Before Your Surgery

When Your Doctor Schedules You for Surgery

Shortly after you are scheduled for surgery, our preregistration staff will call you. We will obtain the following information during this call:

  • Full legal name
  • Mailing address and phone number
  • Employment information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Insurance information, including ID numbers and a claim address

If you have not been contacted by the preregistration staff 5 business days prior to your scheduled procedure, please call the preregistration office at 425.251.5193.

If you are having inpatient surgery, or if you are 60 or older and are having outpatient surgery, we ask that you make an appointment to see our preoperative liaison nurse before surgery. (This is not required for patients having a local anesthetic or unless medically indicated.) You can make an appointment when you preregister. Please bring paperwork you have received from your doctor with you when you see the liaison nurse. Your preoperative appointment will take place at the STAR (Surgical Testing and Registration) clinic located in Valley Medical Center's Surgical Services.

Your Visit with the Preoperative Liaison Nurse

Since most patients are admitted the morning of surgery, a scheduled appointment with the liaison nurse will help prepare you by taking care of necessary procedures before your operation. He will perform a nursing assessment interview and basic physical exam and answer any questions you may have. During this visit, please bring a list of all medications and dosages you take, both prescription and over the counter.

The nurse will also arrange for an electrocardiogram (EKG), if necessary, or any lab test required for your surgery. The liaison nurse will give you instructions for your part in your care, both before and after surgery.

Important Preparations for Surgery

Do not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery, or as instructed by your surgeon. This includes water. Your doctor may refer to this requirement as NPO, which means "nothing by mouth." If the patient is a child, please watch carefully to ensure the child does not eat or drink anything without your knowledge. Babies under 2 years may eat or drink as usual before midnight; after midnight you may give them water or apple juice only. Stop all fluids 6 hours before the baby's scheduled surgery time.

  • If you currently take prescription drugs such as blood pressure, seizure, heart, or asthma medications, take them before surgery, as you normally would, but with the smallest amount of water possible. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
  • If you are a diabetic patient requiring insulin, check with your doctor regarding your insulin requirement before surgery
  • Check with your doctor if you have been taking any over-the-counter medications, including aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Do not wear contact lenses, makeup, lotions, powders, or perfumes the day of surgery.

What You Need to Know About All Surgeries–Outpatient and Inpatient

  • Please be aware your scheduled surgery time is only an estimate. Although every attempt will be made to keep your surgery on schedule, your actual surgery time will depend on the amount of time required for cases before yours and the need to prioritize any emergency surgeries.
  • It is important we are able to contact you prior to your surgery to notify you of any schedule changes. If you cannot be reached at your home phone, please call us with a number where you can be contacted.
  • You will be asked to sign Consent to Care and Financial Responsibility forms. If the patient is under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must sign these forms.
  • A nurse will fill out a preoperative checklist. If you wear dentures, eyeglasses, contact lenses, a hearing aid, or jewelry, you will be asked to remove them for safekeeping.