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Pre-anesthesia clinic

If you are having surgery at Sunnybrook, you will usually have an appointment about two weeks before surgery at the pre-anesthesia clinic. The appointment is called the pre-anesthesia assessment, and will prepare you for your surgery and help our staff determine your needs as a patient.

During the assessment, you will be asked about your medical history, the medications you take, and any special needs you might have after your surgery.

The assessment is done either over the phone or in person at the hospital. A staff member will let you know what kind of appointment is needed in your case.

An administrator will contact you to book your appointment, or you can choose to book using Sunnybrook's digital assistant.

You will need a custom link and verification code to access the digital assistant.

To get your link and code, please give your cell phone number and email address to your surgeon's administrative assistant.

If you do not book and confirm an appointment using the digital assistant, the clinic will contact you to schedule your assessment.

In-person assessments

Patients who need medical tests or consultations must come to the pre-anesthesia clinic for an in-person assessment. The full assessment is usually 3 hours.

The clinic registration desk is located at the Sunnybrook Bayview Campus on the ground floor of M wing, in room MG 402. Please come prepared, and arrive 20 minutes early to register.

Please make sure you do not have any conflicting appointments on the day of your assessment. If you have trouble with English, please bring an interpreter. 

What to expect

You will meet with a nurse for testing and for information about your surgery. Depending on your case, you may also meet with a pharmacist for a medication review, and a doctor for an anesthesia consultation. Your surgeon will not be at the assessment.

Nursing assessment

A nurse will go over your medical history and tell your how to prepare for your surgery. If your surgeon ordered any tests, such as blood work or an electrocardiogram, those tests will be performed at this visit.

The nurse will also give you detailed information including how to prepare for the procedure, how to manage your pain after surgery, and how to plan for discharge from the hospital.

Pharmacist consultation

A pharmacist may need to see you for a medication review. The pharmacist will look at how your medications will react with the drugs used in surgery, and let you know if you need to stop any medications. Please make sure to bring all your medications and supplements with you to the assessment.

Physician consultation

The doctor (anesthesiologist) who will be putting you to sleep before surgery may also need to see you for an anesthesia consultation. The anesthesiologist will assess your health to make sure you are not at high risk for any complications, and talk to you about what kind of anesthesia you will need for your operation.

How to prepare

Treat the day of your assessment as a regular day; eat and drink normally, take all of your regular medications, and dress comfortably. Please bring one friend or family member with you for support.

You will need:

  • your Ontario health card
  • ID showing your name, date of birth, and address
  • contact information for your family doctor and pharmacist
  • contact information for any specialist doctors you have seen
  • ALL of your medications, vitamins, and supplements in their original packaging
  • a medication list from your pharmacy, if available
  • your WSIB claim number and any additional insurance, if applicable
  • the information card for your pacemaker or ICD, if you have one

Be prepared to discuss your medical history, including allergies and reactions to medication. Make note of any questions you have for the staff.

Please remember to arrive 20 minutes early for registration. Please do not wear any fragrances, scented lotions, or hairspray, and do not bring more than one person with you.

Telephone assessments

Patients who do not have a problematic health history and do not need any medical testing are usually booked for telephone assessments.

If you have a telephone assessment, you do not need to come to the hospital. A registered nurse from the pre-anesthesia clinic will call you to conduct the assessment over the phone. The nurse will call within an hour of your selected time, and the call is usually 15-30 minutes in length.

What to expect

After a review of your medical history and medications, the nurse will talk to you about your procedure and answer your questions. Please have your information and medications ready so that the nurse can review them with you.

You will be called as close to your selected time as possible, but please be prepared for the nurse to call up to one hour after your appointment time.

Please make sure that your surgeon’s office has your daytime phone number, and that you will be able to answer the phone.

How to prepare

Before your appointment, please be ready with everything you need to answer the nurse’s questions.

You will need

  • contact information for your family doctor and pharmacist
  • ALL of your medications, vitamins, and supplements in their original packaging
  • a medication list from your pharmacy, if available
  • your WSIB claim number and any additional insurance, if applicable
  • a pen and some paper for taking notes

Take the call in a quiet, private environment. Make sure you will be available to answer the phone during the hour of your appointment.

Important information

We do our best to keep you informed throughout your patient journey. Please read through the information below to help you prepare for your pre-anesthesia assessment and your surgery.


For your safety, you must bring all your medications and supplements with you. It is important for clinic staff to make sure your medications will not react badly with the anesthesia used during surgery.

Bringing all of your medications with you also ensures that you won’t have to miss a dose during your appointment, and reduces the chance of delays.

Please bring all of your:

  • pills and capsules
  • injectable medications
  • inhalers/puffers
  • cough syrups
  • medicated patches
  • eye drops
  • ear drops
  • medicated creams/ointments
  • laxatives/diuretics
  • over-the-counter medications
  • vitamins
  • dietary supplements
  • naturopathic medications
  • herbal remedies

If you do not have the original container, please bring whatever packaging you have. If you are taking something that is not listed, please bring it with you for staff to review. Make sure to tell your healthcare team if you have had a reaction to any medications in the past.


When booking your assessment, we ask that you make sure you do not book any other appointments that may overlap with your assessment. We make every effort to stay on schedule, but hospital environments are unpredictable, and sometimes appointments are delayed due to emergencies or unexpected circumstances.

If you have a phone assessment, make sure you will be able to answer the phone for the full hour after your appointment time, and that you are prepared.

If you are coming to the hospital, make sure you have no appointments that might conflict with your assessment. Please be prepared, and arrive 20 minutes early to allow time for registration.

Late arrival Policy

We strive to see every patient as close to their appointment time as possible, but patients arriving late cause the entire daily schedule to fall behind. If you are late by 30 minutes or more, you may be asked to reschedule.

We make every effort to accommodate latecomers, but priority will be given to patients who arrive on time. Depending on the availability of the staff, you may need to be seen between patients, which could result in very long wait times. If you are delayed and prefer not to wait, you can reschedule your appointment.


If you are not a Canadian resident, or do not have OHIP, you must make payment arrangements with the Patient Accounts office before your surgery date.

If you are using private insurance, please have your insurance information with you for your assessment appointment.

Tell your team

Let clinic staff know about any allergies or sensitivities you have, or if you have a special condition such as diabetes. Certain conditions put patients at risk for complications during or after surgery.

Tell your assessment team if you or anyone in your family has a history of any of the conditions listed below.

Malignant hyperthermia

Malignant hyperthermia is a severe reaction to anesthesia that occurs in people who have a certain genetic mutation. Symptoms include high fever, muscle spasms, and increased heart rate.

Individuals with the gene do not always have symptoms when given anesthesia, but they will still be at risk for a reaction if they are given anesthesia in the future. Genetic tests can show if an individual has inherited the gene for malignant hyperthermia, and alternative drugs are available for at-risk patients.

Cholinesterase enzyme deficiency

Pseudocholinesterase deficiency (PD) is a rare condition that causes the body to take longer to process some muscle relaxing drugs. When given anesthesia, patients with PD may experience temporary muscle paralysis and be unable to move or breathe on their own.

Usually a patient with PD will not show any symptoms until given anesthesia. Blood tests measuring enzyme activity can show if a patient has PD, and at-risk patients may be given substitute drugs for surgery.

Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that makes it difficult or impossible to breathe while asleep. Because surgical patients need to be sedated during the procedure, sleep apnea may result in trouble breathing during surgery and difficulty regaining consciousness afterward.

Sleep apnea is fairly common and many people do not realize they have the condition. Surgical patients who experience sleep apnea, or suspect they might, should tell their healthcare team as soon as possible.


Delirium is a sudden state of mental disturbance that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months. Symptoms may include confusion, inability to focus, lack of awareness, and hallucinations. Unlike dementia, delirium occurs rapidly and can vary in intensity throughout the day. 

Surgery patients sometimes experience delirium after an operation. Post-operative delirium is especially common in elderly patients, patients who have had a stroke, and patients with brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Please tell staff if you have experienced delirium before. It is important to make staff aware of potential delirium risk so that appropriate care can be arranged.

Additional resources


The MyChart service allows patients to manage their own personal health information based on clinical and personal data. To log in or register, visit

Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is a way to ensure that future decisions about your health care are made with your needs in mind. For more information, please visit Advanced Care Planning.

Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking before surgery lowers your risk of complications and reduces your recovery time. For tips on quitting smoking, visit Quitting Smoking.


Many patients travel long distances to get to Sunnybrook from out of town and need a place to stay. For a list of accommodations located near Sunnybrook, please visit Local Accomodations.

Language services

If you have trouble with English and do not have an interpreter, you can ask for one. Please submit your request at least three days before your appointment.

Location and contact

Pre-anesthesia clinic 

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue
M-wing, ground floor, room 402 (MG 402)
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6822

Clinic hours:
Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Closed weekends and holidays)

Directions | Parking

Garage parking is recommended.
Please arrive 20 minutes early for your appointment.
Please do not wear any fragrances.