Info for Surgical Patients

What can you expect — and what is expected of you — if you are having surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital?

Several Days Before Surgery

Your doctor may want you to have some routine tests done. If tests are required, please bring the requisition to the hospital, signed by your doctor. 

The Afternoon Before Your Operation

Please call your surgeon’s office to ask what time you should arrive at the hospital. If you have a cold or temperature, report it to your doctor.

On the Day of your Operation

Do

  • Have a bath or shower before coming to the hospital. Remove any makeup, hair pins, wigs, nail polish, jewelry, and contact lenses.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Dentures may be removed immediately prior to surgery.
  • Bring your British Columbia Care Card with you. If you have been in Canada less than one year, please bring your Landed Immigrant Paper.
  • Bring your normal prescription medications, including inhalers if you use them.
  • Plan ahead to have someone drive you home or accompany you in a taxi after your surgery. That person must be available at the time required for you to leave.
  • Bring an interpreter with you if English is a challenge.

 

Do NOT

  • Eat or drink food or fluids of any kind from midnight the night before surgery. This includes candy, chewing gum and non-prescription medications. However, if you have a prescription for heart, blood pressure or breathing medication, please do take your medication as normal, at the usual time. (Note: patients undergoing cataract surgery do not need to fast).
  • Bring large amounts of money or valuables to the hospital. We are not responsible for the loss of valuables.

 

Preparing for Surgery

The video at the top of the page provides important information to help you prepare for and recover from your surgery. The information applies to surgery at Mount Saint Joseph and St. Paul’s Hospital sites.

After your Operation

For 24 hours after anesthesia, you should not drive any vehicle, travel alone by public transportation or consume alcohol.  You will be given post-operative instructions from the nursing staff. You may be given a prescription. Contact your doctor or the hospital Emergency Department for any post-operative problems. Ensure that you keep appointments for follow-up care with your doctor.