Preparing for surgery is crucial and can make the difference between a positive experience and a negative one. The following Preparation for Surgery Checklists are needed to make sure that nothing is forgotten and and bring you peace of mind.

Before My Tummy Tuck

Before I had my Tummy Tuck operation I was worried that I might have forgotten to do something before my operation. I scanned the internet compiling everything that I thought appropriate and made the following Pre-Surgery Checklist. By making it as comprehensive as possible, it gave me peace of mind that I had fully prepared for my surgery. I have included it below for other to benefit.

Pre-Surgery Checklists

Pre-Surgery Checklists are often given to the patient by the surgeon and provide advice and a list of things to do in order to get ready for the surgery. It is very important for the patient to follow the instructions carefully. The directions given by a plastic surgeon are for your own good, and they will help you have a better recovery, both physically and emotionally.

You may wish to consider combining the following list with that provided by your plastic surgeon, then reviewing with him for his approval. Some of the items listed may not be appropriate for your particular operation. Always follow the surgeons advice.

Checklists For Preparing For Surgery

The following checklists that will help you prepare for your day of surgery.

Prepare your important legal papers including your Will, Emergency contact information, Emergency Instructions, Power of Attorney papers and Living Will. Please see tummy tuck shopping for complete list.

Prepare For Surgery – One Month Before

  1. Absorbent pads with plastic underlay – sleep on or sit on to prevent blood stains. Pet training pads make a good alternative. Or use Mattress Encasements – to completely protect your bed.
  2. Wound dressings & Rolled Gauze – after the first week of recovery and after the incision was closed and partially healed I would substitute toilet paper or paper towels for the rolled gauze to save money.
  3. Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment – apply to incision areas after surgery.
  4. Antibacterial soap – bath & wash with the week before surgery and during recovery.
  5. Fever thermometer – check temperature daily for fever after surgery.
  6. Scar reducing products – to help fade and reduce scars during recovery.
  7. Moist towelettes or baby wipes – keep by your bed for general clean up after surgery.
  8. 6″ elastic bandage – use to hold rolled gauze in place for covering incision areas.
  9. Tissues.
  10. Ice packs, bags of frozen vegetables – are good for post-operative icing.
  11. Mild laxatives – may be needed during recovery. Take per your surgeons directions.
  12. Eye drops – for dry eyes.
  13. Low salt foods – to minimize swelling
  14. Acetaminophen products – such as Tylenol. Ask your doctors first.
  15. Operative medications – prescription medicines prescribed by your surgeon. Fill subscriptions before surgery.
  16. Straws – for drinking

Surgery Preparation: One Week Before Surgery

  1. A heating pad, hot water bottle or microwavable hot pack is great for a sore back from sleeping elevated for so long.
  2. Arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours following surgery.
  3. Ask your doctor about Arnica Montana (a homeopathic medicine for bruising & muscle soreness) and Bromelain (helps relieve physical stress).
  4. Ask your doctor if he thinks you may need valium to help you sleep and ease tense muscles.
  5. Bath with special antibacterial soap the week before surgery (ask you surgeon).
  6. Check your temperature and blood pressure regularly at home during recovery.
  7. Consider pre-operative blood donation.
  8. Contact your Primary Care Physician’s office to inform them of your upcoming surgery.
  9. Digital camera with spare batteries to document your recovery as well as providing before and after pictures.
  10. DO NOT EAT OR DRINK anything after midnight the night before surgery per your doctors instructions.
  11. Do your laundry and clean your house.
  12. If needed, equip your bathroom with a safety grip bar or some type of support to grab onto for the tub, toilet or shower.
  13. Fill your prescriptions given to you by your doctor.
  14. Make arrangements for kids and pets to be cared for when you come home after surgery.
  15. Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from surgery.
  16. No food, water, hard candy, chewing gum or tobacco after the specified time.
  17. Notify your physician of any changes in your health such as a cold, fever, flu or other illnesses.
  18. Obtain a copy of your surgeons pre-operation instructions.
  19. Prepare a medication time and record chart.
  20. Prepare a surgical drain time and record chart.
  21. Prepare you meals in advance.
  22. Stock the freezer with ice (to reduce swelling if needed).
  23. Stock up on food. Load your refrigerator and freezer with prepared foods that are easy to heat and serve.
  24. Stock up on nutritional food such as protein bars, protein shakes, soup, pudding, applesauce, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, juices, ginger ale and more.
  25. Stop all herbal medications and weight loss medications per your doctors orders.
  26. Stop smoking and stop medications per your doctors orders.
  27. The week before surgery (or as directed by your doctor) wash and bath with antibacterial soap.

Surgery Preparation: The Day Before Surgery

  1. At home, pre-stage anything you may need within arms reach so that you have no need stretch, reach or bend.
  2. Close your bedroom window drapes or blinds to darken the room so you can rest easier.
  3. Position a flash light on your nightstand.
  4. Have a hand mirror nearby. You may want to check out your sutures while in bed.
  5. Have a laptop computer or paper and pencil on hand if you are want to surf the net or document your post-operative thoughts in writing.
  6. Have a night light to illuminate your way to the restroom for night visits.
  7. Have a pail, paper towels and moist towelettes and plastic trash bags with tops that tie at your bedside and on the ride home. (to clean up messes).
  8. Have extra bed sheets and blankets on hand.
  9. Have lots of entertainment on hand such as movies, videogame, books, puzzles and magazines.
  10. Have plenty of clear liquids, such as water, sugar water, Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Jell-O, apple juice, pulp-free juices, soft drinks and popsicles.
  11. Have some crackers to help alleviate nausea – especially on the way home.
  12. Bring a bottle of water with you for the ride home from surgery. Sipping cool water helps alleviate nausea as well as cleans the mouth if you do vomit.
  13. Lots of pillows, prearranged on you bed to provide a cocoon for sleeping on your back with your head and feet slightly elevated.
  14. Make a list of last minute questions to ask your physician/surgeon before the surgery.
  15. Make your home “recovery-friendly.” Remove all tripping hazards and arrange furniture so you have a straight path to wherever you are going. Setup a temporary sleeping area if your house has a lot of stairs. Remove all tripping hazards.
  16. Prepare your bed (recovery area) with lots of pillows, absorbent pad underlay, books, magazines, writing materials, telephone, TV, remote control.
  17. Prepare your chair and bed with protective plastic sheeting and/or sheets and absorbent pads. Mattress Encasements –
  18. Pre-position some wet naps, baby wipes, Kleenex, paper towels, hand moisturizer or make-up removal towelettes by your bed or chair.
  19. Pre-position your robe and slippers and socks.
  20. Remove any fingernail and toenail polish the day before surgery. It is not permitted and allows the surgical staff to better determine if you are getting enough oxygen during surgery.
  21. Set your nightstand up with your medications, water, a few packages of crackers, remote control, the phone, laptop and entertainment.
  22. Take out the trash.
  23. Turn down the sound and turn off the ringer. Have the answering machine set.
  24. Wash your hair the night before surgery.

Surgery Preparation: The Day of Surgery

  1. Shower the morning of surgery.
  2. Brushing teeth is permitted the morning of surgery, rinse and spit, do not swallow water.
  3. Call the morning of your surgery to verify appointment time (in case of surgeon delays)
  4. Bring a current list of medications that you take regularly.
  5. Bring guardianship papers if applicable.
  6. Bring hearing aids if applicable.
  7. Bring identification with picture to surgery.
  8. Bring reading glasses if needed.
  9. Bring your medical insurance cards.
  10. Bring Insurance information and insurance cards.
  11. Bring Your current medical condition, past medical history, and previous surgeries.
  12. Bring Living will and/or healthcare proxy not currently on file at the hospital.
  13. Bring required signed consent forms, if applicable.
  14. Bring the name of all the medications you are currently taking, including vitamins and mineral supplements.
  15. Bring names and phone numbers of all your doctors.
  16. Bring all of your medications with you to the hospital/surgical center.
  17. Do not bring jewelry or other valuables, including wedding bands or body piercing. Do not wear makeup, deodorant, hairpins, nail polish, body powder, or contact lenses.
  18. Any allergies you may have, plus past adverse reactions to drugs or to anesthesia.
  19. Wear loose clothing on the day of surgery.
  20. Have a responsible adult drive you to the surgery and drive you home after.