Surgery Prep

Planning for Your Procedure

The staff at Palo Alto Surgery Center understands that having surgery can be overwhelming. To help ensure you’re prepared for your upcoming procedure, please review the following information and contact our office with any questions or concerns.

Prior to Your Surgery

Your nurse will notify you of the day and time of your scheduled surgery. Surgery times may be adjusted due to schedule changes at the Surgery Center. We will notify you of any changes to your surgery time as soon as possible.

If you will be receiving general anesthesia for your surgery, Palo Alto Surgery Center will contact you prior to your procedure to:

  • Confirm the date and time of the surgery
  • Ask health history questions to expedite the admission process
  • Determine if you have any allergies to medication
  • Review any special instructions
  • Answer any questions you might have about the surgery
  • Request that you bring a list of your medication and dosage

If you are prescribed any medications to take after your surgery, please make sure that you fill those prescriptions prior to your procedure.

Do not eat or drink after midnight the day before your procedure; this includes water, gum, candy or cough drops. Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to your arrival. Please bathe or shower with an antibacterial soap 24 hours prior to your surgery.

Day of Your Surgery

You will not be allowed to drive yourself home after the surgery. You must find a responsible adult who can take you home. In addition, an adult should remain with you for 24 hours post-operation.

What to Bring

On the day of your surgery, you will need to bring the following:

  • Insurance card(s) and government-issued photo ID
    • Due to identity theft laws, patients are required to bring in a valid picture ID and insurance card, along with any financial payment due upon arrival
  • Driver/Escort
    • Upon check in, a staff member will ask you for your ride's name and telephone number so that we will be able to contact them with an estimated pick up time
  • Legal guardian (for children/dependent adults)
  • Interpreter (if necessary)
  • Advanced Directive (if choosing to provide us with one)
  • Medications to be taken the day of your procedure
  • List of medications and dosage that you are taking, including herbal and over-the-counter medications
  • Case for eyeglasses. Please leave contacts at home.
  • Small tote or bag for your clothes and belongings, or a plastic bag will be provided

Leave all other valuables at home.


Please bathe or shower with an antibacterial soap 1 day prior to your surgery and again on the morning of your surgery. Do not shave the area near your surgical site. If shaving is required near or at your surgical site, it will be done at the Surgery Center.

  • Do not put on any lotion, perfume, oils, makeup or nail polish.
  • You can brush your teeth, but do not swallow any toothpaste or water.
  • Please remove nail polish from one finger.


Please wear comfortable clothing on the day of your surgery, such as button-down shirts and loose fitting pants. Wear comfortable slip-on shoes and no high heels. Palo Alto Surgery Center is not responsible for any lost or damaged property. Remove contact lenses. If needed, wear glasses. Do not wear makeup, false eyelashes, hairpins or jewelry of any kind. Leave all jewelry (including all metal body piercings) and valuables at home (with the exception of photo ID and insurance card).


You will need to arrive an hour prior to your scheduled surgery time. Once at the Surgery Center, you will complete any necessary paperwork and prepare for surgery. Prior to the surgery, an anesthesiologist will meet with you to discuss your anesthesia and answer any questions.

Visitor Information

Please note that our waiting room is relatively small and does not allow for large groups of people. Patients should have no more than one person waiting for them in our waiting areas. Please make arrangements for childcare prior to your surgical date; children under 10 are not allowed to wait in the waiting room.

Do not bring latex balloons into the Surgery Center. This will help to minimize latex exposure for those who may be at risk for latex allergies.

Surgical Site Infection Prevention

Taking the following precautionary steps can go a long way in avoiding the infection of your surgical site.

  • Quit smoking prior to your procedure. Smokers are more susceptible to infection.
  • Wash towels, washcloths and bed linens prior to your surgery.
  • Bathe or shower with an antibacterial soap one day prior to your surgery and again on the morning of your surgery.
  • Do not shave the area near your surgical site. If shaving is required at or near your surgical site, it will be done at the Surgery Center.
  • Ensure complete understanding of post-surgical wound care before leaving the Surgery Center.
  • Prior to performing wound care, always thoroughly wash your hands (including front and back of hands, wrists and fingernails). Ensure all visitors thoroughly wash their hands as well!
  • Always keep wound dressing clean and dry.
  • Call your doctor immediately if experiencing fever or redness, pain or drainage at the incision site.
  • Do not sleep with pets during your recovery or allow them to lick or sniff the surgical site.

To promote healing during your recovery, drink plenty of fluids and follow a healthy diet.

Pre-Admission Forms

For your convenience, we have provided our admission forms below. You are welcome to download, print and complete them prior to arriving at our center to expedite the registration process. However, please do not sign all forms prior to your arrival. Our receptionist will serve as your witness for the forms that require a witness signature. Click on the form name below to download the pre-admission forms.

Registration Form

Patient Information Form

Assignment of Benefits Form

Notice of Privacy Practices

Advance Directive Form

Patient Consent to Procedure

Patient Consent to Anesthesia

Should you have any questions completing your patient forms, please contact the Palo Alto Surgery Center’s business office staff at 650.565.8683.