What Should I Wear to the Hospital for Surgery

Sometimes the simplest questions can cause anxiety. If you’re preparing for joint replacement surgery and are worried about what to wear, this article may help.

Getting ready for surgery can be stressful. You have so many things on your mind, so much to do. You’ve checked lists and packed your bag, and now it’s surgery day. One final decision remains – what do you wear to the hospital?

Since you’ll want to be comfortable, choose practical clothing with a loose fit. Sweats or loose workout pants are generally a good choice. You may want to consider wearing shorts if you’re having knee surgery.1 Shirts or blouses with buttons in the front are easiest to put on and take off.2 It’s likely that you’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown once you’re in your room, so you may not even need to wear the clothes you arrive in for long.

If you are planning to wear the same clothes when you go home, think about where your incision will be and the type of dressing that will cover it. If you won’t be able to use both your hands, consider slip-on shoes and clothes without ties, buttons or zippers.1 If you wear eye glasses, be sure to take a case to store your glasses in during surgery.

Are you taking control of your recovery?

 Know what you’ll need ahead of your joint replacement surgery.

Here are some items you may not want to wear:1

  • Shoes that tie, have high heels, or slippery soles
  • Tight pants, especially if you are having abdominal or hernia surgery
  • Tight underwear, pantyhose, knee-high stockings
  • Makeup, lipstick, nail polish
  • Dentures, loose bridge work
  • Contact lenses
  • Jewelry

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your surgeon or the medical center staff. They should be able to answer any questions you may have.

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  1. Getting Ready for Outpatient Surgery (2018, Apr 27). HealthPages.org.  https://www.healthpages.org/surgical-care/getting-ready-for-outpatient-surgery/
  2. How to Prepare for Surgery (2020, May 17). The Center for Ambulatory Surgery. https://mountainsidesurgery.com/for-patients/how-to-prepare-for-surgery/

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