Preparing For Your Surgery

Preparing for Your Surgery

We realize surgery may be a new experience for you, so we've compiled the following information 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 be asked to complete a survey after you go home; we hope you'll highly rate your experience and recommend our services to your friends and family.

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.
If you are not Pre-Registered the complete Registration will be done on the day of surgery by the 4th floor Registration clerk. Please remember to bring your insurance cards, a photo ID and a copy of any Advance Directives you may have.

What do I bring with me on the day of surgery?
1. Your Insurance card and driver's license/photo ID
2. List of current medication
3. Case for storing your glasses/contact lenses, dentures or hearing aids (these will be removed before surgery)
4. Court of guardianship paperwork
5. Copy of any Advance Directives you may have (e.g. Health Care Proxy, Living Will or MOLST form)
6. If you have sleep apnea and have a CPAP or BIPAP machine, please bring it with you even for day surgeries
7. Please do not bring any valuables.

What if I need to cancel my surgery?
If you need to cancel your surgery please call the surgeon's office directly. Please contact your surgeon if your condition has changed (cold, fever, rash or other illness or if there is a possibility of pregnancy).
If you need to cancel your surgery and it is over the weekend for a Monday surgery please call the hospital at (315) 265-3300 and ask for the Nursing Supervisor.

How can I arrive prepared for surgery?
1. Follow these instructions and any additional or custom instructions your surgeon/doctor gave you.
2. Do not eat solid foods after midnight the night before your scheduled procedure. No hard candy, gum, mints or cough drops.
3. Do not drink anything after midnight the night before your scheduled procedure, except for sips of water for the morning medication you were instructed to take.
4. Special considerations: If you are a diabetic or have a check-in time after 8am, you may drink water or apple juice for up to four (4) hours before your arrival time for surgery. The (4) hours prior to arriving you may only have sips of water for necessary medications.
5. Unless instructed otherwise, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself well hydrated the day before your surgery.
6. General Anesthesia relaxes the muscle in your digestive track and airway that keep food and acid in your stomach and out of your lungs. That is why it is important to follow your physician's instructions about when to stop eating and drinking prior to surgery.
7. Use the pre-surgical chlorhexidine wipes or shower wipes or shower kit as instructed (if you were given them).
If you were not given any wipes please bathe/shower before arriving.
Please brush your teeth/perform oral hygiene prior to arriving (do not swallow any water).
Do not apply lotion.
Do not shave near or at the surgical site at home unless instructed to do so.
Leave all jewelry at home – including watches, earrings, rings piercings and accessories.
Do not wear make-up or nail polish.
Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water, and insist that caregivers do the same.
Wear loose fitting clothing or pajamas (something easy to get dressed in to go home.)
 Shirt/top with front closure for face/head/ shoulder surgery.
 Shirt/top with loose sleeves for hand or arm surgery.
 Loose pants to allow for a big bandage for knee or foot surgery.

How do I check-in on the day of my surgery?

Parking is available at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in the main lot at 50 Leroy Street, Potsdam. Free valet parking is available from 6am - 3pm daily.

Enter through the main doors, proceed down the ramp and turn left. Walk to the end of the hallway until you reach the closed double doors, the elevator for the 4th floor is on your right. Take the single silver elevator to the 4th floor and stop at the Registration desk facing the elevator. Even if you are pre-registered please stop at the desk to sign in and receive a name band.

Special considerations
If you are checking in after 2pm or for certain procedures needing a pre-op X-ray, please stop at the 1st floor Registration desk at the bottom of the ramp when you enter the hospital. You will be reminded of this when you are called with your check-in time the afternoon before surgery.
Any bloodwork ordered for the day of surgery will be done after you are admitted to your 4th floor pre-op room.
Please arrive at your scheduled check-in time. Your check-in time is not the time of your actual procedure: we will need time with you to prepare.

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 will happen after I check-in?
As soon as your pre-op room is ready, you will be called from the waiting area. Your family member may accompany you and stay with you until the time you leave for the operating room. A nurse will prepare you for your procedure. This will include a review of your assessment and medications with updating as needed. For certain surgeries you will use the chlorhexidine wipes for the second time (or for the first time if you did not use them at home). Your surgeon will meet with you and your family and mark the surgical site, review your surgical consent and answer questions you may have.

Prior to your surgery the attending anesthesiologist will review your health history and discuss your anesthesia with you. If you are getting anesthesia an IV will be started.

If your surgeon or anesthesia provider orders blood work or an EKG for the day of surgery these will be completed in your pre-op room. Women of childbearing age will be asked to provide a urine specimen for a pregnancy test. Diabetics will have their blood sugar tested with a finger stick. You will also be given any medication ordered by your surgeon or anesthesia provider.

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.

When will I be discharged?
Your recovery time will vary depending on the type of anesthesia provided, the procedure and your health status.
Once you are ready to be discharged, your nurse and or surgeon will review your post-operative instructions with you and your family member. If you have questions about your Discharge Instructions call your surgeon's office or call Surgical Services at 315-261-5975.

View a Map of streets around Canton-Potsdam Hospital, the main entrance, and access to valet parking.



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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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