The Day of Your Surgery

Contact your surgeon’s office in advance to verify the time of your surgery and plan to arrive at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled time of your surgery. Please bring any reports or test results that you may have received from your doctors. If you are an ambulatory surgery patient (going home the same day as surgery), it is a New York State requirement that you must have a responsible adult designated to accompany you home or the surgery will be postponed. Friends and family members can wait in the Surgical Family Waiting Area (212-241-8282) during your procedure. Check-in for surgery (and pre-testing) is located at:

Registration and Pre-Admission Testing
Guggenheim Pavilion – 2nd Floor
1468 Madison Avenue (at 100th Street)
New York, NY 10029

*Cardiac surgery patients should go to pretesting and surgical registration on the 5th floor.


It is important that you follow your surgeon's dietary instructions or your surgery may be postponed. Adults should not eat any solid food after midnight prior to surgery. You may drink CLEAR FLUIDS - water, clear apple juice, carbonated beverages, and coffee or tea without milk - up to 2 hours prior to the time that your surgery is scheduled. (Some patients, such as those with acid reflux, may need longer periods of time without food or drink prior to surgery related to their medical condition.) Parents of young children should speak with the surgeon or anesthesiologist for instructions on the timing of feedings.


Unless your surgeon or anesthesiologist has specified otherwise, you may take your normal evening and morning medications with small sips of water the evening before and morning of surgery. Some drugs that prevent blood clotting (blood thinners such as Coumadin, warfarin, aspirin, NSAIDs), some herbal supplements, insulin and other diabetic medications, and blood pressure medications may require special instructions, so call us or your surgeon if you have questions. For your convenience, make sure you fill any prescriptions for pain medication that your surgeon may have given you before you come to the hospital so you will already have everything you need when you return home.

Personal Hygiene

You should have a complete bath or shower and shampoo your hair the night before or in the morning before coming to the Hospital for your surgery. It is best to remove all cosmetics before surgery. You will also be required to remove eye glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures, or partial plates before surgery. Please bring the appropriate containers for these articles if you wish to bring them for use before and after your surgery. Also wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to the Hospital.

What to Bring

Please bring any reports or test results papers about your condition or operation that you may have received from your doctors. Do not bring large sums of money, nonessential clothing, luggage, or jewelry. Bring only essential items such as toiletries, hearing aids, or prostheses. Please remove rings and jewelry on any portion of your body prior to coming to the Hospital. You may wish to bring a book, magazine, your personal stereo with headphones, or a small handcraft just in case there is a waiting period after registration and before your operation. You should be accompanied to the Hospital and have someone remain with you if you need an interpreter to help you speak or understand English, you have physical or mental handicaps which normally require the assistance of another person for communication, or you are under 18 years of age.

If you are an ambulatory surgery patient (going home the same day as surgery), you must have a responsible adult designated to accompany you home. You will be required to identify this person prior to surgery or the surgery will have to be postponed.

Your Arrival

Plan to arrive at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled time of your surgery. You will first go to the registration area where you will receive important information regarding your rights as a patient and review the information in your file. If you will be staying at Mount Sinai overnight, please let us know if you are interested in one of our private rooms. Next, you will go to the patient assessment area to change into a hospital gown. A registered nurse will verify your medical history and condition, your medications, and perform any necessary final testing. You will then be escorted to the pre-surgical holding area, where you will meet the surgical team, which includes your surgeon/proceduralist, anesthesiologist, and nurse. The team will prepare you for the procedure, confirm your identity and the type of surgery/procedure you are having, and mark the surgical site, if appropriate. Expect multiple individuals to each ask you the same questions so as to protect your safety and follow national guidelines. From the holding area, you will go to the operating room.

Friends & Family

Friends and family members are welcome to accompany you to the registration area on the day of surgery. For the safety of patients, visitors are not permitted in the pre-operative assessment area, holding areas, or recovery rooms (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit). Parents may accompany children to the holding areas and sometimes into the operating rooms if the surgeon and anesthesiologist agree that this is reasonable. There is a Surgical Family Waiting Area where your family/escort can stay while you are in surgery. Your surgeon/proceduralist will contact them when the procedure is done. Please do not bring children with you on the day of your surgery, since the wait can be very difficult for them and they may not be allowed to see you after the procedure. The waiting area is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm in case questions arise. The number is 212-241-8282.