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Diet Instructions
Pre-Surgery Preparation
Frequently Asked Questions

Diet Instructions 

Please follow the below instructions about eating and drinking. Otherwise, your surgery may be cancelled. 

After 10 pm on the day before your surgery or procedure: 

  • Do not eat any solid foods or dairy products 
  • Do not chew gum or eat candy 
  • Do not drink non-clear liquids including orange juice, cream, creamer, milk, and honey 

While awake, you may drink one or two tall glasses of the following clear liquids every one to two hours: 

  • Water 
  • Apple juice 
  • Black coffee 
  • Black tea  

At least two hours before arriving for surgery, please stop drinking all liquids (clear and non-clear). For example, if you are told to arrive at the Waltham OSC at 7:45 am, please stop drinking all liquids at 5:45 am. 

If you are diabetic and feel symptoms of low blood sugar or your finger stick reading is low, please drink apple juice. 

Pre-Surgery Preparation

Pre-surgery preparation begins at your surgeon's office. If you need labs and an EKG before surgery, your surgeon will arrange these for you. 

A registered nurse will call you two to seven days before your surgery for a phone interview. The nurse will review your medical history with you, what to expect at the OSC, document your allergies, confirm the part and side of your body that will be operated on, and answer any questions. An anesthesiologist will review your records and contact you, if needed.

Making Arrangements 

Stop smoking: If you smoke, we ask that you try to stop smoking ahead of your surgery. You will not be able to smoke while in the OSC. If you would like help with trying to stop smoking, call the Mass General Quit Smoking Service at 617-726-7443 or call the Massachusetts Smokers Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. 

Arrange for a ride home: You are going home on the same day of your surgery, and you must have a reliable adult take you home. We prefer that your ride remain at the OSC during your surgery. Please be sure that your ride is 100% available to you for the day of surgery and has no other commitments. Our surgical schedule is subject to change, and this happens with some regularity. Your time could move up or be delayed. 

Secure at-home care: Arrange for someone to stay with you at your home for the first 24 hours after surgery. If you have small children, dependent adults, or animals that you care for, arrange to have someone help you watch them during the first few days after surgery. 

Prepare your home for your return after surgery: Have your shopping and laundry done, prepare some meals ahead of time, and plan for car rides, as you may not be able to drive for a while. 

Business Day Before Surgery

If you do not have a confirmed time for your surgery, please contact your surgeon's office in the afternoon on the day prior to surgery. 

Evening Before Surgery 

It is very important that you are rested before your surgery. In preparation, write down the name and contact number of the person taking you home after surgery as you will be asked for this information when you get to the OSC. If your ride is not with you when you check in, we will need to confirm your ride prior to getting you ready for your procedure. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will I have an opportunity to talk with an anesthesiologist?

On the day of your surgery, you will meet with the anesthesia team who will be with you in the operating room throughout the surgery. They will have already reviewed your medical history in full, and will be happy to answer your questions and provide information about the appropriate anesthetic for your surgery. 

If I have questions about my surgery ahead of my appointment, who should I call?

Please call your surgeon’s office with any questions. 

Can I take a taxi or other ride service (Uber, Lyft, etc.) home on the day of surgery?

Because you will have received anesthesia, you may not go home alone in a taxi or ride service. You may take one only if you have a responsible individual accompanying you who will make sure you safely get into your home.