All patients must be evaluated by the Pre-Admission Testing Area (PATA) prior to a surgical procedure at Massachusetts General Hospital. Some patients are evaluated in person at the PATA clinic on the main campus, while other patients are eligible for a phone interview with the PATA phone program instead of a clinic visit. Ask your surgeon which type of evaluation is appropriate for you.

During the pre-admission process, a team of nurses, anesthesiologists and other clinicians work together to gather information about your medical and surgical history, and provide instructions about how you can prepare for an upcoming surgery.

It is important to complete your pre-admission appointment within 30 days before your surgery so that your procedure is not cancelled or delayed.

Download a printable version of the information on this page (PDF)

What do I need to do before my PATA appointment?

You should complete the actions below before your PATA clinic or phone appointment. If we do not have these items at the time of your appointment, the appointment may take longer and you may need to complete more tests later.

Complete any blood work or medical tests ordered by your surgeon's office

What information do I need available on the day of my PATA appointment?

  • The names and doses of your current prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • A list of any allergies to medications, food, latex, rubber, dust or pollen
  • Your complete medical and surgical history, including the dates and locations of any previous surgeries
  • A copy of your health care proxy and advance directives, if you have them

What happens during a PATA clinic appointment?

  • A nurse practitioner will evaluate your risk associated with anesthesia, discuss how to prepare for surgery and answer any questions you may have
  • PATA clinic appointments take about 2 hours.
  • The PATA clinic is located in the Jackson Building, room 121, on the main Mass General campus. View a map of the hospital (PDF)

What happens during a PATA phone appointment?

  • A nurse will call you within 20 minutes of your scheduled appointment to perform an anesthesia screening and assessment.
  • Please make sure you are available during the scheduled time. This is a medical appointment and you should not be driving or otherwise distracted.
  • PATA phone appointments take about 30 minutes.

What if I need an interpreter?

You can request an interpreter for free. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment, call Medical Interpreter Services at 617-726-6966 / TTY 617-724-0354. Patients may request an interpreter on the day of their appointment, but to reduce delays, we recommend requesting an interpreter in advance.

What do I need to know for the day of my surgery?

On the day you are scheduled to have surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after 10 pm the night before surgery unless you were instructed to do so by your physician or during your preoperative visit. If you have been instructed to take any medication, take it with a small sip of water.
  • Bring an ID.
  • Bring your medications to the hospital if you were told to bring them with you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Bring your eyeglasses. You will not be able to wear contact lenses.
  • Bring any dentures or hearing aids, and cases in which to store them.
  • Do not wear hair spray, body lotion or perfume.
  • Do not wear any jewelry (including wedding rings, earrings and piercings), makeup or nail polish.
  • Leave all valuables at home.
  • When you arrive at Mass General, check in at the Center for Perioperative Care on the third floor of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center.

For any additional questions regarding surgery, please contact your surgeon's office.

Where can I find more information about my health and treatment options?

The Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient & Family Learning Center provides free access to health and treatment information for patients, family and caregivers. The Blum Center is located in the White Building on the main hospital campus, room 110.

Where can I find more information about visiting Mass General?

View maps, directions, parking information, shuttle information and more