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Surgical Services (Operating Room)

Surgeons at Whitehorse General Hospital (WGH) perform over 2,900 scheduled and emergency surgeries each year in the hospitals' three operating rooms. The main surgeries performed at WGH include general surgery, orthopedic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and various surgeries by visiting specialists. Other services provided at Surgical Services include Minor Procedures, the Cast Clinic, and the Pre-Operative Clinic.


General Surgeons

Our team of dedicated general surgeons treat patients with a wide range of surgical illnesses. Surgeons have expertise in surgical emergencies and elective general surgery and all have subspecialty training. Specialties include colorectal surgery, head and neck surgery and/or surgical oncology. We also perform a range of endoscopic procedures that allow both diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal and urologic disorders.

Phone: 867-393-8908.

Orthopedic Surgeons

Our orthopedic surgeons have expertise in surgical emergencies and elective surgery and all have subspecialty training. Specialties include and not limited to hip and knee arthroplasty (replacement), shoulder surgery, foot surgery and lower limb osteotomy. Patients also see the orthopedic surgeons for their Cast Clinic appointments.

Phone: 867-393-8908.


We provide a broad range of services, including emergency services, outpatient care, and surgery for women in their reproductive and postmenopausal years of life. Surgeries performed include a wide range of pelvic, laparoscopic, open, and hysteroscopic procedures in both inpatient and daycare settings.

Phone: 867-393-8915

Visiting specialists
  • Visiting specialist surgeons include ophthalmologists and ear, nose and throat specialists. To learn more about these services, please see the Visiting Specialist Clinic.

Learn more about how to prepare and what to expect during surgery below. 

We recognize surgery can be a stressful experience. It is our goal to provide you with safe, high quality services while you are in our care at WGH. At your appointment with the surgeon, they will explain why your surgery is needed, what it will involve, what the risks are, the expected outcome and length of recovery.

After your appointment with the surgeon, your surgery will be scheduled through the OR Booking office. You will receive a letter, by mail, informing you of your surgery date. If it is necessary, at the time of booking, you will be scheduled for a Pre-Operative appointment with a nurse and/or anesthesiologist.

Your surgeon or anesthesiologist may order certain tests to be complete prior to surgery. The tests may include blood tests, X-rays or electrocardiogram (EKG) prior to your surgery.

WGH’s Pre-Operative Clinic prepares a patient for their scheduled surgery. At this time, you will meet with a nurse and/ or anesthesiologist, learn more about your procedure, and get details about how to prepare for surgery and/or your stay in hospital.

Register at the Surgical Services Registration desk in the Atrium of WGH. The Clinic's hours are 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday and closed on Stat Holidays.

* Please bring your health card to register.*

What to Expect at your Pre-Operative Appointment

Pre-op will review with you:

  • The time you need to arrive at the hospital the morning of your surgery
  • The length of surgery and approximate time of your discharge after the procedure
  • Any specific preparation for your surgery
  • Allergies and medication review – Please bring all of your medications and supplements in their original containers.
  • The dates of your COVID-19 vaccination
  • The person who will be your escort and contact post-surgery

It is important to be as healthy as you can be prior to surgery. Talk with your family physician on any health concerns and how to improve your health prior to surgery. If you smoke, drink heavily, or use street drugs, tell your family physician or surgeon. These habits raise your risk of serious problems during and after surgery, and will make it harder for your recovery.

Prior to your surgery date, you will receive a call from the hospital to confirm the time of your surgery. They will also complete an infection control screening.

If you are ill (flu or cold symptoms) or unable to keep your surgery day, please call OR Booking 867-393-8904 between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Make sure you complete the WGH Preoperative Clinic Patient Self-Assessment Form. This form is available to print and complete before arriving for surgery.

Failure to follow these instructions may lead to the cancellation or postponement of your surgery.

  • Do not drink alcohol in the 24 hours prior to your surgery.
  • Fasting: Do not eat solid food or dairy after midnight.
  • Do not take any medications, prescription or non-prescription, on the day of your surgery without your physician’s specific permission. Only take medications with a sip of water on the morning of surgery. If you take blood thinner or blood pressure medications, you will be instructed which medications to hold prior to surgery.
  • You may have clear fluids up to 2 hours before your operation time (unless you’re directed otherwise by anesthesia). Water, apple juice or black coffee/tea are allowed. You are asked not to have dairy products such as milk, cream or Coffee-mate, otherwise your surgery may be postponed.
  • Have a shower or bath the night before or the morning of your surgery (unless directed otherwise by the nurse).
  • Remove all jewelry, makeup, nail polish, contact lenses, prosthetic devices and tampons.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Children may wear their own pajamas. Please bring an extra set of clothing and diapers for children.
  • You will need a ride home. Please arrange to have someone pick you up. You are considered impaired due to the medications provided in the surgery.
  • You are required to have an escort for 24 hours post-operatively ONLY if you are having General Anesthesia. If this is not arranged prior to surgery, this may lead to the cancellation of your surgery.

  • Do not feed your child any solids for 8 hours before surgery.
  • Do not feed your child formula or non-breast milk for 6 hours before surgery.
  • Do not feed your child breast milk for 4 hours before surgery.
  • Do not feed your child clear fluids (pedialyte, water, apple juice) for 2 hours before surgery
  • Please bring an extra set of clothing and diapers for children.

Yukon Hospitals strives to provide the best care for our patients. At times there may be a need to re-schedule your surgery. Please be reassured that this decision is made with the goal of providing the safest care to all our patients. If we need to reschedule your surgery, you will be provided with an alternative date either at the time of deferral or within 72 hours of this decision.

On the day of the scheduled surgery, patients come to the Surgical Day Unit to be prepared for the operating room. The unit has 10 beds which are used for surgical patients. Please register at the Surgical Services Registration Desk located in the Atrium of WGH.

What to Bring
  • Documents: Your health care card, travel forms, WCB forms, etc.
  • Personal: Your denture cup, contact lenses, hearing aids or glasses case
  • Equipment: Crutches (with spikes in winter), walkers, or CPAP machine (if used for sleep apnea)
  • Entertainment: Book, puzzle book, cell phone or tablet. Something to help pass the time as surgeries can be delayed due to emergencies
  • Clothes: Comfortable, loose fitting clothing, socks, and comfortable shoes with non-skid soles
  • Please leave all valuables at home. Be aware that you are responsible for the care and safety of your personal property while you are at the hospital.

You will be shown to a patient cubicle to prepare for your surgery.

  • You will be asked to change into a gown (with your undergarments removed).
  • We will measure your vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and oxygen level), height and weight.
  • We will start an intravenous (IV) in your arm or hand, if ordered by the surgeon or anesthesiologist for fluid and medications.
  • Before going into the operating room, you may be asked to empty your bladder; and to remove any hearing aids, dentures, contact lenses, glasses and/or piercings.
  • You will wait in the Surgical Day Unit until the time of your surgery. You will be asked questions you may have already answered. This is to ensure we have the correct patient for the proper procedure. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will see you here before the surgery.

You will be wheeled to the operating room on a stretcher or wheelchair.

  • When you are taken to the operating room, a nurse will stay with you to explain what is happening, answer any questions and offer support.
  • All staff in the operating room wear special clothing, caps and masks. The operating room has bright lights and a cool temperature. The special equipment, supplies and instruments have been prepared by the surgical staff.
  • The surgical team uses a safety checklist to keep you safe. Before we begin, we will re-confirm you are the right patient, verify the location of the surgery on your body, and we will perform a time out or briefing to review the procedure.
  • You will be monitored closely using vital signs placing heart monitor leads, pulse oximetry (monitors oxygen), and blood pressure cuff. Your surgery will begin after the anesthesiologist has administered your anesthetic.

After your surgery, you will be taken to the Surgical Day Care Unit or the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where you will be closely monitored.

  • You may still have tubes and monitors connected to you. You will be awake, but drowsy and in a dream-like state.
  • You may have a sore throat, headache or muscle pain.
  • Medications are available to control pain or nausea. Please inform the nurse if you have either of these symptoms.
  • The length of time you are in recovery room depends on the type of surgery and anesthetic.
  • It is common not to remember much from your time in the operating room or recovery.

If you are having day surgery, you will remain in the Surgical Day Unit until you are ready for discharge.

  • Be sure that you understand all the discharge and post-operative instructions you have been given.
  • Please consider all of your discharge needs, i.e. prescriptions, wound management, weight bearing status, equipment and follow-up.
  • You are required to have an escort for 24 hours post-operatively only if you have had a general anesthetic.


  • If you are being admitted to the hospital after your surgery, you will be transferred to your hospital room from the Recovery Unit. Your surgeon will discharge you when appropriate.

The Minor Procedures Room is where General Practitioners, Visiting Specialists and Surgeons perform over 1,200 procedures annually. These procedures require only minimal sedation and local anesthesia. These procedures are short in time. These appointments will be booked by the Surgeon’s Office or the GP’s Office

Please note: You will register at the Surgical Services Registration Desk located in the Atrium of WGH. This service is offered on weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and closed on statutory holidays. You can reach a nurse at 867-393-9026.

The Cast Clinic service is provided by our orthopedic department. You will have a referral from a General Practitioner, Emergency Department Physician, or one of the Orthopedic Surgeons.

A Surgical Services registration clerk will book your appointment and call you with the date and time to attend. You will also complete an infection control screening at this time.

On the day of your appointment you will meet with an Orthopedic Surgeon for assessment. You may receive an X-ray, remove your cast and/or be re-splinted. On occasion, a patient may need to be booked for an operating room procedure. The nurses will provide you with instructions for surgery, and arrange the date and time of the surgery.

Please note: You will register at the Surgical Services Registration Desk located in the Atrium of WGH. Within the Surgical Services Department we offer Cast Clinic appointments 2 days per week. Usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays (can be different if there is a statutory holiday during the week). You can reach a nurse at 867-393-9026 (nurse) or 867-393-8988 (Surgical Services registration desk).