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Pre-Surgery Instructions for UPMC in Central Pa.

Following these pre-surgery instructions will help you prepare for a smooth and safe procedure.

Before Your Surgery Approximately Seven Days Prior to Your Surgery

Approximately one week prior to your surgery, a member of the preadmission department will call you to complete your medical history and obtain a list of your medications. If you are taking a blood thinner or are on aspirin products, ibuprofen, Motrin, Plavix, or NSAIDS and you have not received instructions from your prescribing provider and surgeon on when or if to discontinue prior to your surgery, please call them today to receive those instructions.

One Business Day Prior to Your Surgery

On the business day prior to your surgery, a member of the preadmission department will call you to provide your surgery time, arrival time to the hospital, and all final instructions.  Patients should expect this call any time throughout the day and even in to the early evening.  Please do not call the preadmission testing department for your arrival time, they will contact you.   

The preadmission department experiences a high call volume. If you received a call from the preadmission testing department and need to return the call and need to leave a message, please be sure to leave your name, date of birth, and the specific time and phone number that works best for you for a call back. We will make every attempt to return your call at the time you request. 

The surgery schedule is not finalized until the day prior to surgery. Although your surgeon's office can estimate what time you will have your surgery, your final arrival time to the hospital and surgery time will be determined by the hospital.

In an effort to prevent numerous back-and-forth calls and messages (phone tag) for patients, it is very important that patients provide their “preferred contact number for pre-surgery calls” to their surgeon when scheduling their surgery.  This way the preadmission testing department knows to contact the patient at this number.  It is extremely important that patients are prepared and expect these 2 important calls (one 7 days prior to surgery and the other the business day prior to surgery) from the hospital preadmission testing department.   

Please note: the preadmission department is closed on holidays and weekends.

Preadmission Testing UPMC Carlisle Phone: 717-960-3465 Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Preadmission Testing UPMC Hanover Phone: 717-316-3617 Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday

Preadmission Testing UPMC Lititz Phone: 717-625-5552 or 717-625-5338 Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Preadmission Testing UPMC Memorial Phone: 717-849-2350 Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Preadmission Testing UPMC Community Osteopathic, Harrisburg, and West Shore Phone: 717-230-3461 and choose correct option Hours: 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Pre-Surgery Fasting

Patients coming in for surgery/procedures should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed by the preadmission testing department the business day prior to surgery.

About Medications

In general, you can take all medications, including pain and acid reduction medications as well as beta-blockers, early in the morning of your surgery with a small sip of water. Please note the following exceptions: 

It is recommended that patients DO NOT take the following medicines. You MUST discuss stopping these medications with the prescribing provider before stopping: 

  • MAO inhibitors (for example, Nardil and Parnate) should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Blood thinners (including, but not limited to, aspirin products, ibuprofen, Motrin, Plavix, Eliquis, Warfarin, Effient, Pradaxa, and NSAIDS) should be stopped one week prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed by your prescribing physician and surgeon.
  • All amphetamine class of medications (for example, Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Concentra, Strattera, etc.) should be stopped one week prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed by your prescribing physician. 
  • ACE inhibitors (for example, Lisinopril, Enalapril, Quinapril, etc.) should NOT be taken the morning of surgery.
  • Diuretics, also known as water pills (for example, furosemide, and hydrochlorothiazide), should NOT be taken the morning of surgery.
  • Buprenorphine (e.g., Suboxone, Subutex, Buprenex, Belbuca, Bunavail, Butrans, Probuphine, Sublocade, Zubsolv, and potentially other drug brand names) requires special consideration prior to surgery. Please notify your surgeon as soon as possible if you are taking this medication.
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (for example, losartan, valsartan, Benicar, Cozaar, etc.) should NOT be taken the morning of surgery. 
  • Dietary supplements and vitamins should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Herbal medications should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.
  • Diet pills (for example, Pondamin, Fastin, Phentermine) should be stopped two weeks prior to surgery
  • Contrave and Revia should be stopped 72 hours prior to surgery.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patients should NOT take their beta blockers the morning of surgery.
  •  For patients who have diabetes, it is best to receive instructions from your physician who prescribes your diabetic medication. Instructions will be reviewed during your pre-op phone call to discuss the medications you should take the evening before and the day of surgery.
  • Cardiac Surgery Patients: Please follow all medication instructions as outlined by the surgeon's office
  • Medical Marijuana: Federal law still prohibits the possession and utilization of marijuana in any form, under any circumstance. Therefore, UPMC prohibits the possession and utilization of marijuana in any form (including CBD oil) on UPMC property. If you are prescribed medical marijuana, please do not bring it to the hospital. Please discuss with your surgeon and or prescribing provider an appropriate alternative.

Other Reminders

  • Please complete the medication list on page 3 of the About Your Surgery Book. Please bring your current medication list to the hospital.
  • Leave all of your regular medications at home, except inhalers and prescription eye drops, unless your physician specifically asks you to bring them.
  •  Bring any inhalers and eye drops along with you and give them to your nurse when you arrive. 
  •  Please remember to bring your insurance cards and photo ID. 
  • Arrange for a friend or relative to drive you home after the surgery or procedure. You may not drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia. 
  • Please ensure you have a responsible adult staying with you overnight after your surgery.
  • Two adults may accompany children who are having outpatient surgery. Please do not bring children other than the patient.
  • UPMC does not accept responsibility for the loss of or damage to any belongings brought into the hospital except for those that have been deposited in the hospital safe. Patients are urged to leave articles at home that they consider to be of personal value. Belongings that are retained at the bedside are the sole responsibility of the patient. 
  • Since eyeglasses, contact lenses, prosthesis, and dentures must be removed before surgery, please remember to bring protective containers. Please bring your own contact solution. 
  • Jewelry and body piercings may increase a patient's risk of surgical burns from the medical equipment used during surgery. All jewelry, including piercings of any type, i.e. any skin piercings or dermals, and your wedding band, must be removed. If your wedding band cannot be removed, please go to a jeweler to have it removed. 
  • Shower or bathe and brush your teeth as usual the morning of surgery. Please swish and spit do not drink. 
  • Please do not wear lotion, powder, deodorant, makeup, or alcohol-based hair product (e.g., gels, hairspray).
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes with flat heels. 
  • Money, credit cards, or other valuables should be left at home. Keep no more than $5 at your bedside for newspapers or small convenience items. 
  • Do not smoke after midnight prior to your surgery or procedure.
  • If you are staying overnight, please leave large items like suitcases or walkers in your car until you have been assigned a room. A family member will need to retrieve them later.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should bring their own breast pumps to the hospital.


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