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Preparing for Surgery

at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Preparing for Surgery

When you have surgery at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, your care team strives to provide the best possible care in order to achieve a safe and effective outcome. It’s important for you, as the patient, to remember that you are an integral part of that care team. As such, we ask that you follow a specific set of instructions both before surgery and on the day of your surgery to make sure you are properly prepared.

Instructions for:

Food and Drink

Do not eat solid food, chew gum or have mints or hard candy after midnight the night before your surgery. You may have clear liquids up to two hours before surgery: water, apple juice, black coffee or tea with no dairy or artificial creamer.


  • You may not have natural or artificial cream, half and half, milk or milk powder in any beverages
  • You may not have citrus juices such as orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemonade, etc.
  • You may not have broth or bouillon

If your surgeon has placed you on a special pathway, you might have special instructions that will be reviewed in your pre-operative evaluation appointment.

Failure to follow these instructions may result in the cancellation of your surgery.

Medication and Supplements

If you are taking blood thinning medication or are on an insulin pump, please follow the instructions given to you during your pre-operative evaluation appointment.

It is important to tell your care team which medications you took before arriving on the day of surgery. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) up to and including the day of surgery.

You may not have the following one week before surgery:

  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Herbal supplements

Failure to follow these instructions may result in the cancelation of your surgery.

Preoperative Bathing

You must take three showers with antiseptic soap. Take the first shower two days before surgery, the second shower on the day before surgery and the third shower on the morning of surgery.

Other General Instructions

  • No makeup, body lotions, sprays, deodorant or moisturizers. No hair gel, conditioner or hair spray on the day of surgery.
  • Remove all jewelry including body piercings/rings.
  • Do not wear colored nail polish (hands/feet).
  • Do not wear contact lenses.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing (no jeans).
  • Brush your teeth the morning of surgery.
  • Leave all valuables at home including money/credit or debit cards.


eCheck-In allows patients to check-in electronically for their surgery up to three days in advance through their Patient Gateway account.

With eCheck-in, patients can:

Completing your eCheck-in will provide a seamless check-in process during your day of surgery.

Two Business Days Before Your Surgery

You will receive a call from the hospital two business days prior to your surgery between the hours of 1 and 5 PM confirming your arrival time for surgery and check-in location. Be sure that we have the best phone number for you on file by calling Registration at 866-489-4056 or through Patient Gateway. You can access Patient Gateway or register as a new user here.

Day Surgery

If you are going home the day of your surgery, please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery. Your ride needs to be available at the hospital when you are ready to be discharged. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. You may not go home in a taxi or ride sharing program (Uber, Lyft, etc) by yourself.

For a printable version of "Preparing for Surgery," please click here.

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital

Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.

Learn more about BWFH