Before your surgery
You will need to visit the preadmission clinic before your surgery to complete your health work-up and undergo preoperative testing.
Admission will contact you with your surgery date.
To make your stay easier, we recommend you read these tips and instructions before you arrive at the hospital.
The day before your surgery
Time of the surgery
The preadmission clinic at Hôpital du Haut-Richelieu will contact you to tell you where and when to show up for your surgery. Note, however, that the time you are told is not the time you will be taken into surgery: The hospital staff first needs to prepare you for surgery, and the time this takes varies depending on the type of operation you are having. We recommend that you plan to spend a full day at the hospital.
Report any change in your health condition: flu, cough, fever, cold, sore throat, urinary tract infection, skin abscess, late period (could indicate a pregnancy), or any other change.
Show up on time for your appointment; if you can’t make it, let the receptionist at the preadmission clinic know in advance, by calling: 450-359-5000, ext. 5147
Preparing yourself, body and mind
It’s quite normal for you to be worried about your surgery. Feel free to share your concerns with your doctor or nurse at any time after you are admitted. By following the instructions, you will reduce the risk of complications from your surgery.
- Do the preparations requested by your surgeon or nurse, where applicable.
- Since you need to be fasting, do not eat or drink anything after midnight, including liquids, water, food, or gum. Eat an early supper and avoid greasy foods.
- Do not consume coffee, alcohol or drugs for 24 hours before the surgery. Do not smoke for 24 hours before the surgery.
- Maintain a positive attitude and talk about your concerns with a family member or trusted friend. Get a good night’s sleep.
- Don’t do any strenuous activity. Instead, rest, relax and take naps.
- Take a shower or bath to clean your skin and prevent infections.
- Follow the treatment and medications prescribed by your doctor, while paying attention to your symptoms.
- Establish your recovery plan, including the help you’ll need with your personal hygiene, meals and housework.
You will need to be accompanied by a responsible person for your return home. However, if this person stays with you for the entire day, they will have to wait in the waiting room, in accordance with the visitors’ policy.
What to bring for your stay
- Your valid health insurance card. If your health insurance card is no longer valid, contact the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) before your surgery date. For any questions, visit the section on renewing your health insurance card;
- Your hospital card;
- Your usual medications, in their original containers, including over-the-counter medications and natural products;
- Cases for your dentures, eyeglasses and contact lenses, where applicable;
- Your usual medications, in their original containers, including over-the-counter medications and natural products. (Ask your pharmacist to give you a list, which you must bring with you.)
- A robe and non-skid slippers;
- Comfortable clothing that’s easy to put on and appropriate for your type of surgery;
- A padlock (the hospital provides a locker for your personal belongings).
Do not bring any jewelry or valuable items with you to the hospital. However, if required, bring enough money for any specific needs related to your surgery.
After the surgery, you will need to avoid moving around as much as possible. If the drive home is longer than an hour, arrange to stay overnight somewhere near the hospital. If you have general or local anesthesia, you should not drive for the first 24 hours following the surgery.
The day of your surgery
When you get up
- Do not eat or drink anything and follow the instructions from the preadmission clinic.
- Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- Take a bath or a shower. Do not apply makeup or nail polish, as this will prevent the surgeon from monitoring your skin colour during the procedure.
- Remove jewelry, contact lenses, hair clips and body piercings.
- Do not use tampons. Plan to use sanitary pads.
Your admission to the hospital
Arrive at the appointment centre (window 35) at the scheduled time, accompanied by a family member or friend; make sure you are fasting. You will then be sent to Day Surgery.
When you arrive in Day Surgery, inform the nurse of any change in your health condition.
The Day Surgery nurse will admit you and answer your questions. She will then prepare you for surgery and fill out your medical record.
An attendant will bring you to the operating block.
After the surgery, you will be taken to your room, where we will take care of you until you are discharged.
After the surgery
You can leave the hospital as soon as your condition is stable and you are discharged by your doctor. A nurse will give you the standard recommendations for your health condition and type of surgery. You must have a support person with you to listen to these discharge instructions.
Make sure you have:
- your health insurance card and hospital card;
- the prescriptions and recommendations from your doctor;
- your personal medications;
- the details of your next doctor’s appointment;
- a number to call in case of a medical emergency.
Pain and pain killers
You may be given pain killers after the surgery. If you are in pain, don’t hesitate to tell the nursing staff. However, not all pain killers work for the same amount of time, depending on different factors, including the type of surgery and anesthesia you had, your general health condition, etc. Proper pain relief is important to your recovery process. Even though it’s important to rest after your surgery, we encourage you to get up as soon as possible to avoid postoperative complications.
Your surgeon and the nursing staff will give you information about your recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to talk to them.
If your condition requires, arrangements will be made, where applicable, with the general services or home care team at your local CLSC for you to receive postoperative care and services.