Preparing for a surgery appointment

We have many safety precautions in place to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19, including limits on family presence, screening at entry points, and use of masks or face coverings. If you have an upcoming surgery appointment, we ask you to review our safety measures prior to your visit in order to ensure you are prepared. Click here to learn more 

We know that undergoing surgery can be stressful, even if it's elective, and that's why we want to work with you to make sure you are as prepared as possible. There are a number of things you can do in the months, weeks and days leading up to your surgery. We hope the information on this page will help with that.  

Your care journey with us will first begin when your surgeon's office calls you to book a date for your surgery. Next, you'll be contacted by the Pre-Surgical Screening Office at Kingston Health Sciences Centre's (KHSC) Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) site. They'll also want to book an appointment with you. During this appointment, you will be given important instructions to follow carefully about medications, food and drink. If, one week prior to your surgery date, you have not been contacted by the Pre-Surgical Screening Office, please call them at 613-544-3400.

If you have any questions in the time leading up to your surgery, contact your surgeon's office. They will always be able to provide you with the information that is most appropriate for your care. On the day of your surgery, you will meet again with your surgeon and your anesthesiologist. This is another good opportunity for you to speak with them and ask any questions before you go to the operating room.   

Arrival time

On the night before your surgery, you should expect to receive a call from a staff member in the operating room (sometime after 2 p.m.) to confirm the time that you are required to arrive for your surgery the next day. We usually ask that you arrive two hours before your surgery begins. Our earliest scheduled surgeries begin at 7:45 a.m. 

During the evening before your surgery, or on the morning of, you should shower or bathe before coming to the hospital. This will help reduce your risk of infection. 

If you are having surgery at KHSC's Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site, please register in the Same Day Admission Centre, which is located on the second floor of the Connell wing. 

If you are having surgery at KHSC's HDH site, please register at the Day Surgery Unit on the second floor of the Jeanne Mance wing.


If for any reason you need to reschedule or cancel your surgery (you’re feeling sick, or you no longer want to have the surgery), please call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible. 

If you need to cancel or reschedule less than one week before your scheduled surgery date, and you are unable to reach the surgeon's office, the number to call if your surgery is booked at the KGH site is 613-548-7820, and if your surgery is booked at the HDH site, the number to call is 613-544-3310 ext. 2525.  

There may also be a chance that we will need to reschedule your surgery, either due to unforeseen circumstances, or so that another patient who requires an emergency surgery can be accommodated. If for any reason your surgery is rescheduled, you will be contacted by the surgeon's office as soon as possible.

What to bring 

When it is time to leave for the hospital, here are a few of the items you may want to bring with you:

  • Your Ontario Health Card and private health insurance information.  
  • Comfortable clothing. 
  • Slippers or comfortable shoes. 
  • For children - a favourite toy or blanket.  
  • For newborns - sleepers and car seat. 

If you are staying in the hospital after your surgery and would like to have some personal belongings with you during your inpatient stay, please have a family member bring them once your surgery is complete and you have arrived in your hospital room. These items should include toothbrush, toothpaste, unscented shampoo, body lotion, shaving supplies, a comb or brush as well as anything else you would like with you, such as books, magazines, etc. For more information on what to expect as an inpatient, please visit our while you are here section

If you are being discharged the day of your surgery (going home once you have recovered from surgery), do not bring any extra belongings with you.

What not to bring 

Because KHSC is not responsible for theft, loss or damage to your property, we ask that you leave your valuables at home. Valuables are things that would be expensive or impossible to replace, including:

  • Jewellery, 
  • Credit and debit cards,
  • Large amounts of money, 
  • Important documents,  
  • Electronic devices, such as portable TVs, DVD players and computers. 

You should also leave your adapters, chargers, hair dryers, curling and straightening irons and all other electrical appliances at home. Battery-operated devices are welcome, as long as they do not require to be charged in your room. You may want to keep a small amount of money with you for newspapers and other purchases.


In order to give you the best care possible, your care team needs to know what medicines you are taking. Our in-hospital pharmacy carries a wide selection of drugs, but we may not carry your brands. If you are taking medicines, bring them with you and give them to the nurse or physician who admits you. If possible, always keep your medicine in the bottle it came in.