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Urethroplasty Pre-operative Instructions

You may receive pre-operative instructions from the hospital with additional information. Anything in those instructions should supersede what you see here. We provide these urethroplasty-specific instructions to help with nuances about things like whether or not to stop aspirin and how we manage your urine culture findings. But the hospital-derived instructions may have more up-to-date information about non-urology aspects of your pre-operative preparation.


Pre-operative History and Physical

To make sure that your body is fit for anesthesia and surgery, our hospital requires that you have a pre-operative history and physical (a.k.a., check-up) within one month of surgery. You can schedule that with your primary care provider or, in some cases, at the anesthesia pre-op clinic at our hospital. At this visit, your provider will make sure your heart and lungs are fit for surgery and adjust medicines as needed before surgery. They may order additional testing (such as an EKG) to confirm that you are safe for surgery.

Be sure to go over all of your medicines with the person doing your pre-operative history and physical. In particular, you should have a discussion about which medicines to take the morning of surgery (it is okay to take these with a sip of water) and which can be skipped. Generally, we ask that you stop blood thinning medicines like warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix) but please DO NOT STOP ASPIRIN if you are taking it. Aspirin does not, in our experience, cause any problems with surgical bleeding and it is excellent at protecting against heart attack in people who need it.


Pre-operative labs

You will need some bloodwork and urine testing before surgery. You can coordinate this with your pre-operative history and physical or do it in our urology clinic. A urine culture is important because we have to ensure that there is no bladder infection before we operate on your bladder. If there are bacteria in your bladder on the urine culture but you do not have any symptoms of a bladder infection then we will delay treatment of the bacteria until 3 days before surgery. In that case, you will take 3 days of antibiotics on those final 3 days so that your urine is sterile for surgery.


Pre-operative shower

A pre-operative shower with a special soap can help prevent wound infections after surgery. Please go to your local pharmacy ahead of time and purchase a bottle of over-the-counter 4% Chlorhexidine soap (e.g., Exidine or Hibiclens) to use as instructed the night before or morning of surgery. If you cannot shower then use 2% CHS wipes (e.g., SAGE) to clean.



It is important that your stomach be empty prior to anesthesia. This helps prevent pneumonia should you throw up during surgery. The safest guideline is to eat and drink nothing for 8 hours before surgery. If you need to drink something, then you can drink clear liquids for up to two hours before surgery (but not other liquids and not solid food). Clear liquids include water, apple juice, Gatorade, black coffee, or tea without any milk or cream. Liquids should not contain alcohol.


A Ride to/from Surgery

Even though you may be going home the same day, you will not be safe to drive a car until the day after surgery. So, you will need to arrange to have someone drive you to and from surgery.


Overnight monitoring

If you are going home the same day after surgery, then you will need an adult to be with you for 24 hours after surgery. This is so that they can watch for any side effects from surgery or anesthesia.

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