Preparing for Surgery and Major Procedures

Your medical team will provide the highest quality of care, no matter how brief or long your stay. We offer excellent medical care in a patient-friendly environment. We are always here to help. We look forward to taking great care of you and making your time with us as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

The Weeks Before Your Surgery

You will begin your care even before the day of the procedure.

Pre-Admission Testing and Other Required Appointments

Your surgeon may ask you to visit one of our Pre-Admission Testing Centers where you may meet with an anesthesiologist, or other doctor, or member of the care team. We will interview you and may conduct basic tests, such as blood tests or an electrocardiogram. We may also ask you to visit additional doctors to further prepare for your procedure. Your surgeon may ask you to see your Primary Care doctor or Cardiologist for Pre-operative testing.

When you see any doctor in preparation for your surgery, please bring:

  • A list of all the medications you are taking (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)
  • Results of heart or lung tests (if you have them)
  • The names and telephone numbers of doctors you see on a regular basis


One of your doctors may give you special instructions about your medication(s) in the days before your surgery. In particular, you may get special directions if you take drugs that prevent blood clotting, sometimes called blood thinners. These include Coumadin/warfarin, Plavix/clopidogrel, Eliquis/apixaban, Xarelto/rivoroxiban, aspirin, NSAIDs/Motrin/ibuprofen, and some herbal supplements.

Stop Smoking

Smoking increases the chances of complications from anesthesia and surgery, and also causes many long-term health problems. In addition, smoking is not permitted inside the hospital facilities. Now is the perfect time 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

Mount Sinai is closely monitoring this situation. We have put in place safeguards aimed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are keeping patients and staff safe by:

  • Continually disinfecting all areas and frequently touched surfaces
  • Requiring all patients and staff to wear face coverings
  • Following social distancing protocols (keeping six feet away from others when possible)
  • 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 surgery under the safest possible circumstances, to give you the best chance of a healthy recovery. It is possible that an individual can have COVID-19 even if they do not have any symptoms. Your doctor will talk to you about getting tested for COVID-19 before your surgery. Our staff will also screen you for COVID-19 symptoms when you arrive for the procedure. Please check our latest screening information.

Avoiding COVID-19

The best way to prevent complications from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and take 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 a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or a person with symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19
    • Develop any symptoms consistent with 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.
    • Have traveled internationally. We recommend avoiding non-essential travel before a procedure.
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet between people when possible.
  • Minimize interaction with other people except as necessary.
  • 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 (e.g., before changing surgical dressing).
  • Frequently clean high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs and bathrooms).
  • Always wear a face mask or cloth to cover nose and mouth when you are outside the home.

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. If they have any symptoms of COVID-19, they should isolate and get medical care. They should focus on hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing a mask when outside the home, and avoiding contact with anyone who may be sick with COVID-19.

Traveling Before Surgery

You should try to avoid traveling during the 10 days prior to your procedure. Be especially careful to avoid areas with a high risk of COVID-19 as well as international travel. You may need to follow additional safety measures or reschedule your travel. Please contact your doctor’s office to plan any needed travel before surgery. 

Visitor Policy

You can have someone bring you to and pick you up from your procedure. Visitors may not be present during procedures and in the recovery room, except for childbirth, pediatrics, and patients with an intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disability. View our visitor policy. Please be sure to give the admitting nurse the name and phone number of someone to contact to discuss your status and progress.

Financial Planning

Please address any questions related to hospital charges for your surgery 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).