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Additional information

Please see the links below for additional resources and documents. Take notes during your appointments and be sure to ask any questions you have when you are at the hospital.

Resources

  • The Sunnybrook-developed MyChart service allows patients to manage their own personal health information based on clinical and personal data. To log in or register, visit MyChart.
  • 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 Advance Care Planning.
  • Quitting smoking before surgery lowers your risk of complications and reduces your recovery time. For tips on quitting smoking, try Sunnybrook’s Quitting Smoking module.
  • Many patients and family members travel long distances to get to Sunnybrook from out of town and need to stay overnight. For a list of places to stay near Sunnybrook, please visit Local Accommodations.
  • 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.
  • Bayview campus has several accessible parking spaces available. Please see our Accessibility Guide for more information. Remember to display your permit if you are parking in an accessible space.

Media

Tell your team

Let clinic staff know about any allergies or special considerations regarding your health. 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 drug addiction, or 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 »

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.

Porphyria »

Porphyrias are rare genetic disorders caused by an excess of porphyrins in the body. Porphyria is usually inherited genetically and can be characterized as acute (affecting the nervous system), cutaneous (affecting the skin), or both. Anesthesia and fasting can sometimes trigger acute porphyrias in affected patients. A triggered attack would usually result in abdominal pain and occasionally in neuropsychiatric symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Inform your healthcare team if you or anyone in your family has a history of genetic predisposition to porphyria.

Sickle cell anemia »

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition in which some red blood cells mutate and get stuck in small blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow and oxygen in the body. Surgery patients with sickle cell anemia have experienced acute chest syndrome, post-operative infections, congestive heart failure, and, in rare cases, death. Be sure to let your care team know if you have sickle cell anemia so that appropriate precautions can be taken for your safety.

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