InPatient Surgery

Preparing for your inpatient surgery

When you arrive at the hospital please report to the Admitting Department at the time advised by your pre-operative phone call or to the schedule provided from your Pre-admission visit.

Prior to your surgery:

  • Discontinue the use of any herbal or diet medications. Check with your physician about these medications as they can cause complication when mixed with anesthetic agents. 
  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages, or use marijuana or any other “street drugs” for 72 hours before or after your operation. These substances may cause a bad reaction when taken with anesthetic agents or other drugs. 
On the day of your surgery:
  • Follow all instructions given to your by your physician. 
  • Perform your normal morning routines such as showering and brushing your teeth, before you arrive at the hospital. 
  • Do not wear any makeup, lipstick, powder, lotion, creams, nail polish or jewellery. 
  • Do not shave the area of the surgery. If this is needed, the doctor or nurse will take care of it. 
  • Remove all body piercings. 
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery unless otherwise notified by your physician. This helps to prevent nausea from the anesthetics. 
  • If your physician has instructed you to take any medications, please take them with small sips of water.

What should I bring with me to the hospital?

  • Valid OHIP card and any other insurance provider cards. 
  • A hospital bag including (suggested items): 
    • Comfortable, non-skid shoes; 
    • Knee length robe;
    • Any medications that you regularly take; 
    • Personal items such as hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorants, denture case, eyeglass case and kleenex; 
    • Something to read; and 
    • Apparatus's ordered by your physician i.e. polar cuff, TED stockings, slings, braces etc.
  • Medical documentation including: 
    • List of medical history including all current and previous conditions; 
    • List of doctors you currently see and your reasons for seeing them; 
    • List of any medical conditions and all previous operations; 
    • List of medications you are taking, including vitamin and mineral supplements, herbs, ointments, and any over the counter drugs. List dosages and how often meds are taken; 
    • List any allergies or adverse reactions you have had to drugs, food or anesthesia in the past; 
    • List of any dietary restrictions; and 
    • A copy of any legal arrangements you have made, such as a living will, advanced directives or power of attorney.
  • Jewelry, including piercings (this will prevent burns from occurring during your surgery); 
  • Valuables (credit cards, etc.); or
  • Your vehicle.

What should I expect after my surgery?

Following your surgery you will go to a recovery area before moving to your inpatient room.

We want you to be comfortable after your surgery and so your nurse will ask you often about pain. Your nurse will also give you information about any tubes, drains and dressings that you might have and tell you about our call bell system.

Your nurse will teach you about

  • Using the pain scale to tell us about any pain that you might have. 
  • Deep breathing and coughing exercises to keep your lungs healthy. 
  • How to hold (splint) your incision with a pillow or blanket while coughing and deep breathing. 
  • Turning in bed every 1-2 hours to stop pressure areas and skin breakdown.
How long you stay in the hospital is different for every patient. Your health history, the type of surgery that you’ve had and how well your body heals after surgery can affect how long you will stay in the hospital.

What should I expect after I am discharged?

Discharge time begins after breakfast. Please arrange to have someone at the hospital to pick you up by 10 a.m.

During your hospital stay and before your discharge your nurse and the other members of your health care team will teach you and your family members about your incisions and give you other health information specific to your surgery.

If you have any questions, please ask a member of your care team.

Home Care Services

If you have special needs that require home support, your doctor will order a Home and Community Care Service referral. You or a family member can also ask for a referral.

The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network’s Home and Community Health program provides health and social services, supplies and equipment for the care of people in the community. Once a referral has been made, a Care Coordinator will meet with you and a family member to assess your care needs and arrange for the appropriate supplies and or services.

As a General Rule

  • Keep your incision clean and dry. 
  • Rest as needed when you return home. 
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet will help your body to heal. 
  • Drink fluids, (about 6-8 glasses per day). 
  • Take all your medications as instructed especially your pain medications and antibiotics (if they are ordered). 
Things to Avoid
  • Avoid doing things such as mowing, shoveling or vacuuming until it has been cleared by your doctor. 
  • Avoid heavy lifting (no lifting over 20 lbs.). 
  • Avoid straining to have a bowel movement. 
Report to your doctor if any of the following occur
  • Fever (temperature) over 38.5º C. 
  • Increasing pain at your incision site that does not ease after your pain medication. 
  • Swelling, redness, or foul smelling drainage from your incision site. 
Your return to work may be based upon your type of work, the surgery done, and your overall health. Check with your doctor about when you can return.