How to get ready for a medical procedure

doctor and patientVisiting the hospital can be stressful, whether it’s a minor, routine procedure or major surgery. Talk with your healthcare team, and use this checklist as you or your loved one prepare for a medical procedure.

  • Unless your doctor tells you differently, do not drink or eat anything after midnight. This includes candy, gum, mints and water.
  • Remove makeup, nail polish and jewelry, such as body piercings and earrings.
  • Bathe or shower. Your healthcare team may provide special soap. Do not apply lotion, powder or skin care products after bathing or showering.
  • Collect all your important forms and paperwork—consent forms, insurance information and medical history—as well as prescription and nonprescription medications.
  • Wear casual, loose-fitting clothes and glasses instead of contact lenses. Bring a case for your glasses.

Before you leave home for your procedure, consider the environment you’ll return to and your continuing care. For example, you may need to move furniture to make wider walkways and remove rugs so you don’t trip. Will you be able to care for yourself? Prepare and freeze food for easy meals, arrange for a loved one to stay with you and ask for help with caring for your pets.

It is also important that you talk with your healthcare team before the procedure. Let them know if you experience any health changes, including a cold, high fever, flu or other signs of infection.

Durham Regional Hospital provides a comprehensive range of diagnostic, medical and surgical services. To learn more, visit

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