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Your Pre-Operative Check List

To ensure that your trip to HSS is smooth, you must carry out all the instructions on this checklist before check-in at the hospital:

  • Pre-operative Testing: Within 7-10 days of your surgical procedure you must have tests done, as ordered by your physician. These test may include blood and urine tests, X-rays, and a electrocardiogram (EKG). You should bring a list of current medications and a detailed account of prior medical, surgical and family health history. Complete all preadmission information as requested. The nursing staff will request information as part of a comprehensive medical history to add to your patient database profile. The nursing staff will provide instruction on preparation for surgery.
  • 7 DAYS BEFORE SURGERY stop taking aspirin, or anything that contains aspirin and all antiinflammatory medications (i.e.: Aleve, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Voltarin, Naprosyn, Feldene, Celebrex, Toradol, etc.), as well as nutritional supplements as Vitamin E, Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, Garlic and Ginger. If you have questions,please contact your doctor who prescribe the medication.
  • Obtain the cryotherapy device/icing equipment if your surgeon recommends.
    • Ice in plastics bags wrapped in a towel or pillow case
    • Gel packs
    • Packages of frozen peas or corn
    • Ice machine
  • Discuss pain management with your physician if you have concerns or questions.
  • Please discuss quitting smoking with your primary doctor before surgery. The use of nicotine products (ex: cigarettes, cigars, gums, or patches) has been shown to increase the risk of complications following surgery. They can inhibit bone and wound healing by decreasing blood flow to the surgical area. They can also increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT aka blood clots).
  • If possible, arrange for someone to stay with you at home or to be available for at least 48 hours to assist you with transitioning home from the hospital.
  • Arrange for your escort and transportation home. You cannot drive yourself! Your surgery will be delayed unless this arrangement is clearly established when you arrive at HSS.
  • What arrangements for your rehabilitation do you need to make? Review this with your surgeon's physician assistant or nurse. You may find it easier to learn about the rehabilitation facilities, their location and hours and financial requirements before your surgery. You will meet a case manager who can also assist with coordinating your post-operative recovery.
  • Review your post-operative exercises. Practice them, if you can. If your physician has given you exercises to strengthen your shoulder before your surgery, do them faithfully according to instructions.
  • A registered nurse from the hospital or admissions will call you between 3 pm and 7 pm the day before your scheduled surgery (or on Friday, if scheduled for Monday) to tell you your time and place to arrive at HSS to discuss your specific preparations for surgery and to answer any questions you may have. If you have not heard from the nurse by 6:30 pm the day before your scheduled procedure, please call us at (212) 606-1710 and explain that you are waiting for your pre-surgical phone call.
  • For patients who have Sleep Apnea and use a Sleep Apnea device, please bring your mask attachment and record the setting you normally use. Please DO NOT bring your CPAP Machine.
  • Leave all valuables at home, including jewelry and money.
  • Wear loose, comfortable casual clothing. Because you will leave HSS in a shoulder sling, we recommend that you wear a loose-fitted button down shirt. A size or two larger than your normal sized dress shirt. Consider wearing elastic waist pants and nonslip, flat, supportive walking shoes.
  • The surgical area from the chest to the shoulder (front side and back) should be washed with the antiseptic soap solution at the end of your last bath or shower before surgery. Do not shave your arms, chest, or underarms during this last shower. The solution should be rinsed and removed after application. Specific instructions will be provided through the pre-surgical screening appointment, the pre-operative education class, and pre-operative phone call.
  • Follow fasting instructions provided by the nurse during your telephone call. Normally patients are not allowed to eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight prior to surgery. If you are on medications for other medical needs, you will be advised what to take on the morning of surgery with sips of water. If you are a diabetic, do NOT take any medication for diabetes, unless instructed by your medical physician.
  • Day of Surgery take clear fluids only up to 3 hours before surgery OR up until arrival at the hospital. Do not eat or drink anything after arriving at the hospital.

Day of Surgery: Clear fluid diet (any meal)


  • Water
  • Apple, Cranberry & Grape Juice
  • Gatorade
  • Black coffee or Tea
  • Clear Broth
  • Ginger Ale and Seltzer
  • Jello and Italian Ice

Not Recommended:

  • Milk or Dairy Products (including coffee & tea)
  • Citrus Juices
  • Prune Juice
  • Juices with Pulp