • Bring asthma inhalers if you use them.
  • Bring your completed insurance forms, your insurance or Medicare card, any co-pays and a photo I.D.
  • Bring personal hygiene items including a toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo.  The hospital will provide soap, towels, linens and hospital gowns.
  • If you are staying overnight, please leave your overnight bag in the car. Your family may bring it in after your surgery when you have been taken to your room.
  • If you have an advance directive, bring a copy with you.

For the safety of all of our patients, personal electrical appliances such as hairdryers, electric razors, radios and televisions are prohibited within the hospital. Laptop computers, cell phones, battery-operated radios, DVD players and MP3 players are permitted. For the consideration of other patients, however, please use headphones when listening.

Go to Day of Surgery


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