Top surgeons, individualized care.

Preparing for Surgery

We want your experience with HealthEast to be rewarding and your surgery to be successful. Our goal is to help you understand and feel at ease with each step of your upcoming procedure. To help you prepare for your visit, please read through the following information carefully.

Our doctors provide individualized care and at times, they may have different pre-surgical procedures to follow than the ones provided here. It is always best to check with your doctor about any special instructions for your specific surgery and care.

Two weeks before surgery

Insurance information

In order to prepare for your visit, we will need information about your health insurance, health care directives, living will and durable power of attorney if applicable. There are two ways for us to get this information from you. You can complete our online registration form or you can wait for one of our representatives to call you prior to your surgery date.

Contact HealthEast Surgery

Contact us Monday – Friday, 6 am to 5 pm.
After business hours, call Care Connection at 651-326-2273.


St. John's Hospital:
St. Joseph's Hospital:
Woodwinds Health Campus:

Surgery center

Maplewood Surgery Center:


Start to create a list of medicines you are taking. Look at the label for exact name, dosage and frequency. Don't forget to include birth control, aspirin or medicines with aspirin, over-the-counter medicines (those that do not need a prescription), vitamins, herbals, diet pills and supplements. Use My Medicine List.

Keep track of your medications

Use "My Medicine List" to create a list of your medications. Creating this list and keeping it up-to-date, is a simple step that you can take to help ensure your health and safety.

Always keep your list in your wallet or purse for easy access. When listing the medicines you take, be sure to include: prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

Call HealthEast Care Connection at 651-326-CARE (2273) to have this form mailed to you.
Print "My Medicine List"

Discuss all the medicines you are taking with your doctor, especially those for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood thinners or heart problems. Your doctor will advise you on what medicines you will need to change before surgery and which medicines you can take as usual. Ask your doctor for exact instructions about when to take, stop or change any medications before surgery.

Pain control following surgery

In preparation for your surgery, think ahead about pain control and ask your doctor questions, such as:

  • Will there be much pain?
  • Where will pain occur?
  • How long is the pain going to last?
  • What choices do I have about pain medicine?
  • Will there be side effects from my pain medicine?

Then, work with your doctor to design your pain control plan. Review pain control methods that have worked well for you in the past and ask your doctor about ways to help you relax.

Preoperative history and physical exam with your primary care provider

In order to assess your risk and readiness for surgery, you will need a preoperative history and physical exam with your primary care provider at least two weeks before surgery. If you do not have a primary care provider at this time, contact one of HealthEast's conveniently located clinics to schedule an exam.

Other arrangements

If you are going home the same day of surgery, we ask that you arrange having a support person accompany you the day of your surgery.

To provide you with the best and safest care, this person will be asked to do the following:

  • Listen to your surgeon's instructions.
  • Take you home. If you have anesthesia, it's important that you have someone drive you home. If you don't have a driving arrangement set-up, we must cancel your surgery.
  • Stay and care for you 24 hours after surgery.

Total Joint class

If you are scheduled for a total hip or knee replacement surgery, please sign up for one of our free total joint preoperative classes. In this class, you will learn more about preparation and recovery of your surgery.

Total Joint Replacement Class

Classes are offered to all HealthEast Orthopedics patients and their support persons having surgery at St. Joseph's or Woodwinds hospitals.

Sorry, there are no classes available at this time.

One week before surgery

Preoperative assessment

We need to know a lot of information about you before your surgery. One to five days before your scheduled procedure a nurse will call you for a pre-screening interview. The phone call with the nurse will be much faster and easier if you have organized your information prior to the call.

Please have the following information available:

  • Complete your preoperative history and physical exam.
  • Have your primary care provider's and any specialty providers' contact information available. This should include the provider's name, clinic name and phone number.
  • If requested by your primary care provider, have any cardiopulmonary exams as soon as possible.
  • Have an accurate list of your medications available. Look at the bottle for exact name, dosage and frequency. Use My Medicine List.
  • Have a list of your allergies/sensitivities or reactions.
  • Know your health history, surgical history and medical problems.
  • Know any anesthesia issues with you or within your family.


Do not have a pedicure or manicure on the affected extremity the week before surgery. There is a possibility that small breaks in the skin or nails that occur could potentially increase the risk of infection.


Do not shave around the operative areas for at least 48 hours before surgery. Small cuts in the skin could increase the risk of infection.

One day before surgery

Cease smoking and drinking

Do not smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours before your surgery. Smoking or drinking may cause complications in your recovery from anesthesia and may lengthen the healing process.

Pack for your hospital visit

If you are staying at the hospital after your surgery, bring personal items such as a robe, slippers, pajamas, additional clothing and toiletries.

Don't forget to pack the following:

  • A list of your medicines. Use My Medicine List.
  • Your inhalers, if applicable.
  • An eyeglass case or a contact lens case with solution or both. Wear your eyeglasses the day of surgery. You cannot wear contacts while you are under anesthesia.
  • A copy of your health care directive, living will or name of durable power of attorney for health care.
  • Your insurance card and photo ID.
  • Your CPAP machine if you have sleep apnea.
  • To reduce the spread of germs we do not provide toys for children to play with. If your child is having surgery with us, please bring your child's favorite comfort toys.
  • If you have a pacemaker/ICD, bring your ICD manufacturing identification card.

Abstain from food and drink

Per our anesthesia guidelines, do not eat or drink anything eight hours before your surgery. This includes gum, hard candies, water or mints. The only exception is if you've been instructed by your doctor to take your medications with a sip of water. If your mouth becomes dry, you may swish water, but you must spit it out. Oral care including brushing your teeth is permitted, but do not swallow any water.

If your child is having surgery, follow the special feeding instructions given to you by the nurse during the pre-screening interview.

If you get a cold, fever, infection or sore throat, call your surgeon right away.

Remove nail polish

Please remove any fingernail and toenail polish. We monitor your breathing during the procedure and watch that your nail beds remain pink, which means oxygen is circulating well throughout your body.

Body cleansing

Please follow any education or specific instructions you received from your provider in regard to your surgery.

The morning of surgery


Take your morning medicines as instructed. Use a sip of water if needed (no more than one-quarter cup).

Personal care and hygiene

We try to have a fragrance-free environment. Please inform your escort of the same. If you shower the morning or night before surgery, please do not apply any:

  • Scented oils
  • Body products
  • Perfume

Do not wear any make-up including mascara or nail polish. Remember to wear your hearing aid if needed.

Clothing, eyewear and jewelry

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Button, drawstring or zippered clothes are most practical.
  • Wear eyeglasses the day of surgery. Do not wear your contacts. Bring your eyeglass case with you.
  • Do not wear any jewelry, including body piercings. We will need to cancel your surgery if do not take out all of your body piercings.


Bring your insurance card and photo ID. Bring a copy of your health care directive, living will or name of durable power of attorney for health care if applicable.

Bring a list of your medicines. Use My Medicine List.

Personal belongings and money

Do not bring valuables or money unless you have been asked to bring a deposit for your surgery.

CPAP machine

Bring your CPAP machine if you use one for sleep apnea. We will want to monitor your breathing using your normal equipment.

Arrival time

During your pre-screening interview, a registered nurse from the hospital will give you an arrival time. Typical arrival times range from one-and-a-half to two hours before the scheduled surgery time.

HealthEast Surgery locations

Some surgical procedures require a hospital stay and some are day surgeries. Inpatient surgeries take place at St. John's, St. Joseph's or Woodwinds hospitals; day surgeries may be scheduled at a hospital or surgery center.

Maplewood Surgery Center
2945 Hazelwood St, Suite 300
Maplewood, MN 55109
St. John's Hospital
1575 Beam Avenue
Maplewood, MN 55109
St. Joseph's Hospital
45 West 10th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Woodwinds Health Campus
1925 Woodwinds Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125