Mistakes can happen during a surgery, but many of them should not. Surgeons and the medical team supporting the surgery should be taking steps to prevent wrong-site surgeries, wrong-patient surgeries and other medical errors, either before or after surgery.
To help prevent these mistakes, these are some steps you can take as an advocate for your own health. Keep track of what kind of surgery you're having and ask all questions about the surgery before you agree. Ask your doctor about the medications you should not take before your surgery. Ask if you're allowed to eat or drink before surgery, and ask about removing your nail polish or trimming your nails; this is sometimes required for accurate readings on machinery.