Preparing for Surgery

The most important person involved in your surgery is YOU, the soon to be patient. The checklist below provides you with important questions and some “To – Do’s”, to help you become familiar with your planned treatment and actively participate in your plan of care, to ensure your maximal recovery.

ELECTIVE SURGERY UPDATE (MAY 20, 2021): CCH has received approval from the Government of Ontario to gradually resume some non-emergency and non-urgent day surgeries and procedures. At this time, only eligible patients with a postponed surgery or procedure will be contacted by CCH to be rescheduled.

Questions to Ask Before Consent

No planned surgery can be performed without your informed consent. When you agree to surgery, you are effectively appointing your surgeon to act in your best interests while you are anaesthetized. Topics you may wish to discuss with your Surgeon are:

  • Why is this operation necessary?
  • What happens during the surgery?
  • How long will the operation take?
  • What are the risks associated with this surgery?
  • Are there any risks after surgery?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used?
  • Will I need a blood transfusion?
  • How long will I have to wait for surgery?
  • How much will I improve?
  • What tests are required before surgery?

Questions to Ask About Your Recovery Period

Depending on the procedure and the patient’s individual general health, recovery time will vary from person to person. In order to plan your recovery, you may wish to discuss question, like the ones listed below with your Physician.

  • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?
  • How long will my incision take to heal?
  • Will I need any special medication and if so, for how long?
  • Will I be in a lot of pain? How long should it last?
  • Will I need physiotherapy?
  • How long before I can return to my daily routine?
  • How long will I be off work?
  • Will I need any special equipment at home?
  • How long will I need to arrange for help, during my recovery at home?
  • What are the urgent signs and symptoms that I must report?
  • Do I require an Anaesthetic Clinic consultation?

Tips for Getting Prepared

Other than your Surgeon, YOU, have the most important role to play in your surgery and recovery period. Here are some tips that you can discuss with your Doctor, to help you get ready for your best possible outcome.

  • Follow your Surgeon’s instructions
  • Learn as much as you can about your procedure
  • Maintain or improve your fitness level
  • Maintain a healthy weight – is weight reduction required before surgery?
  • Have any dental work done
  • Quit smoking! Ask about smoking cessation programs
  • Locate a physiotherapy facility close to home
  • Fill prescription medications
  • Arrange and finalize supportive care before surgery, in preparation for discharge after surgery
  • Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital, including parking money if necessary
  • Accept assistance from friends and family

Arrive early for your Pre Admission Clinic Interview – Make sure you bring all your medications in their original bottles. Please make sure you are accompanied by family or a close friend, to assist you if necessary

Remove all jewellery! If you have a ring, or body piercings that you are unable to remove, you must go to a Jeweller and have them cut off.

Home Checklist: Things to do Before Surgery


  • Get special equipment recommended by your Surgeon (i.e. raised toilet seat, walker)
  • Identify local pharmacy with delivery service that stocks your medication
  • Identify a grocery store with delivery service
  • Arrange for home services if required, such as snow removal or pet care
  • Organize a “Recovery Room’ for your return after surgery – Do you require your bed to be on the main level
  • Remove any area rugs, or extension cords that may cause you to fall
  • Prepare meals in advance or purchase frozen or microwave dinners
  • Arrange a ride to and from the hospital
  • Pack your bag in advance
  • Do NOT eat anything after midnight before your surgery. Sips of water may be taken no later than 4 hours before surgery. Do not chew gum or suck on candy before your surgery. If you do, your surgery may be cancelled
  • Do not smoke after midnight before your surgery
  • Informed your loved ones of the visiting hours – 11:00 to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM
  • Please bathe or shower the night before and the morning of surgery. Make sure you pack a pair of clean white socks to wear during your surgery, to help keep you warm.

What to Pack for the Hospital

  • Loose clothing that are easy to put on or take off
  • Personal care products – brush, toothbrush/paste, soap/shampoo, Kleenex
  • All your current medications in their original containers
  • Books or magazines
  • Nightclothes, housecoat, sturdy slippers or running shoes – Do not bring loose or soft slippers. Rubber soles only.

Do not bring jewellery or valuables to the hospital, as the hospital is not responsible for misplaced or lost items. If you wear glasses or a hearing aide(s), make sure you bring a protective case and extra batteries. Please make sure to store all items in their protective cases, labeled with your name, when not in use.