Outpatient surgery preparation

Operating SuitePatients having surgery are usually admitted to the hospital the morning of their surgery or have their surgery as an outpatient. Outpatient surgery reduces the cost of hospitalization and minimizes separation from your home and family.

Preparation for surgery is very important.

For questions or more specific information about your care, please  call the following departments between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.:

Outpatient Surgery Center - (831) 625-4990

Short Stay Unit - (831) 625-4825

Family Birth Center - (831) 625-4773



  To-do list before surgery

  • Our Patient Access department will contact you by telephone prior to your surgery to discuss registration information, insurance coverage, and payment.
  • You will be called by a staff member from the Outpatient Surgery Center to review your health history, give you instructions, and answer any questions you might have. Please have a list of your medications, including dosages and any allergies, available.
  • If you have blood drawn in preparation for surgery or a transfusion after surgery, continue to wear the red wristband you were given when the blood was drawn.  
  • Complete all diagnostic tests.  
  • If you smoke, reduce or stop smoking two weeks before surgery. If you want to stop smoking, check out our stop-smoking program, Kick the Nic, by calling 883-5660, or call the toll-free smoker's helpline in California, (800) 622-8887.
  • Arrange for someone to take care of your children, pets, and other home obligations.
  • If you are going home on the same day, we recommend that an adult be present in your home to assist you until the next day.
  • Notify your surgeon if you:
    • Take aspirin, insulin, anticoagulants, antidepressants, heart or blood pressure medications, or herbal products
    • Develop a cold, fever, or change in health
  • To prevent infection and promote healing after surgery:
    • Tell your surgeon about skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, rashes, or recurrent boils and follow the prescribed treatment for them.
  • Bathe or wash your skin daily with soap and water. Soaps that promote healthy skin are pH-balanced, such as Dove®, Aveeno®, Oil of Olay®, and Cetaphil®.
  • Avoid antibacterial soaps unless prescribed by your surgeon.
  • Do not shave the area of your surgery during the three days before your surgery.
  • Eat a healthy diet, avoid excess alcohol, and get plenty of rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids the day before surgery unless instructed otherwise.
  • Eat a late-night snack and drink a glass of water before you go to bed the night before surgery, unless instructed otherwise.  

What to Expect

Nurse at bedside

Before your surgery, you will rest in a "waiting" area just prior to going into the operating room. A disposable cap will be used to cover your hair, and an intravenous line will be started. The staff will check your name band and ask you questions to confirm necessary information. A warm blanket will be provided.

When the operating room is ready, a registered nurse will greet you, review your chart, and ask you more questions. The nurse will accompany you to the operating room. A registered nurse will be in the room with you throughout the procedure. Once in the operating room, your vital signs will be monitored. The surgery staff communicates with Auxiliary volunteers in the surgery waiting area so they can keep your family or friends informed of your progress.

After surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery room.

Specially trained nurses will care for you during your recovery from anesthesia by closely monitoring your vital signs and encouraging you to take deep breaths and to cough. You will be given warm blankets and medication to keep you as comfortable as possible. Time spent in the recovery room varies with each person; the average time is 90 minutes.