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Before You Arrive

Preprocedural testing

Your doctor or another health care professional will meet with you before your procedure to discuss routine preprocedural tests. Your physician will need to receive the results of all preprocedure tests at least three days before your scheduled procedure to avoid any delays or cancellations. Your doctor may discuss these tests with you in more detail.

Expect our calls

Before you come to Rush, staff from the following areas may contact you:

  • Hospital registration: A staff member will call to verify your insurance coverage. If your scheduled procedure is within 48 hours and you have not been contacted, please call the Admitting/Registration Department at (312) 942-5700.
  • Anesthesiology: If you are receiving anesthesia for your procedure, a member of the anesthesia team may attempt to contact you to discuss the anesthesia plan for your procedure and answer questions about your prescription medications, anesthesia and pain management during and after your procedure. You will have an additional opportunity to speak with your anesthesia team when you arrive on the day of your procedure, if you are not reached prior to the day of your procedure.
  • Perioperative Care Unit (PCU): A nurse from the Perioperative Care Unit (PCU) will call to review your health history and instructions for preprocedural preparation and the time you need to arrive at Rush. If you have questions or have not received a phone call from the PCU by the day before your procedure, please call (312) 942-5040 prior to 6 p.m. the day before your procedure. If your procedure is scheduled on a Monday, please call on the Friday before your procedure. If you have not received confirmation of your procedure time by 6 p.m., please call (312) 947-0500 and ask to speak with the operating room charge nurse.

Getting ready for the procedure

The following instructions will help prepare you for your procedure and recovery:


  • As a general rule, you should not eat or drink after midnight on the night before your procedure. Under rare circumstances, you may be given permission to have clear liquids up to a few hours before your procedure.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 12 hours before your procedure.


  • Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or a member of the anesthesia team, take your normal morning prescription medicines but only with a small sip of water.
  • Do not take any vitamins or herbal supplements at least 12 hours before your procedure.
  • Do not take oral diabetic medicines. If you take insulin for diabetes, check with your doctor about how much you should take the day of your procedure.
  • If you take blood-thinning medicines such as Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin or ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Nuprin or Advil), ask your doctor if you should stop taking them prior to procedure.

Other instructions

  • Stop smoking at least two weeks before your procedure, or earlier if possible.
  • Bathe with an antibacterial soap the night before or the morning of your procedure. Do not apply lotions, creams, powders or deodorant after bathing.
  • Call your doctor before the day of your procedure if you develop a fever, cold or rash.
  • If you are having your period the day of your procedure, do not wear a tampon (wear a pad).
  • Arrange to have a responsible adult escort you home after your procedure. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. If you are having an outpatient procedure, you must have a family member or friend with you after the procedure to review your instructions and help you home. It is recommended that your family member or friend remain with you during the first 24 hours for your safety and protection.
  • Inform your doctor and the anesthesia team if you have allergies to any medications or latex.
  • Patients under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Pack for your comfort and efficiency

Please bring the following:

  • Photo ID (driver's license or state ID)
  • Insurance card and information
  • List of prescription and nonprescription medications that you take. You may bring your medications to the hospital, but for safety and based upon Rush policy, medications will be supplied to you by the hospital pharmacy during your stay.
  • List of past hospitalizations, illnesses, surgeries, allergies (and allergic reactions) and immunizations.
  • Assistive devices, such as walkers, crutches, canes, hearing aids and magnifying glasses. Please label all personal items with your name.
  • Names and phone numbers of family or friends to contact in case of emergency
  • Comfortable clothes to wear home
  • Money to purchase newspapers, magazines or other items (limit of $10 in cash)
  • Copy of your advance directives, if you have them. Advance directives are given to your doctors and family in case you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. Advance directives include a living will and durable power of attorney for health care. Any person 18 years of age or older should be informed about advance directives. Patients can request copies of advance directives when they are admitted to Rush. For more information, call Rush's Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at (312) 942-5571.

If staying overnight, bring:

  • Pajamas/nightgown and robe
  • Personal toiletries, such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, denture cream and moisturizer

Please leave the following items at home:

  • Valuables such as credit cards, checkbooks, large amounts of cash and jewelry.
  • Please remove all jewelry (including wedding rings, navel and nose rings). If you are unable to remove these items or you are unable to remove your wedding band, they will be cut off for safety.
  • Personal electrical appliances, such as hair dryers, curling irons, electric shavers, heating pads, television sets, radios, cellular telephones and laptop computers.

We cannot be responsible for your belongings. If you must bring valuables, ask the staff to deposit them in the hospital safe. Please be aware that if you need to deposit items in our safe, your registration and discharge process will require extra time. For your convenience, we strongly recommend leaving unneeded items and valuables at home.

Medications and supplements

Please list all medications that you are currently taking and bring them with you to the hospital.