Preparing for Surgery

Planning ahead for your surgery or procedure at Cortland Surgical Center and knowing what to anticipate will help you feel more confident and comfortable when you are here.  We understand that any surgery or procedure can be intimidating, and we want to help you be as prepared as possible.


Pre-Admission interview/testing:

A nurse from the Cortland Surgical Center will contact you by telephone 7-10 days prior to your surgery. During this interview the nurse will review your health history and current medications. You will have the opportunity to ask questions at this time. During the interview the nurse will also determine whether or not you need further testing prior to the scheduled surgery.


Additional Requirements for surgery:

  • Bring an updated list of all of your currents medications.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • DO NOT eat after midnight.
  • NO dairy products after midnight OR morning of surgery.
  • You MUST have a person to take you home AND stay with you for 24 hours after surgery.
  • DO NOT drive for 24 hours after surgery.
  • NO chewing gum OR hard candy morning of surgery. 


What to wear:

Please wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that can be easily folded. You will be asked to change into an operating room gown, which will be provided to you at that time.


What to bring:

Please bring the following with you the day of your surgery:

  • Your insurance card
  • Co-payment that is required for your insurance, if applicable
  • A complete list of current medications and dosages you are currently taking and the time/date of your last dose: prescription, over-the-counter and vitamins / herbals.


Things you should leave at home:

  • Large amounts of cash
  • Jewelry and other valuables


Before your surgery or procedure:

  • Please review any instruction sheets that were given to you by your physician.
  • Do not eat or drink any dairy type products (including milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, etc.) after midnight the night before your surgery. Clear fluids are acceptable up to 4 hours before surgery (acceptable fluids: water, plain coffee/tea, or apple juice and Jello).
  • Take a complete bath or shower and shampoo your hair. Do not wear makeup or nail polish on your fingers or toes. Do not wear jewelry or earings.
  • Please arrange for a responsible adult to drive you home after surgery.  Because of the effects of your anesthesia, you will not be allowed to drive or take a cab by yourself. You will need to be under supervision by a responsible adult for 24 hours after surgery.


Your arrival:

For most procedures, you are expected to arrive one hour prior to the scheduled surgery time.


Prior to Surgery, you need to make your physician aware of the following information about you, your child, or any other immediate family members:

  • A history of complications with prior anesthesia if any.
  • A history of bleeding problems.
  • Symptoms of upper respiratory infection (cold, runny nose, flu, croup, fever) within one week of surgery.
  • Exposure to chicken pox or other illness within the previous two weeks.
  • Medication currently being taken by the patient, both prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Any allergies or existing medical problems that the patient has.



  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Cilostazol (Pletal)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Ticlidopine (Ticlid)
  • Fondaparinux (Arixtia)

These medications interfere with blood clotting and may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.


Post-Surgery care:

The Cortland Surgical Center team is committed to providing you with exceptional care while you are here, and we want to provide the best information to assist you in a speedy recovery.  Studies have shown that recovery is more successful if patients are aware of what they need to do once at home.

Every patient will therefore receive detailed discharge instructions after their surgery or procedure. This information is tailored to the type of anesthesia you received and the limitations that the surgery or procedure will cause during the recovery period. Most times a follow-up appointment will be needed with your doctor and this will be given to you at the time of discharge. It is critical that patients go to this follow-up appointment.