Preparing For Surgery

Follow the steps below to prepare for surgery.

History and Physical and Pre-Admission Testing (PAT)

Prior to surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will require you to have a complete physical examination by your primary care physician. Review with your primary care physician all the medications you currently take; he or she may want to discuss your medications with your surgeon. They may want you to discontinue certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.

Your surgeon's office will also schedule an appointment for your pre-admission testing. During this pre-admission visit, a nurse will make sure you have your physical completed or scheduled to be completed, and will go over with you what you should expect the day of surgery. You will also have any necessary pre-admission testing performed at this time. This may include bloodwork, a chest x-ray, an EKG, etc.

Please Bring the Following to Pre-Admission Testing:

Pink pre-admission order sheet from your doctor's office (if given to you)
A list of all your medications, including herbal preparations with dosages
Copy of a living will or durable power of attorney (if you have one)
If you have had a chest x-ray or EKG within the last year, please bring a copy of the results with you.
Pre-Admission Check-In at Covenant Medical Center

Use the Clinic Entrance and parking lot at the southeast corner of Covenant Medical Center. Check in at the reception desk. Pre-Admission Testing may take 30 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on the type of surgery and necessary testing.

Pre-Admission Check-In at Sartori Memorial Hospital

Use the Patient Entrance and parking lot at the north side of the building. Check in at the reception desk. Pre-Admission Testing may take 30 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on the type of surgery and necessary testing.


Admission personnel will call you at home, prior to your surgery date, to obtain necessary personal data (address, insurance, etc). Please make sure your insurance provider has been notified, if necessary.

The Night Before Surgery

  • Notify your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms: fever, cough, flu, cold, rash, or an open sore prior to the day of surgery.
  • Take a bath or shower either the night before or morning of surgery.
  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages within 24 hours before your surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise instructed by preadmission testing. This means absolutely nothing unless your doctor has instructed you to take your medication. This includes snacks, gum, juice, coffee, and water. If you do eat or drink before your operation, surgery may be postponed or cancelled.

The Day of Surgery

  • No smoking the morning of surgery.
  • Take morning medication only if instructed to do so. If you use inhalers, insulin or eye drops, bring them to the hospital. If you have any questions about your medications, call your doctor.
  • Dress in comfortable clothing- button down shirt and loose pants.
  • Children may wear two piece sleepwear. If your child uses a bottle or diapers, please bring these for after surgery. Bring a change of underwear.
  • No makeup, nail polish, or jewelry. Our anesthesiologists use the appearance and color of your natural fingernails as an indication of your condition.
  • Do not bring valuables including money, rings, earrings, or other jewelry.
  • Wear your hair loose. No braids, hair pins, barrettes, etc.
  • Bring a case for your glasses and contacts.
  • The hospital will provide a gown and slippers for you.

If you have questions on the day of surgery, call the Ambulatory Surgery Department:

Covenant Ambulatory Surgery Department: 319-272-7400
Sartori Ambulatory Surgery Department: 319-268-3146

Advice for Patients

Be an active member of your health care team by taking part in every decision about your health care.
If you are having surgery or an invasive procedure, make sure you and the health care professional treating you all agree on exactly what will be done during the surgery.

Ask questions and voice any concerns which you may have in regards to your procedure. Ask members of the health care team what steps will be taken to ensure your safety and correct site surgery.

Make sure the operative permit you sign includes the correct information about your surgical site (right or left) and procedure. Thoroughly read all medical forms, and make sure you understand them before you sign any forms.

You will have the surgical or procedure site marked with a permanent marker by a health care team member.

Verify the information on your patient identity bracelet. Alert a health care team member if the information is incorrect and insist the bracelet be replaced immediately. There will be numerous members of the health care team checking your patient identity bracelet throughout your stay.

Take a responsible family member or friend to accompany you to your doctor's visits and on the day of your surgery or procedure so that they can serve as your advocate and speak up for you if you are unable.

Bring a notebook or paper and write down any questions you have or information you need.