Preparing for your Surgery

At this point, you have been referred by your doctor to see a surgeon. Your surgeon will decide if you need surgery and then both of you will decide together what the next steps will be.
How can I prepare before meeting my surgeon?

  • Your surgeon will want to know about your health and the medications you are taking.
  • You will likely be asked to fill out a Pre-op Patient Health History Questionnaire. Fill this out to the best of your ability and bring it with you when you visit your surgeon even if you are not sure you need surgery.
  • Write down any important questions you want to ask your surgeon so you do not forget.
  • Bring a paper and pen to write down important information given to you by your surgeon and team.
  • Follow all the instructions given to you by your surgeon’s office/clinic team.

Pre-Admission Appointment

Depending on your health and personal situation, your Pre-Admission appointment will include pre-assessment from a specialized team of registered nurses, anesthesiologists, residents and health-care professionals who will help prepare you for your surgical experience.

  • Your surgeon will schedule you for a pre-admission appointment at least 2-6 weeks before your surgery.  This is an important appointment to make sure you are ready for your surgery.
  • A registered nurse (RN) will obtain your health history at this appointment and explain any preparations you need to do before surgery.
  • Depending on your health, you may need to see an anesthesiologist at this appointment.
  • Depending on your health and your situation, sometimes your appointment may take place over the phone.  It is important that you can speak freely about your health history during this interview. 

How will the Pre-Admission Appointment help me plan for my Surgery?

Depending on how long you will be staying in the hospital, your PAU appointment will provide you with the necessary information and education material for you to prepare for your surgery.  The length of time you will be admitted to hospital is decided by your surgical team and may include one of the following hospital admission types:

  • Day Surgery: You will have surgery and go home (discharged) on the same day of surgery.
  • Overnight Surgery: You will have surgery and go home (discharged) the following day after your surgery by 7:00 a.m.
  • Same Day Admission: You will have surgery and go home (discharged) more than 24 hours after your surgery.

What can I do to get ready for my surgery?

Here are ways to take care of both your body and your mind so you are ready for your surgery:

  • Think positively!
  • Stay as active as you are able to.
  • A balanced diet is important. Try to eat healthy foods before your surgery.
  • Call your Family Doctor or Surgeon if you have medical concerns.
  • Be open and honest with your health care team:

Tell your Surgeon if you smoke or drink alcohol. Be honest about how much you smoke or drink because it can affect your recovery after your surgery.

If you smoke, try to quit. If you can’t quit, smoke less. Smoking irritates your lungs, so smokers have more breathing problems after surgery.

Ask your Preadmission Clinic team about smoking cessation programs.

  • Tell your medical team if you are taking blood thinners, herbal medicines or street drugs.
  • Examples of blood thinners are Coumadin® (Warfarin), Aspirin® or Plavix® and Vitamin E.
  • Some over-the-counter medications may cause side effects. Let your medical team know about anything you are taking.

Keep taking all your usual medications unless your health care team tells you otherwise.

Is it possible that the date of my surgery will change?

Yes. The operating rooms may be needed for life-threatening emergencies. The hospital will inform you as soon as possible if your surgery is going to be postponed. You may already be at the hospital when this happens. Your surgery date or time might be changed for other reasons too.

If your surgery is postponed to another day, your Surgeon’s office will call you with a new date.