Patient Portal

Surgery Instructions

General Surgery Pre-Operative Instructions

The following instructions are provided to help you understand and prepare for your upcoming surgery. Feel free to ask us about any questions you may have.

You may NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight.

You may NOT have gum, suck on hard candy, or anything by mouth the morning of surgery.

The Day of Surgery

  • Remember to bring your driver’s license, insurance card(s), and list of medications.
  • Please bathe the morning of your surgery.
  • Do not shave near your surgical site. Shaving can irritate your skin, which may lead to infection.
  • You can brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, but do not swallow any water.
  • If you’ve been asked to take routine or other medicines on the morning of surgery, please take them with a very small sip of water.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Leave jewelry and valuables at home.
  • If you wear contact lenses, please bring your glasses with you.
  • Please remove any body piercings.
  • Bring a responsible adult to remain at the hospital during your surgery and drive you home.
  • Patients under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Because of urgent cases, there may be a delay in the start of your surgery or, your start time could be earlier than expected if last minute cancellations occur. If possible, bring something to read and arrive early.

If you are going to be discharged from the hospital after surgery, you will be allowed to go home when you are fully alert. You will NOT be allowed to drive yourself home. Please make arrangements for someone to take you home.

If you take any blood thinners we MUST check with your cardiologist before you stop these medications.

DO NOT stop taking these medications unless we clear it with your doctor.

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Please notify our office of any underlying heart conditions or recent heart procedures you may have had.

Post-Operative Instructions

The following instructions will provide helpful information that will assist your recovery. These are designed to be general guidelines and are not specific to any one surgery. Remember, everyone recovers differently. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your doctor.

You should have gotten a post-op appointment when you were discharged from the facility. If you did not, please call our office to make an appointment for follow up.

Pain Medication

  • You will be given a prescription for a pain medicine after surgery.
  • Please follow the direction on the label.
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication.
  • Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach. This may make you nauseated.
  • Use a stool softener (Colace) or gentle laxative(MiraLAX or Dulcolax), as constipation is not uncommon with some pain medication.
  • If you no longer need your prescribed pain medication, you may take over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) for pain.


  • If at all possible, have someone to help you at all times.
  • Listen to your body and rest when you are tired.
  • For 12-24 hours after your operation, you may feel slightly nauseated, lightheaded, or dizzy. These are normal reactions and will pass with sufficient rest.
  • Do not lift anything heavy (over 15 pounds) or as directed by your physician.
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle; operate machinery or power tools for 24 hours or while taking pain medications.


  • Advance to your diet as directed by your physician slowly over the next day or two.
  • You may resume your normal diet if you are not having problems with nausea and vomiting. Avoid greasy, fried or spicy foods.
  • Start with a bland diet and then work your way up to a regular diet as tolerated.
  • Do not drink alcohol in the immediate postoperative period while taking pain medication.
  • Whole foods and a good intake of water will help with constipation.

Wound Care

  • Always wash your hands with warm soap and water before and after caring for your wound.
  • If you have a gauze bandage over the incision, you may remove it the morning after your surgery. At that time, you may shower.
  • If you had a port inserted, you should have a clear dressing over the site. You can shower but you do not need to get this wet for at least 3-4 days.
  • If you have narrow white tape strips over the incision (steri-strips), keep them dry for 48 hours. Do not remove them unless they are curling up at the side and almost falling off (if you remove them sooner, you risk pulling the incision apart).
  • Staples or sutures are generally removed in 7-14 days.
  • Many incisions will have buried absorbable sutures, which do not need to be removed.


  • You may shower the day after your surgery.
  • You may clean your incisions gently with clean hands and an antimicrobial soap(dial). Rinse and pat dry.
  • Do not soak in the bathtub or submerge your incisions until instructed by your doctor.

Drain Care

  • If you have a drain, record the time and amount of drainage on a piece of paper. Empty the drain every few hours or as needed. The nurse will explain how the drain works before you are discharged from the hospital.
  • Please keep our office informed of the output amounts. We will remove your drain once the drainage decreases significantly.

Call the office at 870-881-9311 if you have the following:

  • Your temperature is 101°F or higher. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever after surgery.
  • You have new redness around the incision or if pus drains from the incision.
  • Severe bleeding occurs. Apply direct pressure to the area.
  • Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or jaundice occurs (yellow tint to eyes or skin).
  • White or clay colored stools
  • Call 911 in an emergency or go to your nearest Emergency Room.

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Call (870) 881-9311