Hamilton Health Sciences
Preoperative Clinic

Frequently Asked Questions

About Preop

Q: What is the Preop Clinic?

 A: The Preoperative Clinic is often called the Preop clinic. It is where you come to complete the necessary preparations for surgery. This may include tests, health teaching and blood work. You will see several health care providers which may include a Nurse, an Anesthesiologist and a pharmacy team member.  For some patients, this may be a telephone call by the Preop Clinic Nurse. The telephone call will include questions asked by the nurse and provide health teaching to prepare for surgery.

Q: Where is the Preop Clinic?

A: 690 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario. This building is called the West End Clinic; the same building as the Urgent Care Centre.


Q: Do I  have to visit the Preop Clinic before having surgery?

A: Yes. All individuals undergoing surgery must attend the preop clinic.


Q: Who will I see in the Pre-op Clinic?

A: A business clerk will welcome you to the Preop Clinic, register you for your appointment and make sure all your documents are completed.

A nurse will ask questions, provide you with information about the day of surgery and provide post operative instructions.

Your nurse may also draw blood, perform an ECG depending on what your surgeon has ordered for you.

A best possible medication history will be taken by the nurse or a pharmacy team member.

Your surgeon will decide if you need to see an Anesthesiologist. 


Q: Who can attend the Preop Clinic appointment with me?

A: We encourage you to bring someone with you, to help with all the information that you will be receiving.


Q: Are there things that I should tell the staff about?

A: Yes. If you develop a cough, fever, pneumonia, chest cold or have had an asthma attack within 3 days of scheduled surgery, you should call the clinic and let us know.

For children attending clinic if your child has been exposed to measles, mumps or chicken pox in the 21 days before surgery, please tell us as soon as you become aware of the exposure. Your child's surgery may need to be rescheduled so that other children are not at risk of catching these diseases.

It is important to inform the staff in Preop clinic about any changes in your health status as well as a current and up to date medication list.

If you have any body piercing that cannot be seen, please let the nurse and doctors in the Preop Clinic know.  All metallic objects must be removed before surgery.


Before Surgery

Q: Why can’t I eat or drink before surgery?

A: Having an empty stomach reduces the risk of certain complications of anesthesia, such as nausea and vomiting. In addition, if you have eaten, stomach acid can enter the lungs and may  lead to an infection or pneumonia.  When you are awake, you have protective reflexes that normally prevent food or fluid getting into your lungs. Most drugs that are used to sedate or put you to sleep interfere with these reflexes. This is why fasting (not eating or drinking) is so important before surgery.


Q: For how long should I not eat or drink before surgery?

A: This depends on your age, the surgery and your underlying medical condition. Please refer to the educational material you received in the Preop clinic regarding when to stop eating or drinking before surgery.

Surgery at MUMC (Adult)

Pediatric patients

Surgery at JH

Surgery at General


Q: Which prescribed medications should I take on the morning of surgery?

A: In general, a nurse, an anesthesiologist and/or a pharmacist  will review all medications that should be taken on the morning of surgery. We will further discuss this with you during your preop appointment.


Q: Where and when should we show up on the day of surgery?

A: These directions will be provided to you, by the nurse, during your Preop clinic visit.  The Preop clinic services three hospitals so your surgery may not be at the hospital where you have your preop appointment


Q: What should I  bring to the hospital?

A: For adult patients please bring a housecoat, supportive shoes and a health card.  Please leave all other valuables at home.  Please bring only medications that you have been instructed to bring with you to the hospital. 

For children, any support object or special toy is allowed. This includes a special stuffed toy, pillow, blanket, favorite photo or drawing.

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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