Day Before Surgery Checklist

If you fail to follow these instructions, your surgery may be canceled.

What to Do:

  • Arrange to have a responsible adult (at least 18 years of age) to drive or to accompany you home (if using public transportation). We recommend that person stay with you for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. If you are unaccompanied on the day of surgery, your surgery will be rescheduled or canceled.
  • Plan to bring your government-issued photo identification (for example, driver's license, state ID, passport), insurance information, prescription information and co-payment if needed.
  • Payment will be needed for parking if not receiving outpatient surgery. Learn more about parking and entrances at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
  • Follow physician and/or ATC instructions about which medications you are allowed to take and not take.
  • Plan to leave valuables, large amounts of cash, credit cards and jewelry at home or with a friend for safe keeping. The hospital is not responsible for lost/stolen items.
  • Remove all makeup, nail polish, piercings/jewelry, etc. from your body.
  • Have storage cases for contacts, glasses, dentures, etc. during surgery.
  • Call your surgeon's office if you are feeling ill.

What Not to Do:

  • Do not smoke, eat, or drink anything, including water, candy, gum, mints and lozenges after midnight on the night before surgery. If you do not follow these instructions, your surgery may be cancelled or delayed.
  • Do not shave your surgical area before your procedure. It will be done by the hospital staff.
  • Avoid bringing any sort of baggage or valuables with you to surgery. If you want belongings for your inpatient stay, have a friend or family member bring them after your surgery. The Hospital Center is not responsible for the loss of items.
  • Do not bring any dependents with you. Plan for someone to care for all dependents (children and adults) during your surgical stay.

What to Expect:

  • Your surgeon's office will call you the day before surgery.

Contact Us
If you have any questions, please call the Admission Testing Center (ATC) at 202-877-7169.