Preparing for Surgery: The Ultimate Checklist

Whether you’re about to have minor or major surgery, it’s important to make sure your body and mind are as prepared as possible beforehand. While you naturally won’t get this option if you ever have to have emergency surgery, elective surgeries provide time to learn and make sure you’re in the best state possible before the procedure.

You’ll obviously want to find a skilled and trustworthy medical professional to conduct the surgery, preferably someone who specializes in what you need.

Dr. Faustino Bernadett, now retired, was a skilled anesthesiologist and pain management physician and former owner of Long Beach Hospital specializing in spinal surgeries. Dr. Faustino now focuses on philanthropy and writes a blog addressing various health concerns.

Always seek medical advice from qualified medical professionals with years of experience like Dr. Bernadett for the best results. If you’ve already done that but still need some things to put your mind at ease, here are some important items to check off your list.

Table of Contents

Health Insurance

It would be an absolute nightmare to find out that you need surgery but also that your insurance plan won’t cover the procedure.

Fortunately, ACA plans generally cover a major portion of any surgery that’s deemed medically necessary, although how much is covered can vary based on your plan. Elective surgeries, especially cosmetic ones, may not be covered by basic plans, so you’ll likely need comprehensive coverage for those. If you’re eligible for Medicare, you may find that it will cover costs for your procedure.

If you don’t have a reliable health care plan, or if you think you need additional coverage, get health quotes from Health Quote Gurus. You can get a free quote without even making a new account and get one step closer to finding the right plan today.


Once you’re satisfied with your doctor and insurance, it’s important to also research the facility where your surgery will take place. If the surgery is taking place in a hospital, you won’t have much to look for, but if it takes place in an outside facility like a doctor’s office or outpatient facility, you’ll want to make sure the facility is properly licensed and equipped for your needs. It’s also a good idea to make sure it’s accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, which ensures that outpatient facilities around the world are safe and meet Medicare and Medicaid certification standards.

Health and Habits

It’s always best to be as healthy as possible before surgery, so try to eat right and exercise on the days beforehand if possible. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs for as long as you can in advance as well. Even just a day or two can make a significant difference with how well you recover from anesthesia. Generally speaking, your heart health and lungs should be strong if you’re going under general anesthetic. Anesthesiology is complicated, so you may want to speak with the specialist who will oversee your anesthesia beforehand if you have specific questions.


Don’t forget to have someone lined up to take care of your needs after the surgery. If you have children, make sure they’re being watched by a sitter or family member, and have someone who can be with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. They’ll need to take you to the surgery location, and they’ll also be there for emotional support and to make sure you’re recovering adequately. It’s a good idea to bring them to an appointment before the surgery so they can be educated as well since they’ll be involved in your discharge process.

Lastly, as your doctor will no doubt tell you, make sure not to eat or drink anything eight hours before the surgery. If you’ve prepared well beforehand, you’ll have your best chance of recovering smoothly.

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