Providing Comprehensive Anesthesia Care for the Front Range

Pre-Operative Preparation

The thought of having surgery can be frightening, and we want to make your surgical experience both pleasant and safe. The following information will help you prepare for your procedure. It is important to follow these instructions in addition to those from your anesthesiologist, surgeon, and pre-operative nursing personnel.

Prior to your surgery you will be interviewed over the phone or in the pre-operative clinic at Boulder Community Hospital. You will be given an opportunity to share your health history and prior anesthetic experiences. Our staff will gather important information for the anesthesiologist and the surgical team. Laboratory tests may also be preformed. Please bring any important documentation of your health from prior surgeries, copies of anesthesia records, a complete list of allergies, and a list of medications taken in the last six months. After considering your unique needs we will develop an anesthetic plan and discuss it with you. You will meet your anesthesiologist in the preoperative area on the day of your surgery and we will answer any questions you may have. 

Following are some preoperative Anesthesia Instructions:

  • For 24 Hours prior to your Surgery we ask that you refrain from all alcohol, smoking, or illegal drugs.
  • On the night before your surgery, for your safety, we request that you do not eat or drink anything after 12:00 AM midnight. Please note that this also includes water and other clear liquids, lozenges, mints, chewing gum, hard candy, etc.  Food or drink in your system while you are sedated or under general anesthesia can be dangerous. If you should eat or drink within this time period your surgery may very likely be cancelled.
  • The only exception to the nothing to eat or drink rule above is for your regular medications.  We ask that you take these with a small sip of water up to 2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.  Generally we ask that you do not take any diuretics on the morning of surgery.  Confirm with your surgeon prior to taking any blood thinners.  If you have questions, please check with your pre-operative nurse as to which medications to take and which would be best to skip.
  • If you should notice any changes in your physical condition such as fever, rash, productive cough, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms – please notify the pre-operative clinic or your surgeon.  If it is after hours, please call the BCH operator and ask for the anesthesiologist on call.
  • Please bathe or shower and brush your teeth prior to surgery, but do not swallow any toothpaste or drink any water.
  • Please be prepared to remove any dentures, removable bridges, retainers or other prosthetic devices that may dislodge and cause a complication or injury during surgery.
  • If you must wear contact lenses, glasses, dentures, etc, to the hospital, please bring a container to store these items.
  • Please do not wear any jewelry, makeup, false eyelashes, nail polish, hairspray or hair pins. Acrylic nails should not be worn for hand, arm or shoulder surgery. Wear casual or loose-fitting clothing, such as a sweat-suit or similar item.
  • Please leave all valuables at home.
  • Please arrange in advance for an adult to drive you home and remain with you the first 24 hours after surgery. You will not be allowed to have your procedure without arranging this responsibility.
  • Please be prepared to sign a legal consent form for all anesthesia services.  If you are younger than 18, a parent or legal guardian must accompany you to sign the consent form.    

Any procedure has risks, benefits, and potential complications.  These vary with the type of anesthesia, surgical procedure, and the patient.  Your anesthesiologist will discuss your risks with you before surgery.  Once your questions have been answered, you will be asked to sign an Anesthesia Consent form documenting your understanding.

Frequently you are given a sedative prior to being transported to the operating room.  This sedative may cause some amnesia and frequently although you may be talking with us, you may not have any memory of events after leaving the pre-operative area. 

 If you have any questions, please feel free to ask at any time prior to your surgery.


IMPORTANT - This website is intended to provide an introduction to information as it relates to the practice of anesthesiology and is not intended to be construed as medical or anesthesia advice for your or any other particular situation. For additional information please Click Here.