Lifespan Surgical Services

Preparing for Surgery

Will you be having a surgery at Rhode Island Hospital or The Miriam Hospital? Patients and their loved ones can “know before they go” with Lifespan's Preparing for Surgery brochure, containing vital information on surgery preparation and post-operative care to prevent complications. From quitting smoking to medication instructions, showering protocols, and what to expect during and after surgery, this guide provides patients with all of the information they need to be prepared for their procedure.

Preparing for Surgery Brochure

Patient Guide: Preparing for Surgery

This guide contains vital information on surgery preparation and post-operative care to prevent complications.

View the guide:

How Should I Prepare for Surgery?

Preparing for your surgery begins with some advance planning and modifications to your daily routine.

Instructions for planning include:

  • Fasting. Do not eat after midnight the night before surgery. This includes any food, candy, and gum.
  • Clear liquids. If your surgery or surgeon permits, you may drink three small glasses (8-ounces each) of (only) water or apple juice the morning of surgery. This needs to be finished two hours prior to arrival time. Do not substitute any other liquid and no coffee.
  • Alcohol/smoking. No smoking the day before or the day of surgery. This includes all products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and marijuana. You may not drink alcohol for at least 12 hours prior to arrival time.
  • Assistive devices. You may wear your glasses, hearing aids, or dentures, but please bring a case to keep them safe. Contact lenses are not allowed.
  • Cell phones. You may bring your cell phone, fully charged. If you will be staying overnight, bring your charger.
  • ID and health insurance. Bring a photo ID and your health insurance card and any required payments.
  • Medications. You will also need to bring a list of your medications including vitamins and supplements and the time of the last dose. 
  • Sleep apnea. If you use a device for sleeping or use oxygen at night, please bring your device settings if possible unless otherwise instructed.
  • Jewelry/piercings. No jewelry of any kind is allowed. All piercings, rings (including wedding rings) must be removed prior to arrival to avoid cancellation or delay of surgery. We will not be responsible for any valuables brought to the hospital. 
  • Cosmetics. Do not wear makeup or perfume the day of surgery.
  • Surgeon's instructions. If your surgeon has given any additional or different instructions, please follow those instructions. This may include taking special medications, adhering to a restricted diet or beverage plan, or administering a bowel prep the day before surgery.
  • Arrival time. Your arrival time will be provided to you by the facility where you are having your surgery or by your surgeon by the business day before surgery. Pre-admission Testing does not have this information.
  • In case of illness. Call your surgeon's office if you become sick or develop any skin condition in the days leading up to your surgery.
  • Discharge plan. If you are not being admitted after surgery, a person over 18 years of age specifically responsible for your care, must accompany you home. This does not include the driver of a ride service or public transportation.

Instructions for showering before your surgery


Frequently Asked Questions Related to Your Surgery

What time should you arrive? What if you aren't feeling well? Find the answers you need to know.