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What to Expect in the Preoperative (Holding) Area

The following will happen when you are taken from the waiting room to the preoperative area:

  • You will change into a hospital gown. You will need to remove all of your clothes (including underwear), jewelry, body piercings, metal hair clips, glasses, contact lenses, dentures, and hearing aids. Please bring any necessary cases for these items with you. Your designated support person will be given these items to keep while you are in surgery.
  • You will have your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and oxygen saturation) taken and blood sugar checked (if you are a diabetic).
  • You may be asked to give a urine specimen and blood sample. If you are female and are pre-menopausal, a urine specimen will be required.
  • You will be asked questions by multiple health care team members to update your record. If you have had any changes to your health recently, please inform your nurse.
  • You may have an IV needle inserted in your hand or arm. Numbing medicine may be used prior to inserting the IV.
  • You will talk to the anesthesia staff and operating room care team who will be taking care of you during your surgery.
  • You may have special stockings or compression sleeves placed on your legs. They help to prevent blood clots during and after your surgery.
  • You may be asked to practice using an Incentive Spirometer. Some patients are more likely to have problems fully expanding their lungs and/or clearing secretions from their lungs after a procedure. If your doctor feels this may be a problem for you, he or she will order an Incentive Spirometer.