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The day of surgery

Check in at Surgical Services Registration in MG 502 on the ground floor of M-wing.

Please be on time for registration, and do not have more than one person with you.

Surgery times are guidelines, and delays are to be expected. Sometimes scheduled surgery cases are cancelled because of an emergency or a bed shortage. If your surgery is cancelled, your surgeon's office will contact you to reschedule as soon as possible.

What to expect


  • The staff at the registration desk will check your name, your birth date, and your Ontario Health Card.
  • You will be given an armband for your wrist.
  • You will sit in the waiting room with your companion until your name is called for pre-op.


  • You will go to the pre-operative room where a registered nurse will prepare you for surgery.
  • Your companion must stay in the waiting room until pre-op is finished (up to one hour).
  • You will have an intravenous started, and your paper work will be completed.
  • After pre-op, your companion will be able to sit with you until the operating room is ready for you. No food or drinks are allowed in the pre-op area.


  • You will meet with an anesthesia doctor before going to the operating room. The doctor will:
    • review your medications and your health,
    • let you know what to expect during and after surgery, and
    • answer any questions you may have.
  • You may be given some anesthetic before you enter the operating room. This is done in cases where the medication needs to start working before surgery begins.
  • You will then go to the operating room, where a team of doctors and registered nurses will be ready.
  • You will lie down on the operating table, and your blood pressure and pulse will be measured.
  • The operating room staff will go through a surgical safety checklist before you are put to sleep.
  • You will get an oxygen mask and some medication to relax you and put you to sleep.
  • While you are asleep, the nurses and doctors will monitor your condition. The anesthesia doctor will stay in the room to control your anesthesia.

While you are in surgery your companion will be in a waiting room.

  • Your belongings will be given to your companion for safekeeping and brought to you after recovery.
  • If you are going home on the day of surgery, or if you are staying in the surgical short stay unit, your companion may wait in room MG502.
  • If you will be admitted to a ward or unit after surgery, your companion may wait in room A148.
  • A surgical liaison nurse or a volunteer will be in the waiting room to give your companion updates throughout the surgery.


  • After surgery you will be taken to the post-anesthetic care unit (PACU), also called the recovery room.
  • Your anesthesia doctor will supervise your care, and a registered PACU nurse will look after your needs.
  • You will have an oxygen mask, your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored, and the nurse will give you medication for pain.
  • When you are awake and your pain is controlled, you will go to your post-operative bed.
  • Please note that visits to the PACU are allowed at the discretion of the PACU charge nurse. If you will be staying in the PACU overnight, a brief visit may be allowed depending on your condition and how busy the unit is.

One visitor per patient will be allowed so long as the safety and privacy of all patients in the PACU is maintained. Staff members aim to treat all visitors fairly according to individual needs.The post-anesthetic care unit (PACU) recognizes how important family/friend support can be in patient recovery.

Arranging a visit

  • Visits are arranged by the volunteers in the OR waiting room (room A148), weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Visiting is restricted during the three shift changes. Shift changes are between:
    • 7:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
    • 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
    • 11:00 p.m. and midnight
  • After hours, visiting may be arranged with a PACU nurse by using the telephone in room A148


  • The PACU is a secured area, and all visitors will be escorted by a volunteer.
  • Visitors must perform vigilant hand hygiene with the waterless cleaning solution for 15 seconds before entering the unit, after touching the patient or any area of the bedside, and when leaving the unit.
  • The visitor will be updated on the patient’s condition regularly by the volunteer in the OR waiting room.
  • Depending on the activity in the PACU, one visitor may be allowed for a five minute visit when the patient has met PACU discharge criteria and is awaiting a bed assignment.
  • Longer visits are allowed for patients who need translation, patients under the age of 16, and patients with special needs.
  • Special consideration will also be made on compassionate grounds.
  • Visitors must respect other patients' privacy.