Before & After Surgery

Preparing for Your Operation

  • You will be contacted by the pre-operative call center prior to your surgery to confirm the time and date of your surgery. If you do not hear from them by the business day before your surgery, please call them at 720-848-6070 between 2 and 4 p.m.
  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the operation.
  • Shower or bathe as usual on the morning of the operation.


  • Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 7 days before the operation.
  • Stop herbal medications and supplements 2 weeks before surgery.
  • Blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), Pradaxa (Dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban), Eliquis (apixaban), Lovenox (enoxaparin), Fragmin (dalteparin), and Plavix (clopidogrel) need to be stopped a few days to a week prior to surgery. It is important to discuss with your surgeon exactly when these medications should be stopped.
  • Stop ACE/ARBS medications 24 hours before surgery. These include any medication that ends with -pril or –sartan (e.g., Acupril, Losartan, Prinivil, Lisinopril)
  • Do NOT stop inhalers and other lung medications.
  • Do NOT stop beta blockers (metoprolol, atenolol, etc.)
  • Discuss diabetes medications with your doctor or Pre-Procedure Services.
  • Stop ADHD drugs one day before surgery.
  • Stop cholesterol/lipid meds one day before surgery.
  • Other medications such as antacid medications and medications for depression or anxiety are generally OK to take on day of surgery; discuss with your surgeon if you have questions.

When You Arrive

  • When you arrive at the hospital, the first step will be registration. Then you will go to the pre-operative area, where a nurse will guide you through a series of safeguards and preparations for surgery.
  • Next you will meet the surgical team, which includes anesthesia professionals, nursing staff, surgical residents, and your surgeon.
  • You will be given general anesthesia, so you will be asleep during the procedure.
  • The duration of the operation depends on the type and extent of the resection. Two to three hours is typical.
  • Your surgeon will contact your family as soon as your operation is completed.

If you have questions before your surgery, please call 303-724-2724.

This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.