Preparing For Your Surgery

Preparing for Your Surgery

We realize surgery may be a new experience for you, so we’ve created this information packet to better prepare you and your support person(s) for your surgical procedure.  Our goal is to make you as comfortable and as safe as possible before, during, and after your surgery.  Please feel free to ask questions at any point during your stay with us.  You may receive a survey after you go home; we hope you’ll rate your experience as ‘very good’. 

How much time will I spend at the Hospital?
For some surgeries, expect to spend the better part of the day with us.  Please remember that your check-in time is not the expected time of surgery; we need preparation time with you here at the hospital before your surgery.  We will not delay your surgery unnecessarily; however, due to the complex nature of surgery, and due to unexpected emergency surgeries, you may experience occasional necessary delays.  We will keep you and your family informed at all times, and we appreciate your understanding and patience.

Do I need tests before surgery?
Once your surgery is scheduled, your surgeon or Primary Care Provider may ask you to complete some pre-surgical testing.  This may include laboratory tests, EKG/X-rays, and a medical clearance with your family physician.  To proceed safely with your surgery, you’ll need to complete these tests and have the results sent to your surgeon’s office and the CPH surgical services unit.  Fax: (315) 261-5037.

Do you need to interview me?
You will be scheduled to speak with a nurse for a telephone or in-person interview based on your individual surgical needs.  You will be notified by letter or by phone when and how the interview will take place.  If the time is not convenient, you may reschedule it by calling CPH Pre-Op Scheduling (315) 261-5332.

What do you need to know?
During the pre-surgical interview, we will review your medical history with you.  Please have a list of your previous surgeries and all medications you currently take, as well as how often you take them, and the dose. Don’t forget over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements/preparations.  The information we gather will help us prepare for your care; you will have the opportunity to ask questions or to tell us your concerns.

How do I pre-register for my surgery?
A member of our registration team will attempt to contact you by phone to pre-register you.  The caller will verify your insurance and contact information.  Please have your insurance cards on hand and prepare to provide the names and phone numbers for two (2) people we can contact in case of emergency.

What do I do if no one has called to pre-register me?
If you haven’t heard from a member of our registration team and your surgery is scheduled to take place within the next two days, please call registration at (315) 261-5053

What if I need to cancel my surgery?
Contact your surgeon’s office if your condition has changed (cold, fever, rash, other illness or if there is any possibility of pregnancy). The day of surgery, women of childbearing age will be asked to provide a urine specimen for a pregnancy test.

 How can I arrive prepared for surgery?

  1. Follow these instructions, and follow any additional or custom instructions your surgeon/doctor gave you.
  2. Do not eat anything after midnight before your scheduled surgery, including hard candy.
  3. You may have CLEAR liquids until 4 hours prior to your check-in time.  Clear liquids include: water, apple juice, clear tea, black coffee. DO NOT USE MILK OR CREAM.
  4. Please drink water until 4 hours prior to check-in. It is important to keep yourself well-hydrated prior to surgery.
  5. Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from your same-day surgery, and to stay with you overnight (choose someone you like!)
  6. Prevent infection by doing the following:
    1. Use the pre-surgical antiseptic wipes or shower kit as instructed (if you were given them).
    2. If you were not given any wipes please bathe/shower before arriving.
    3. Do not apply lotion.
    4. Do not shave near or at the surgical site at home unless instructed to do so.
    5. Do not wear make-up, nail polish, jewelry (including watches, earrings, rings, temporary tattoos, or piercings/accessories).
    6. Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water, and insist that caregivers do likewise.

Your Anesthesia care will be provided by an anesthesiologist (doctor) who may also be supervising a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) as part of an anesthesia care team. You will have an opportunity to speak with your anesthesia provider on the day of surgery prior to your procedure.

How to check-in on the day of surgery:

Parking is available in the main lot of the 50 Leroy Street facility, or in the lot adjacent to 25 Cottage Street.  Free valet parking is available from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Stop at Registration on the first floor at the bottom of the ramp.  Occasionally, your doctor or anesthesiologist may order blood work for the day of your surgery.  If this is the case, Registration will direct you.  Please identify yourself as a patient having surgery when you stop at the lab.  Otherwise, you will be directed to the 4th floor same-day (ambulatory) surgery unit.  Take the single silver elevator at the end of the main hallway that runs past the lab.

When you arrive on the 4th Floor, please stop at the desk to announce your arrival.  The desk is a semicircular podium to the right after you step off the elevator.

I brought my driver/support person; where should they wait?
Two persons accompanying you may stay with you in your pre-surgical suite until you are wheeled to the operating room.  Visitors, friends, and relatives are not permitted in the operating suites, and may await the completion of your surgery in the comfortable lounge near the desk (this lounge can get busy; please bring only your dearest support persons).  People accompanying you on the day of surgery may also wish to wait in the cafeteria or browse in the gift shop.  A nurse will notify your friend/relative/support person when you can be seen.  Your driver/support should speak to the nurse to ensure he/she understands instructions for your care.

What can I do to assist in my own recovery from surgery?
Your nurse will give you a copy of your Discharge Instructions. If you have questions about your Discharge Instructions call your doctor’s office or call Surgical Services at (315) 261-5975.



What does quality healthcare mean to you?

To most patients and their families, it means adherence to the most rigorous, medically and scientifically verified standards available. We measure our processes against these standards, and we are dedicated to continuous improvement.

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Canton-Potsdam Hospital
50 Leroy Street, Potsdam, New York 13676
ph: 315-265-3300

The information on this web site is provided as a service by Canton-Potsdam Hospital for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical care, and medical advice and services are not being offered. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem, you should consult your physician.

Health information on this website is intended as an informational and educational service. Provision of this information and educational service neither implies nor guarantees that a treatment, procedure, or healthcare service necessarily will be provided in whole or in part. Services are provided by Canton-Potsdam Hospital at its sole discretion consistent with the highest quality standards including but not limited to safety. For more information about whether a specific service or procedure is offered and/or is right for you, consult your care practitioner.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Canton-Potsdam Hospital does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Click HERE to view a full version of the Nondiscrimination Statement. If you believe that Canton-Potsdam Hospital has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance with: Director of Patient Experience at 50 Leroy Street, Potsdam, NY 13676. You may file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at or by mail at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 509F, HHH Building, Washington, D.C. 20201.

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