Preparing For Surgery

  • On the day of surgery you will be asked to arrive at the Center 1 hour ahead of your scheduled surgery time. Bring your reading glasses/contacts if you need them and a case for safe-keeping.

  • You will be registered at the front desk by the receptionist whose job is to make the surgery schedule run smoothly. You may be making any required payments at this time so be sure to bring the appropriate form of payment. (cash, check or credit card) If you have questions about your payment responsibility, you should contact your insurance company and San Mateo Surgery Center’s business office prior to the day of surgery. 

  • After you register, the nurse will take you to a pre-operative area where a short history will be taken. You will change into a gown, get weighed and have your blood pressure, pulse and temperature taken. An IV will be started if you will need one. All jewelry and other valuables should be left at home for safe-keeping. 

  • The anesthesiologist and your surgeon will see you in the pre-op area. You may be given a mild sedative before you go into the operating room. During the pre-operative phase other staff members may ask you about the site of your surgery (i.e. right knee, left elbow, etc). These repetitions are safety checks and the site of your surgery may be marked on you. Please do not place any other markings on your skin. 



If you are having an afternoon operation, this may vary depending on the scheduled time of surgery so please check with our nurse at (650) 570-0529 if you have any questions.

Our anesthesiologists have determined which patients need to have EKGs for their safety (see the next page). Your surgeon cannot override operating room protocols, so please do not request special treatment. Patients have responsibilities as well as rights. Failure to comply with operating room routines will result in cancellation of your surgery. 

Please arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. 

You may not go home alone in a taxi or on public transportation.  

Do not wear jewelry (including body piercing ornaments) to surgery. Leave all valuables at home for safekeeping. There are no safes at San Mateo Surgery Center.

Bring your identification, your insurance card and some method of payment (cash, check or credit card) for any co-payment you may have. 

Your routine medications: If you are taking heart or high blood pressure medicine, do NOT stop taking them before your procedure. Be sure to communicate every medication that you have been taking to your physician and/or anesthesiologist.  This information is essential to your safety during the surgical  period. 

If you are 50 years old or older, you will need to have seen your internist/general practitioner for a complete history and physical exam as well as an EKG. 

Any patient regardless of age with a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes must also have a history and physical and EKG. This includes conditions that are under control with medication. 

Patients with sleep apnea will need to have a sleep study done or a report from a recent study.


Pain medications can cause gastrointestinal upset. Having some food in your stomach can help to avoid an upset stomach. Pain medications can also cause constipation which is worsened by inactivity in the post-operative period. You can help by drinking plenty of water and juice. Start eating gradually and let your stomach be your guide, but stay away from spicy or greasy food. Eat fruit, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads.