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Hospital  >  Patients & Visitors  >  About your hospital stay  >  Surgical Services  >  Before your surgery
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Before your surgery

Before coming to the hospital, remember to:

  • Have someone drive you to and from the hospital;
  • Have a companion who will wait with you on your surgery day; and
  • Arrange for an interpreter to come with you, if needed.

The night before surgery

Take these steps reduce the risk of infection and complications.

  1. Shower with surgical soap, following the instructions given by your healthcare team. Have clean towels, pajamas, and bedsheets.
  2. Remove all non-medical jewelry, including wedding bands and body piercings.
    • Wearing jewelry during surgery can cause swelling, loss of circulation, burns from surgical equipment, choking, infection, and skin tearing.
    • Rings and bangles that cannot be removed will be cut off before surgery.
    • Please wear your MedicAlert bracelet, if you have one.
  3. Do not wear any scented products. Scented products can trigger allergic reactions and breathing issues in patients and staff. Patients and visitors coming to the hospital should not wear:
    • perfume
    • cologne
    • aftershave
    • hairspray
    • scented lotion
    • scented detergent
  4. Do not eat anything after midnight before surgery. You must have an empty stomach before surgery.
    • If you have food in your stomach, you may vomit while under anesthesia, which can lead to serious illness or death.
    • If you eat anything before surgery, your operation may be cancelled for your safety.
  5. Do not drink milk, alcohol, orange juice, or any juice with pulp or nectar after midnight. Up to 2 hours before your surgery you can drink:
    • water
    • clear apple or cranberry juice
    • clear broth
    • clear soft drinks
    • black coffee (no milk or cream)
    • clear tea (no milk or cream)

The day of surgery

  1. Shower again with surgical soap, according to instructions. Wear clean clothes and do not apply makeup, sprays, or lotions.
  2. Do not smoke at all on the day of surgery.
    • Smoking cigarettes or using cannabis, vapes, and e-cigarettes can slow your healing and cause complications.
    • It is best to stop all smoking activities 6 weeks before your surgery.
    • Speak to your doctor or nurse if you need help, or see Sunnybrook’s Quitting Smoking module.
    • Smoking is not permitted anywhere on hospital property. Smokers may be fined up to $1000.
  3. Do not wear any scented products. Scented products can trigger allergic reactions and breathing issues in patients and staff. Patients and visitors coming to the hospital should not wear:
    • perfume
    • cologne
    • aftershave
    • hairspray
    • scented lotion
    • scented detergent
  4. Take only the medications the staff instructed you to take. Do not take anything else. Bring all of your medications with you to the hospital in their original containers or blister packs.
  5. Do not eat or drink anything for two hours before surgery.

What to bring

When you come to the hospital on the day of surgery, you must:

  1. Bring all your medications in their original containers or blister packs.
  2. Bring your ID and documents as instructed.
  3. Bring one care partner to support you, or to translate if needed.

Please arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home on the day of discharge.

If you do not have a ride home after surgery, call the surgeon’s office, as your surgery booking may be affected.