What to Do Before Endocrine Surgery

To aid in a safe surgery, there are a few things you have to do before having endocrine surgery.

Hygiene Before Endocrine Surgery

If certain hygienic guidelines aren't followed before your surgery, it is possible that you will get an infection or have another unexpected reaction. Here are the guidelines we ask you to follow:

  • Bathe or shower the night before and the morning of surgery. If box is checked, wash from neck to toes with Chlorhexidine Gluconate provided at your pre-op visit.
  • Rinse thoroughly. Do not apply lotion. Do not shave surgical site.
  • Men: Shave the morning of surgery. Groom facial hair as you normally would.
  • Do not wear makeup, nail polish or artificial nails. Your blood oxygen level is measured by a sensor that sees through your fingernails, and nail polish or artificial nails can obstruct this.
  • Brush your teeth but do not swallow any extra water the morning of surgery.

What to Wear

What you wear the day of your surgery is not crucial. No matter what you wear, a gown and slippers will be provided for you. Because of this, we recommend you wear loose, comfortable clothing.

During surgery you will not be allowed to wear glasses, contacts, jewelry (including body piercings) and, in some cases, dentures, partials, or hearing aids. Please bring appropriate containers for these.

What to Bring

Bring any of the following if you use them:

  • Eye glasses
  • Hearing aid
  • Insurance card
  • Inhalers
  • Nebulizer
  • CPAP machine
  • List of current medications
  • insulin and supplies, including glucose meter Peritoneal dialysis equipment (the hospital does not carry all brands and options).
  • Ostomy supplies (the hospital does not carry all brands and options.)

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is not responsible for loss or breakage of personal items, so do not bring:

  • Jewelry
  • Money
  • Other valuables

If you have a living will or durable power of attorney, please bring a copy for your chart.

Some Insurance Tips

Remember to bring your insurance card. Check with your insurance carrier or Worker’s Compensation carrier to see if a second opinion or pre-certification number is needed. Failure to do so may reduce your reimbursement benefits. If you have questions about your coverage, call Patient Accounts at 866-309-0832.

After Anesthesia

  • If you will be discharged after surgery, you will need an adult to drive you to your surgery, drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours.
  • Surgery may be cancelled if proper arrangements have not been made.
  • Arrangements should be made for someone else to care for your small children and other dependents for 24 hours after anesthesia.
  • DO NOT drive an automobile, operate any dangerous machinery, undertake any responsible business matters or consume alcohol for 24 hours following surgery.

Fasting Instructions

If you are not able to follow these instructions, the surgery might be delayed or rescheduled for another day. Following the instructions reduces the chance of inhaling stomach contents, a serious complication of anesthesia.

Don't eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes gum, mints, or candy.


Some medications may be taken with clear liquids up to 2 hours before your surgery. Please clarify with your surgeon or anesthesiologist which medicines should be taken before surgery.

Illness/Pre-Surgery Changes

Please notify us if anything of the following has occurred:

  • There is a possibility of pregnancy.
  • You (or your child) develop a cold, sore throat, fever, or other illness.
  • You (or your child) have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as chicken pox or mumps within the last 4 days.
  • There is a change in where you will be staying the night before surgery.

Contact information:

If you are having surgery at the Ambulatory Surgery Center call 319-356-7877

If you are having surgery at the Main OR call your surgeon’s office/nurse before 4 p.m. or page general surgery resident on call at 319-356-1616 after 4 p.m.

The staff of the Ambulatory Surgery Center or Main OR will be contacting you by telephone 1 – 2 business days prior to your surgery to update your health history, inform you of your surgery time, and answer your questions.

We look forward to caring for you and your family.

Interested in using our health content?