Pre-operative Instructions

Before your procedure follow the general instructions listed below. Additional detail for total joint patients is also provided below.


  1. As soon as your surgery has been scheduled, you will receive a personal health history questionnaire through your MyChart account. You can access your MyChart account here: If you have any questions, please call the pre-op nurse at 703-385-3985, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  2. Pre-operative testing (Labwork, EKG, medical clearance) must be completed within 30 days prior to your scheduled surgery and the results must be received by the surgery center no later then 72 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
  3. Please FAX your pre-op test results to the Surgery Center Pre-Op Department at 703-810-5436.
  4. You will NOT be permitted to drive after your surgery.  You must have a responsible adult accompany you during your entire visit at the surgery center and he/she must drive you home after you have been discharged. Someone MUST be available to stay with you for the first 24 hours after discharge.
  5. If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian MUST accompany you and he/she will not be allowed to leave the surgery center while you are under our care.
  6. Do NOT take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. Motrin, Aleve, Advil) 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

 24 Hours Before Surgery

  1. Do NOT eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery – this includes candy, lozenges, mints and gum.
  2. Do NOT smoke for at least 24 hours prior to surgery.  It is best to avoid smoking 1 week prior to surgery and 2 weeks following surgery.
  3. A staff member will call you the day before your surgery to confirm your assigned arrival time to the surgery center.

If you have not received a confirmation call by 3:00 PM on the day prior to your surgery, please contact the appropriate surgery center at the telephone number listed at the top of this page.

Morning of Surgery

  1. Take all medications as prescribed with only a SIP of water (unless otherwise instructed).
  2. Bathe as usual. Avoid heavy lotions or moisturizers.   You may brush your teeth.
  3. Do NOT wear make-up, body piercings, jewelry, or hair spray.  Leave all valuables at home. OrthoVirginia will not be held responsible for any valuables that you bring to the surgery center on the day of your surgery.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing, elastic waist shorts (no zipper), sports bra, and shoes that are easy to remove. For shoulder and arm surgery patients, bring an XL button-down shirt to go over your sling.
  5. Bring completed registration paperwork, driver’s license, insurance cards, medication list and co-pay.

Before surgery

  • Pre-op appointment with OrthoVirginia
  • Pre-op appointment with hospital/anesthesia consult
  • Visit your medical doctor (within 30 days of surgery)
  • Dental examination (within 6 weeks of surgery)
  • Attend Total Joint Orientation class at hospital
  • Call outpatient physical therapy to set up a pre-op appointment.
  • Make outpatient physical therapy appointment. to start after surgery

1 week before surgery

STOP anti-inflammatory meds: Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve,Advil, Diclofenac
EXCEPT Celebrex (you may take Celebrex up to day of surgery)

2 days before surgery

  • Check with your hospital for your ARRIVAL TIME on day of surgery

Night before surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything past midnight unless instructed by the anesthesiologist or your surgeon

Schedule for 2 weeks after surgery

  • 1st post-op appointment in the surgeon’s office

Information specific to Reston Hospital

  • You will be told your date of surgery. Your time of surgery is subject to change.
  • Arrive  2 hours prior to your surgery time to the Reston hospital center registration desk.
    Access hospital through ‘main entrance’ at front of hospital (by American flag pole & cafeteria) & use free valet parking service,
  • Bring exercise type clothes with you to the hospital, like gym shorts, sweat pants, loose tops, yoga apparel, good walking shoes.
  • Hospital rooms are all private, with flat screen TV’s & music therapy, free wifi internet services.
  • Bring books, electronics, knitting, music, etc to pass the time.
  • There are no time restrictions on visiting hours on the total joint 4th floor.  A support person (>18 yrs) can spend the night in the hospital room with you if you want (not necessary).
  • Therapy staff will work with you personally, and there will be group exercise classes while you are in the hospital.
  • Walking is great exercise, get up and move around about every hour (except during sleep hours), & continue leg-raise exercises.
  • Elevate your feet higher than your hips so they don’t swell at rest; *apply ice to operative area (not on bare skin!).
  • You can shower as soon as you are discharged from hospital (no tub baths, swimming, or hot tubs initially).
  • Water-proof dressings stay on incision for a week, then use large band-aid type dressings or gauze supplied by hospital.
  • Do not apply any medications to incision: no alcohol,
  • No peroxide, no ointments, no lotions, etc.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush your system and to avoid constipation; *take stool softener or laxative as needed
  • Follow up with surgeon in his office 10-14 days after the surgery for staple removal and xrays.

You will be told when you first post-op appointment is.