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Before Your Surgery

Adult Fasting Guidelines

Note: The guidelines listed below can be applied to most surgeries, but please follow any specific guidelines that your surgical care team may have provided to you. If you are unsure or have any questions, please call the Preoperative Clinic at 843-876-0116.

  • No solid food after midnight prior to your surgery for everyone!
  • Patient may have up to 8 ounces (or 1 measured cup) of clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to arrival time. Examples of clear liquids include:
    • Water, 7-Up, Sprite, or ginger ale.
    • Clear tea.
    • Apple or grape juice.
    • Plain, black coffee (no cream or sugar).
  • No milk or milk products. If you need clarification regarding types of clear liquid that are permissible, please call the Preoperative Clinic at 843-876-0116.
  • No gum or candy after midnight (also including no cough drops).
  • No oral diabetic medications on the morning of surgery. If you take insulin, ask your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin before surgery.
  • You may take your other medications on the morning of surgery with small sips of water unless your doctor, the anesthesiologist, or the nurse practitioner in preoperative testing instructs you not to take these medications.
  • Continuous tube feedings should be stopped at least 6 hours before arrival. Transpyloric (below the stomach) tube feedings should be stopped 2 hours before arrival for your surgery.

For your safety, failure to follow these guidelines or other guidelines given to you by your surgeon may result in cancellation or delay of your surgery.

Pediatric Fasting Guidelines

  • No solid food after midnight prior to surgery.
  • No gum or candy after midnight (also includes no cough drops).
  • Patient may have up to 8 ounces (or 1 measured cup) of clear liquids up to 2 hours prior to arrival time. Examples of clear liquids include:
    • Water, 7-Up, Sprite, or ginger ale.
    • Clear tea.
    • Apple or grape juice.
  • Patient may have breast milk up to 4 hours prior to arrival time.
  • Patient may have up to 6 ounces of infant formula up to 6 hours prior to arrival time.
  • Patient may have up to 6 ounces of non-human milk up to 8 hours prior to arrival time.

Failure to follow these guidelines or other guidelines given to you by your surgeon may result in cancellation or delay of your surgery for your safety.

Bathing Instructions

Bathing with an antiseptic scrub before your surgery will reduce the number of germs on your skin to help prevent infections. You should have received a bottle of chlorhexidine scrub from your doctor’s clinic or the Preoperative Clinic to use for this purpose.

Use half of the bottle of chlorhexidine scrub you were given the night before your surgery, and the other half of the bottle to shower the morning of your surgery.

  • The day before surgery
    • Shower and wash your hair with your regular soap and shampoo first, THEN wash with the chlorhexidine scrub from your neck down, focusing on the areas where you will be having a surgical incision. Remember to avoid your face and genital areas!
  • The morning of surgery
    • Do not wash with your regular soap first. Only wash with the chlorhexidine scrub from your neck down, focusing on the areas where you will be having a surgical incision. Remember to avoid your face and genital areas!
    • Brush your teeth the morning of surgery, but do not swallow any water.

Important Points to Remember Related to Bathing:

  • Please do not shave any area of your body (i.e., face, underarms, legs, area of the incision) in the 24 hours prior to your surgery. This is to decrease the risk of infection.
  • Do not use the antiseptic scrub if you are allergic to CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate).
  • Do not use the antiseptic scrub on your face or genitals (it may tingle or burn; rinse immediately with plenty of water if the scrub touches these areas).
  • If rash, redness, itching, or other allergy symptoms occur, stop using the scrub and notify your doctor.
  • Keep this product away from children. Seek medical attention or contact poison control (Palmetto Poison Control: 800-222-1222) if swallowed.
  • Do not give this product to anyone else; it is for your use only.

Do’s and Don’ts for the Day of Your Surgery

  • Do bring a photo ID and your health insurance card.
  • Do bring an adult to accompany you who is able to drive you home and take care of you.
  • Do bring proof of guardianship or power of attorney if you are a caretaker (non-parent) for a child under 18 or for an adult who cannot legally represent themselves.
  • Do follow the Adult or Pediatric Fasting Guidelines (on this web page or given to you by your doctor).
  • Do use the chlorhexadine scrub as instructed in your bathing instructions.
  • Do bring a small amount of cash for the parking deck ($3 to $6) or valet ($5), any prescriptions that may be ordered, and any meals.
  • Do remove all piercings and jewelry.
  • Don’t smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol the day of your surgery.
  • Don’t wear any makeup, nail polish, deodorant, perfume, or scented lotion.
  • Don’t eat food, chew gum, or have any type of candy (including no cough drops) after midnight prior to your procedure.
  • Don’t bring valuables such as jewelry, purse, wallet, credit cards, or a large amount of cash.