How to Prepare for Surgery

Feel confident before your surgery at Mary Greeley Medical Center thanks to guidance and support from our helpful, dedicated staff. Your care team will provide detailed instructions so you know how to prepare and what to expect.

Insurance Authorization

Count on our team to contact your insurance provider to start the authorization process. To get answers to questions about your coverage and possible copayments, contact your insurance provider. Learn more about financial assistance and billing services at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Preoperative Tests

You may need certain tests before surgery. Your doctor will arrange for your tests, which may include:

  • Blood or urine sample tests
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), which checks the heart’s rhythm
  • Imaging scans, such as an X-ray

How to Prepare

Follow your doctor’s instructions on how to prepare for surgery and the type of anesthesia you’ll receive. To prevent any problems:

  • Ask your doctor what medications you should take or stop.
  • Eat a nutritious diet to help boost your body’s ability to heal. Ask your doctor when to stop eating and drinking before surgery.
  • Manage blood sugar levels, if you have diabetes. Stable levels will help your body heal more quickly.
  • Stop smoking if you smoke. Smoking makes it harder for your body to heal.
  • Tell your doctor if you do not feel well before your surgery.

You may need to cancel or reschedule your procedure if you do not follow your doctor’s instructions.

Preadmission Phone Call

Expect a call from a helpful nurse two or three business days before your procedure. Your nurse will:

  • Answer any questions you have about your procedure
  • Ask about your health history
  • Cover what you can and cannot eat and drink before surgery
  • Explain when you should take a shower or bath before the procedure
  • Give medication instructions
  • Remind you about what to bring and leave at home
  • Provide driving directions and parking information
  • Tell you when to arrive at the medical center and how to check in

Get Ready for a GI Procedure

Read specific information on how to get ready for a gastrointestinal (GI) procedure, such as an endoscopy or colonoscopy. Contact GI procedure registration staff at 515-239-3665, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hygiene Instructions Before Surgery

Shower or bathe with soap the evening before or morning of your procedure. Do not remove any hair from the area where you’ll have surgery.

Your care team may give you special soap to wash yourself. The soap has a chemical called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) to kill germs and lessen the risk of infection. You may need to use the soap after the procedure, as well.

Dry off with a clean towel and put on clean clothes. If you wash yourself the evening before your procedure, sleep in clean sheets and blankets.

Home Health Visit

Your care team may recommend that a home health aide visit you before and after your procedure. Your aide may help you or your loved one get ready for surgery the night before the procedure by assisting with showering or changing bed linens.

On the Day of Your Surgery

Know what to bring, when to arrive, and what to expect the day of your surgery at Mary Greeley Medical Center.


Contact your doctor's office if you have questions about your procedure or preparation.

Make an Appointment

Schedule your appointment with a primary care physician or specialist.

Make an Appointment

Talk to a Nurse

Call our 24/7 First Nurse phone line to speak with a medical professional and get advice right away.