It’s the day of your big surgery. You’re nervous but you figure you’re in good hands, right? Did you ever consider how your doctor’s personal life may affect your surgery? For example, did they get a good night’s sleep the night before? Here’s my perspective on what I do the night before a patient’s surgery.
The Night Before
At some point the day before surgery, I review the patient’s preop photos and look over my preop consult with the patient. Aside from confirming what procedure we’re performing, I want to look at some details. Are we doing a procedure on the left or right or both sides of the body? Are they allergic to anything? Did they make any special requests? Did they get lab work? And if they did, I confirm all of their blood levels are in order. All of these details are in my note from when I originally saw the patient. I simply review them to ensure I haven’t overlooked any details.
The night before, I eat a good meal. Either at home or out at a restaurant with my wife. I avoid alcohol, watch some Family Guy, blog or something else to keep me intellectually relaxed. Then to bed by 10 or 11 to get a good solid, blissful 7-8 hours of sleep!
Next time you’re having a procedure, ask your doctor what they do the night before. Don’t be shy. If a late night combined with an early morning is their routine, you may want to consider a more well-rested doctor!