It’s the day before my surgery – how should I prepare?

These are general instructions. If your surgeon has given you any other instructions, please follow those.

  • You MUST limit what you eat and drink before your procedure to avoid complications during and after surgery. Unless you are told otherwise by your surgeon or anesthesiologist, you may drink 8 ounces (1 cup) of clear liquids up to 3 hours before your scheduled arrival time. Clear liquids include water, apple juice or any fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages such as sprite or ginger ale or coke, black coffee or black tea. Avoid alcohol 24 hours prior to the day of your surgery.
  • Do not eat other foods (including gum and candy) or drink other liquids after midnight the evening before your surgery.
  • If you take medications, follow the instructions given at your screening appointment or phone call.
  • If you were given a “Solu-net” pre surgical sponge, please bath or shower, following the instructions.
  • Avoid smoking – you’ll reduce the chances of complications after surgery.
  • Do not use recreational drugs the day before or day of surgery as they can interfere with your anaesthetic.
If you are coming for a hip or knee surgery, get some tips on how to prepare yourself and your home for your recovery.  Watch our videos in multiple languages. 

What you should bring to the hospital

  • An interpreter (if you need one)
  • Any papers your doctor has given you
  • Any medications you are taking, including insulin and puffers, in a Ziploc bag.
  • Your Ontario Health Card or other insurance with photo ID
  • Your Workers Compensation Board (WCB) number (if applicable)
  • If you wear glasses, contact lenses or dentures, bring your own storage containers. 
  • Please leave all valuables at home as the hospital cannot be responsible for them
  • Please do not wear perfumes or colognes.  Osler is a fragrance free environment.
  • Dress in loose clothing and comfortable, flat shoes. 
  • Remove make-up and nail polish.
  • Remove all jewellery including watches and wedding rings and leave them at home
  • Bring the name and number of the person who will pick you up after your surgery. The staff will need this information.
If you expect to be admitted for a hospital (overnight) stay after your surgery, bring these items, but leave  with family members or in the car:
  • Personal items such as a robe, slippers, toothbrush and clothes for discharge day.
  • If you have crutches at home and will need them after surgery, please bring them with you
  • If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and use a CPAP machine at home, bring it with you if you are being admitted overnight.

What if I have some last-minute questions?

Please call us at: Etobicoke General Hospital: 416-494-2120  ext. 33486
Brampton Civic Hospital: 905-494-6587

What should I do if I need to cancel?

Contact your surgeon’s office immediately.  This will allow someone else to have that valuable operating room time and your surgery will be rescheduled.  If you must cancel the evening, night or weekend before surgery, please contact the Hospital Registration Department at:
Etobicoke General Hospital: 416-494-2120  Ext. 33554
Brampton Civic Hospital: 905-494-2120

Who should come to the hospital with me?

On the day of your surgery, please bring only one family member or companion with you. After your surgery, your visitors may visit between 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily (only two visitors at any time). Family members are welcome to help in your care. Your nurse will explain what they can do.

Where do I go when I get to the hospital?

Brampton Civic
2100 Bovaird Drive East, Brampton
Level 2, near SNOW elevator (south building)
Hours:  Monday to Friday, 6:00am – 7:30pm
Tel: 416-494-2120 
Etobicoke General
101 Humber College Boulevard, Etobicoke
Main level (check in at the Central Registration Desk in the main lobby and the staff will direct you from  there)
Hours:  Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 6:30pm
Tel: 416-494-2120 ext. 33595

What happens when it is time to go home?

For patients who stay overnight or longer, as soon as you are given a discharge date, you should begin to make arrangements for going home. The person picking you up should come to your room to help you with your personal items. A porter can be arranged to assist you and there are “Staxi chairs” and wheelchairs available. 

After surgery, you may feel a little shaky or sleepy until the effects of the anaesthetic wear off. For the 24 hours following surgery, you should:
  • Be in the care of a another adult
  • Not drive a motorized vehicle or operate hazardous machinery
  • Hold off on any important decisions
  • Avoid traveling alone by public transit
  • Avoid consuming alcohol
Prescriptions given you for your return home may be filled at the hospital pharmacy (on the main floor of Brampton Civic Hospital or Etobicoke General Hospital) or your local pharmacy.

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