Day Of Procedure | Anesthesia Information for Patients | MedStar Health

Anesthesia–The Day of Your Procedure

Here is what you can expect on the day of your procedure:

Follow dietary and medication instructions

To keep you safe, continue following the eating, drinking, and medication instructions given to you by your care team.

  • Refrain from eating solid foods within eight hours of your scheduled arrival time.

  • Continue drinking clear, see-through liquids up to two hours before you are scheduled to arrive for your procedure.

  • If your baby is undergoing anesthesia, refrain from feeding them infant milk within six hours of their scheduled arrival time. If they are breastfeeding, you can continue feeding them breast milk up to four hours ahead of their scheduled arrival time.

  • Be sure to adhere to any guidelines given to you by your doctor regarding medication.

Dress comfortably

We recommend wearing loose, comfortable clothing that will fit easily over any bandages after your surgery. You should also leave all your valuables at home, including jewelry.

Arrive early

Report to the hospital or outpatient center at your scheduled arrival time. Upon arrival, proceed directly to registration, where you will meet with a registrar to get checked in.


The registration process benefits everyone—patients, providers, and insurance companies. During your registration, we update your information in our records and assist you in filing accurate information for your insurance company. Current information on your medical records also allows your care team to easily contact you, if necessary.

Guidelines to help registration go smoothly:

  • Have your insurance card, referrals, authorizations, instructions, and physician's orders handy

  • Tell the registration clerk the name of your primary care physician and the name of your surgeon

  • Advise the registration clerk if you have a drug or latex allergy

  • Advise the clerk of any specific tests scheduled by your surgeon

Preparing for surgery

After registration, your anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and surgeon will meet with you to review your medical history and your anesthesia options.

Before entering the Operating Room, you can expect to:

  • Change into a hospital gown

  • Remove any jewelry/piercings, contact lenses/glasses, hearing aids, or dentures/removable bridges

  • Give all your belongings to the person who accompanied you

For your safety, a nurse will:

  • Confirm your identity by asking you to state your name and date of birth

  • Place an allergy bracelet on you, if appropriate

  • Review and discuss your medical history with you and help prepare you for surgery

Your anesthesia team and surgeon will:

  • Discuss your surgery with you and answer any questions

  • Mark your surgical site, if appropriate

  • Discuss the plan for your anesthesia

  • Start an IV (intravenous) line, if needed

  • Involve residents, medical students, and nursing students in your care under the supervision of your surgeon and anesthesia provider

Once preparations are complete, any family or friends will be directed to the appropriate waiting room as you proceed to the Operating Room.

Receiving anesthesia

Once your care team has cleared you for surgery, your anesthesiologist or CRNA will give you the appropriate anesthesia to ensure minimal pain and discomfort for your procedure.

The type of anesthesia you receive will vary based on your surgery type.

Learn More About the Types of Anesthesia

A member of your anesthesia team will remain with you the entire time you are in the operating room.

In addition to monitoring your vital signs, your anesthesiologist can monitor how "awake" or "asleep" you are and will provide the right amount of anesthesia so that you can wake faster after surgery with less chance of nausea and grogginess.

Anesthesia Recovery and Going Home