Preparing for Surgery and Major Procedures
The Weeks Before Your Procedure
Preparing for your procedure is an important part of making sure everything goes well.
Pre-Procedure Testing and Other Required Appointments
Your surgeon might ask you to visit one of our Pre-Procedure Testing Centers to prepare for your procedure. Here, you may meet with an anesthesiologist, or another doctor or care team member. This team may perform basic tests, such as blood tests or an electrocardiogram. The Pre-Procedure Testing Center team and your surgeon/proceduralist may also ask you to visit additional doctors if you need further preparation for your procedure (for example, they may ask you to see a cardiologist).
When you see any doctor in preparation for your procedure, please bring:
- A list of all your medications (including dietary supplements and herbal remedies)
- A list of any allergies you have (for example, to medications, foods, and/or substances like latex or X-ray contrast dyes)
- Results of heart, lung, or other important tests (if you have them)
- The names and telephone numbers of your doctors (and email addresses, if available)
One of your doctors may give you special instructions about taking your medications prior to your procedure. For example, you may get special directions if you take medications that prevent blood clotting (sometimes called blood thinners). These include:
- Some herbal supplements
Other medications may need to be adjusted, as well. Please be sure to provide a complete list of all your medications so that we can safely prepare you for your procedure.
Smoking increases the chances of complications from anesthesia and surgery. It also causes many long-term health problems. In addition, smoking is not permitted inside the hospital facilities. We strongly encourage you to stop smoking. For help quitting (counseling, support, nicotine replacement, and other aids), speak with your doctor or read the Smoke Free for Surgery brochure.
COVID-19 Related Preparations
We have taken many steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Please review our COVID-19 facts and resources. We are keeping patients and staff safe by:
- Continually disinfecting all areas and frequently touched surfaces
- Screening patients for COVID-19 symptoms
- Testing our staff when exposed to COVID-19
- Implementing strict isolation practices to separate COVID-19 patients from others
COVID-19 Screening and Testing before Procedures
We want to perform your procedure under the safest possible circumstances, to give you the best chance of a healthy recovery. It is possible to have COVID-19 even without experiencing any symptoms. Your doctor will talk to you about whether you need to be tested for COVID-19 before your procedure. Our staff will also screen you for COVID-19 symptoms when you arrive for the procedure. Please be aware that screening requirements change periodically. Please check our latest screening information.
The best way to prevent complications from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, including the booster once you are eligible. It is also critical that you take the following precautions whenever possible in the 14 days before and after your procedure:
- Inform your doctor immediately if you:
- Have any contact with someone who has or may have COVID-19, or with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19
- Develop any symptoms of COVID-19, or get a positive test result for COVID-19. Symptoms include: cough, fever (>100F), shortness of breath, body aches, chills, general fatigue, new loss of sense of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Avoid any close contact with people who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time, especially before and after eating, touching the face or nose, and putting on and taking off face masks or coverings.
- Remind people caring for you to wash their hands (for example, before changing surgical dressing).
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently (for example, doorknobs and bathrooms).
Role of Family/Caregiver in Keeping You Safe
The actions and behaviors of those closest to you are especially critical right before and after your procedure. They should focus on hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing a mask when outside the home, and avoiding contact with anyone who might be sick with COVID-19. If they have any symptoms of COVID-19, they should isolate and get medical care.
Traveling Before Your Procedure
Please contact your doctor’s office to discuss any needed travel before your procedure.
If you are going home directly after your procedure, you must arrange for an escort to accompany you home when you leave the hospital. An escort is an adult who is at least 18 years old and can safely take you home from the hospital and who can call for assistance if you need additional help.
If you do not have an escort to take you home after surgery, you may be asked to reschedule your surgery or stay in the hospital for a longer time so we can keep you safe.
Please carefully review our visitor policy. Visitors may not be present in the operating or recovery room, except for childbirth, pediatrics, and patients with an intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disability. Please give the admitting nurse the name and phone number of someone to contact with information about your status and progress.
Please address any questions related to hospital charges for your procedure to Hospital Financial Screening (212-731-3600). You can direct any questions related to your anesthesia bill by calling our anesthesia billing providers (800-627-4470).
My Mount Sinai App: Makes Managing Your Health Care Easier
MyMountSinai® is your online gateway to Mount Sinai physicians and services, as well as all of your medical records. The app helps you take care of your health care needs on the go and communicate easily with your medical team.
Please see the hospital links below for specific information on how to prepare for the day of your procedure and the process for going home.