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Preparing for the Day of Surgery
Arriving to the OSC at Mass General Waltham
Meeting with the Anesthesia Care Team
Review of the Surgical Procedure
Waiting Area for Family Members or Friends
After Your Surgery
Frequently Asked Questions 

Preparing for the Day of Surgery


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

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. 

  • If you have been instructed to take any medication, please take it with a small sip of water 
  • Pack any medication that you were told to bring with you on the day of your surgery  
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing 
  • Do not wear any jewelry including wedding rings, earrings, and other body piercings. All jewelry must be removed prior to surgery 
  • Do not wear nail polish, hair spray, body lotion, perfume, or make up 
Getting Ready
  • Do not bring valuables to the OSC 
  • Bring your glasses and a case for storing them. You will not be able to wear contact lenses during surgery 
  • If applicable, bring your dentures, hearing aids, and a hearing aid case 

Arriving to the OSC at Mass General Waltham 

Parking is free at Mass General Waltham. Please arrive at the time that you were told to by your care team. Please park your car in the garage on level P3. 

When you arrive at OSC at Mass General Waltham, please refer to the instructions provided to you via Patient Gateway as to which building to report to. Please call 781-487-2950 if guidance is needed. 

Upon arrival, you will be admitted as a patient by a member of the perioperative nursing staff and escorted to a preoperative area to get ready. If time allows, you will receive your postoperative instructions prior to entering the preoperative area. If time does not allow, we will review the instructions with your family member. 

You will be asked to change into a gown or another appropriate dress for your surgical procedure. The nursing staff will start an intravenous (IV) line. 

You will be asked several questions in preparation for your surgery: 

  • When you last ate or drank 
  • If you took any medications that day 
  • If you have any allergies to medications, foods, or latex 
  • What surgery you are receiving 
  • The side of your body that you will be operated on 
  • Other administrative questions 

Texting Service for Friends and Family

You and the family members and/or friends of your choosing will have the opportunity to participate in our texting service through which our team will keep them updated on your progress by sending them text notifications during and after your surgery. If you wish to utilize this service, both you and the family member and/or friend that you wish to keep informed of your progress will need to be present at check-in and provide written consent.

Meeting with the Anesthesia Care Team 

You will meet with an anesthesiologist, certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and possibly a senior anesthesia resident from Mass General. The anesthesiologist and/or the resident will review your medical history, and discuss the available options for your proposed surgical procedure, if they have not previously been discussed in a pre-procedure phone call. You may also have already discussed these options with your surgeon during a previous office visit. Together, you and your team will formulate an anesthetic plan. 

Your team will also discuss with you the possible side effects, risks, and benefits of each type of anesthesia. If you have any questions, they will be answered. You will be asked sign an anesthesia consent form. 

Read FAQs about anesthesia 

Review of the Surgical Procedure 

Your surgeon, or a representative for your surgeon, will review your surgical plan with you, mark the part of your body where the surgery will occur, and answer any questions. 

If you are receiving general or MAC anesthesia, you will receive IV sedation and proceed directly to the operating room (OR). However, if a regional anesthetic technique has been selected, also called a nerve block, you will be given light sedation prior to going to the OR where the nerve block will be performed. 

While in the OR, you will be under the care of the anesthesia and surgical care teams. You will be given medications to make sure that you are comfortable during your surgery. Your blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen level, breathing, and temperature will be monitored throughout your surgery. 

Waiting Area for Family Members or Friends 

Once you have gone to the OR, your escort, family member, or friend may wait for you in our waiting room or visit our cafeteria which is located next door at Building 52. There is free Wi-Fi in our waiting area. Alternatively, Market Place Drive—a shopping center in Waltham, MA—offers options for shopping, food, and beverage within a five-minute driving distance of Mass General Waltham. 

Our staff will keep your escort, family member, or friend informed of how you are doing in your surgery and when you are ready to go home. 

After Your Surgery 

After your surgery, you will be transferred to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), also called the recovery room, where you will be monitored by a team of PACU nurses under the supervision of the anesthesiologist. These nurses are specially trained in post-anesthetic and critical care. They will monitor your vital signs, help resolve any side effects from the surgery or anesthesia (like nausea or vomiting), and assist in your pain management. 

Once you are stable, comfortable, and meet the discharge criteria, your IV will be removed and you can get dressed. The PACU nurse will then review your post-operative instructions with you and your responsible adult companion, review the instructions for your pain medication prescriptions, and then escort you to your vehicle. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can my family member or loved one join me on the day of surgery?

While you are in the waiting area, you may have one family member or loved one, who is at least 14 years of age, stay with you. Patients are encouraged to review the Mass General visitor policy prior to arrival. 

How will my family member or loved one be notified when my surgery is done?

In the pre-operative area, the nurse will ask who you would like the surgeon to contact after the surgery is complete. This information will be shared with your surgeon, who will call or meet with them in the waiting room.