Preparing for your surgery

There are some basic things you can do to best prepare for your surgery, regardless of your personal situation or physical presentation. Remember, following these recommendations is key in achieving the best possible health outcome for you.

Looking after yourself before your surgery

Please follow the instructions in your confirmation of appointment letter which was sent to you by the surgical wait list booking office. This includes making sure you are properly fasted (have avoided food and drink for a period of time before surgery) as per your instructions.

Before your operation it is important to maintain good health and nutrition. We recommend you stop smoking and taking illegal drugs, and reduce your alcohol intake two weeks prior to your admission.

In the weeks before your operation please try avoid people with known viruses, infections and diarrhea.

Before your surgery, for day and short stay

Two weeks before surgery:

  • Stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications, unless the nurse or doctor specifically tells you to continue.
  • If you are taking blood-thinning medication, you will be told when to stop and what to do by a nurse or doctor.
  • Stop taking any of the following herbal supplements:
    • echinacea
    • ephedra (Ma Hung)
    • evening primrose
    • fish oil
    • garlic
    • ginko
    • ginseng
    • kava
    • St John’s wort
    • turmeric
    • valerian
    • vitamin e

A week before surgery:

Call the pre-admission service on 03 8458 4400 if you:

  • get a cold, cough, fever or any other health problems
  • think you need to delay your surgery.


Changes in your health

If you experience any changes to your health which may affect your surgery, you need to contact and notify the pre-admission nurse. For management of a health condition, please contact your general practitioner (GP). Patients who need immediate assessment should attend the Emergency Department.

If your symptoms worsen or you are concerned about your general health while waiting for your operation, please contact your GP.

Please contact the pre-admission nurse on 03 8458 4400 if you develop a cold, cough or fever in the week before your operation.

Mercy Hospital for Women pre-admission nurse
Phone: 03 8458 4400


Fasting before surgery

24 hours before surgery:

  • Do not drink alcohol, smoke or take illegal drugs.

Fasting (avoiding food and drink):

  • You must have an empty stomach before surgery. Failure to follow fasting instructions could result in cancellation or delay to your surgery.

For morning surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Take your usual morning medications at 6am as directed with a small glass of water (200ml).
  • Do not chew gum, suck lollies or sip any fluid.
  • Go to Day Surgery on Level 1 at the time advised by the pre-admission team.

For afternoon surgery:

  • On the morning of surgery, eat a light breakfast (tea/coffee and toast) before 7am. Take medications as directed. Do not eat or drink after 7am.
  • Do not chew gum, suck lollies or sip any fluids.
  • At 10am you can drink 200ml of water, then keep fasting.
  • Go to Day Surgery on Level 1 at the time advised by the pre-admission team.


Last reviewed September 28, 2017.

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