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Getting ready for surgery

You may need to start preparing for surgery a few weeks in advance in order to make it safer for you to have surgery. Ask your healthcare team for more information about your specific case.


You will get personalized instructions on medication at your pre-anesthesia assessment.

Some medications like blood thinners or herbal supplements can cause bleeding and dangerous side effects during surgery.

See the Preparing for Surgery guide, or ask your healthcare team for your specific instructions regarding medication before surgery.

Diabetes medications

  1. Do not take any insulin or oral diabetes medication on the day of surgery.
  2. Bring a snack with you for after surgery.
  3. If you have a personal insulin pump, bring extra supplies with you and follow your instructions carefully.

If you take insulin and are going home the day of surgery, a diabetic nurse specialist will see you after surgery to tell you how to continue your medication at home.

If you take insulin and will be staying at the hospital after surgery, staff will consult with the endocrine specialist team for your medication instructions.


If you have obesity, managing your weight will decrease your risk of complications from anesthesia and surgery.

Obesity puts strain on the organs, making your body more vulnerable to dangerous complications. Even a small effort in weight management can help lower these risks.


It is best to stop all use of cigarettes, cannabis, vapes, and e-cigarettes at least six weeks before surgery.

Smokers have a higher risk of developing infections and lung complications, and take much longer to recover from surgery. The longer you go without smoking, the safer it will be to have surgery. If you need help to cut down or quit, see Sunnybrook’s Quitting Smoking module.

On the day of surgery, do not smoke, do not use cannabis, and do not vape.