Before Your Surgery

We care about your safety and comfort. By preparing in advance, you can help make the day of surgery less stressful and put all your energy into recovery.

30 Days Before Surgery

Arrange transportation. Arrange to be taken home after your operation. You will not be able to drive yourself home or take public transportation. The person taking you home should be able to pick you up within two hours of notice that you are ready to go home and should be able to assist you in filling any medication prescriptions you may have.

Arrange for help at home. You may need someone to help provide care for you, including helping you get out of bed and go to the bathroom, and preparing meals. If you normally provide care to other family or household members, you may need someone to help care for them, too.

Arrange pre-surgical exams and tests. Schedule a pre-surgical history and physical exam, and complete all lab tests your doctor has ordered.

Pacemakers and defibrillators. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Stop smoking. You will not be able to smoke while in the hospital. Smoking can cause problems with healing and increase the risk of complications. Group Health recommends the Quit for Life® Program to help you stop smoking.

10 Days Before Surgery

Consult with your doctor about medications.

  • Ask your surgeon when to stop taking medications that affect your blood, including warfarin, aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, any anti-inflammatory, or any blood thinner.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse what medications you should take on the morning of surgery before you come to the hospital.

3 Days Before Surgery

Follow instructions about potentially receiving blood. If your surgeon has requested blood to be available for your surgery, your doctor's office will give you instructions on where to go to have your blood drawn. Make sure to take the blood order form with you. You do not need an appointment.

The Day Before Surgery

Prepare for the day of surgery eating plan. Remember, you cannot eat solid food and some liquids after midnight.

Verify your check-in time. Do not call the Consulting Nurse Service or use MyGroupHealth secure e-mail for surgery check-in time information.

If your surgery is on a Monday, call the previous Friday. If your surgery is the day after a holiday, call on the last weekday before the holiday.

If your surgery is at:

  • Group Health Central Hospital in Seattle, call the Outpatient Surgery Center at 206-326-3280 between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Group Health Bellevue Medical Center, call the Ambulatory Surgery office at 425-502-4032 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Group Health Tacoma Medical Center, call the Ambulatory Surgery Center at 253-596-3784 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Virginia Mason in Seattle, call your surgeon's office between 1 and 4 p.m.
  • Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, the Patient Access staff will call you. If you have questions about your check-in time, call Patient Access at 425-688-5915.
  • Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, they will call you to confirm you check-in time. If you do not receive a call, call 253-403-9569 before 5 p.m. or page the Mary Bridge House Supervisor at 1-877-511-3912.
  • St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, you will receive our check-in time at your prescreening appointment, or you will receive a call the day before your surgery. If you have questions about your check-in time, call the prescreening office at 253-426-6955.
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital or South Sound Surgery Center in Olympia, you will receive a call from your surgeon's office 3 to 5 days before your surgery. If you have questions about your check-in time, call your surgeon's office or 360-923-7530.
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