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Getting Ready for Surgery

How will I find out my surgery date?

Your surgeon’s office will tell you the:

  • Name of your surgery
  • Name of your hospital 
  • Surgery date
  • How you will be notified of the time to check-in at the hospital
  • Length of hospital stay

Pre-operative physical exam

If you are having surgery at Victoria General, Royal Jubilee or Saanich Peninsula Hospitals, you must arrange a pre-op physical with your family doctor. This should be between 3 months and 3 weeks before your surgery. If your surgery is booked quickly, see your family doctor as soon as possible. Please take all your medications in the original containers with you to this appointment. This way, your doctor can confirm the medications you take.

If a dentist is doing your procedure, you will need to have your physical with a doctor who has hospital privileges. If your family doctor does not have hospital privileges, contact your dentist for other options.

Appointments with other specialists

Some patients need to see a specialist (e.g. anesthesiologist, cardiologist) before surgery. Others are asked to go to a class or participate in research e.g. Tumor Tissue Repository. If any of these apply to you, your surgeon, family doctor, or hospital will make arrangements and let you know. Some patients will need to attend the hospital Pre-admission Clinic (PAC).

Planning for recovery

To plan for recovery, you will need the following information from your surgeon before your surgery:

  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • Is there any equipment or supplies that I need to rent/buy before surgery? Where can I get them?
  • What limits will there be on my activities after surgery?
  • What limits will I have on lifting after surgery?
  • How long will I need to be off work/school?
  • How long before I can drive a car?

Arrangements for your hospital stay and for going home

For Day Surgery and Overnight Stays of 24 hours or Less
Before coming to hospital, you need to arrange to have a responsible person to:

  • Escort you home safely (by car, taxi, or bus). You will not be allowed to drive yourself or take a bus alone,
  • Stay with you for the immediate postoperative period, usually 24 hours,
  • Watch your progress towards recovery,
  • Assist you to follow postoperative instructions, and
  • Assist with activities of daily living as needed.

    Make sure this person can be contacted by phone at anytime during the day of your surgery. If you do not arrange a person to escort you home home or someone to stay with you for 24 hours after surgery, your surgery may be postponed until you can make these arrangements.

For Overnight Stays of 24 hours or Longer
Before coming to hospital, you need to make arrangements to get home safely. If you are having difficulty making these arrangements, please discuss this with your surgeon or family doctor before your surgery.

Learn how you can request a private or semi-private room for your hospital stay.

Help at home

Depending on your surgery, you may need help with household chores, dressings, finances, transportation or accommodations. If you have concerns in any of these areas, please talk with your surgeon or family doctor before your surgery. Information is also available on the Home and Community Care website.

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