Preparing for Surgery

Pre-Operative Clinic Hours

8 am - 4 pm
Monday to Friday

Before Surgery (Pre-Operative)

WGH’s Pre-Operative Clinic prepares patients before their planned elective surgery. It gives you an opportunity to meet with a nurse, learn more about your procedure and get details about how to prepare for surgery and/or your stay in hospital.

Confirming your Surgery Date

After consulting with the surgeon, your surgery will be booked through the central booking office. You will receive a phone call or a letter by mail informing you of your surgery date/time, anesthetist, and the time of your visit to the pre-operative clinic. Please call the phone number provided as soon as possible to confirm your surgical date.

Where to go

The pre-op clinic is located on the left just inside WGH’s main entrance and is open from 8 am - 4 pm Monday to Friday. However, on the day of your pre-op visit, you must first visit the Admitting & Discharge (A&D) desk to be pre-admitted. You may also have to visit the lab for a test.

What to expect

Upon arrival at pre-operative clinic, you will be offered an opportunity to watch a 10-minute DVD presentation about the operation day. The nurse will also review with you:

  • time you need to arrive at the hospital the morning of your surgery
  • the time of your surgery
  • the general time of your discharge after the procedure
  • any specific preparation for your surgery such as fasting
  • allergies and medication

At the end of the visit, you will be asked to sign an “Informed Operative Consent” and the nurse will witness your signature.

What to bring

Please bring all your medications along with list of doses and times taken each day. A current pharmacy prescription print out would be ideal.

How to prepare before surgery
  • do not eat solid food after midnight
  • you may have clear fluids up to three hours before your operation time (unless the anesthesiologist tells you otherwise). Water, apple juice or tea are allowed. You are asked not have dairy products such milk, coffee-mate or cream otherwise your operation may be cancelled
  • take a shower or bath the night before or the morning of your operation unless told otherwise by your surgeon
  • leave all valuables at home
  • remove all jewelry, makeup, nail polish, acrylic nails, contact lenses and prosthesis. If necessary, wear a sanitary napkin instead of a tampon. If needed, bring your denture cup, contact lens or glasses case
  • wear comfortable clothing. Children may wear their own pajamas if the top has buttons down the front
  • do not drink alcohol in the 24 hours prior to your operation
  • arrange for a ride home or bring cab fare
  • arrive at the hospital 90 minutes before your operation to allow time for preparation. Sometimes the operative times have to be changed due to emergencies
  • bring something to help pass the time while you wait
  • if your child is having an operation he or she will need all your attention after surgery so, please arrange for care for your other children at home
  • for adults having an operation, one family member or friend may accompany you to the Surgical Day Care Unit

Day of Surgery (Surgical Day Care Unit)

On the day of elective surgery, most patients come to the Surgical Day Care Unit to be prepared for the operating room. The unit has 10 beds, which are used for surgical patients as well as others receiving IV medications and blood transfusions.

Where to go

Plan to arrive at the Surgical Day Care Unit approximately 90 minutes before your scheduled surgery time. First, you will check in at the Admitting & Discharge (A&D) desk.

What to expect

You will be shown to a patient treatment area and asked to change into a hospital gown. The nurse will check your pulse, blood pressure and temperature and start an intraveneous line (children have their IV line started in the operating room). You will be taken to the waiting area for the OR.

After surgery

After the operation, you will be taken to the Post Anesthetic Care Unit, where you will be monitored until you are ready to be transferred back to the Surgical Day Care Unit, or admitted to the Medical/Surgical or Pediatric Unit.

You will remain in surgical day care or the inpatient unit until you are ready for discharge. You will be monitored and observed regularly by our nursing and medical staff. Learn more about the hospital services available during your stay.

Be sure that to speak with your health provider about any questions you may have so you understand all the instructions you receive upon discharge. On your way out, you must stop at the A&D desk to complete your discharge form. It's important to note that you should not sign legal documents or operate a motor vehicle in the 24 hours following your operation, as you are considered to be legally impaired.

You can share any concerns or feedback about our Pre-operative Clinic, Day Surgery Unit or Operating Room with the manager at 867-393-8773.

Last Updated:Wed, 09/28/2016 - 15:43