Your Visit or Stay

Special Instructions

Your physician may give you special instructions if you're undergoing surgery or certain other procedures. It is important that you follow them. Check with your physician for pre-op guidelines. Although these guidelines vary, here is some general advice:

Eating and Drinking

The evening before surgery you may eat a normal dinner. You cannot eat or drink anything (including water, gum, hard candy) after midnight. This is essential to prevent vomiting during and after anesthesia. If you violate these guidelines, your surgery may be cancelled.


Before you are admitted, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin or medications with aspirin in them. Many patients should discontinue aspirin two weeks prior to surgery. Anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as Coumadin, also may have to be discontinued. Consult your physician about these and other medications before and after surgery. If you are staying overnight, you may bring your medications or a list of them. If you list them, include their name, dose and how often you take them. Consult with your physician to make sure there will be no drug interactions.


If you are a smoker, it is strongly recommended that you quit smoking as early as possible before surgery. Greenwich Hospital is a smoke-free hospital. Smoking or other tobacco use is not allowed in hospital buildings, property, sidewalks or garages. If you are interested in learning how to quit or cut back on smoking, see our Smoke Stoppers classes in our Calendar.


Before your surgery or procedure, be sure you know the date and time you are expected to arrive at Greenwich Hospital. It is also important to determine whether someone should accompany you to the hospital and take you home. If you are coming for same-day surgery, you may receive sedation or pain medication. This will affect ability to drive yourself home and prohibit you from traveling in a taxi or by public transportation.

Pre-op Guidelines

Nail polish is permitted in light shades only. Dark colors will be removed. Learn about pre-operative pediatric tours for children scheduled for surgery.

What to Bring and What Not to Bring