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Before Leaving Home

On the day of your surgery or procedure, we ask that you follow these recommendations.

Please do not:

  • Wear any jewelry, including wedding rings and piercings
  • Bring money, credit cards, laptops, tablets or items with sentimental value
  • Apply lotions, creams, powders, perfumes, make up or nail polish

Please do:

  • Shower in the morning with soap to reduce the risk of surgical site infection. If your surgeon has instructed you to wash with Hibiclens (chlorhexidine), please follow the product directions
  • Wear clean, comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are easy to take on and off. We recommend wearing a button-down shirt if you are having a procedure on your shoulder or arm

Items to Bring to the Hospital

Please bring the following items to your surgery or procedure:

  • Identification with your photograph (e.g., driver’s license, passport)
  • A container for dentures
  • An eyeglass case if you wear glasses
  • An inhaler or CPAP machine if you regularly use them
  • The name and phone number of the adult who will bring you home, if you are going home the same day of your surgery or procedure
  • The name, address and phone number of your pharmacy

Day of Surgery

When to Arrive

Please arrive two hours before the scheduled start time of your surgery to allow us time to get you ready. While we strive to adhere to your scheduled start time, unexpected circumstances may occur. Our surgical liaison will regularly update you while you wait in the Center for Perioperative Care (CPC) waiting area.  

Parking

If you arrive before 6:00 am, please park in either the Fruit Street or Parkman garage and come through the main entrance to enter the hospital.

If you arrive after 6:00 am, parking is available at the Fruit Street, Parkman Street, or Yawkey garages. Valet services are also available at the entrance to the Wang building. You may enter the hospital through the Wang or main entrance after 6:00 am. 

Learn more about parking at Mass General

View maps and directions to Mass General

After Your Arrival

You will be greeted by our unit coordinators and offered a pager, which allows us to notify you when we are ready to start preparing you for surgery or procedure. Your family member or loved one may stay with you while you wait.

The CPC staff will:

  • Confirm your name, date of birth and the location and type of surgery/procedure you are having done
  • Apply a hospital ID bracelet
  • Ask when you last ate solid food, drank clear liquids and took any medications at home
  • Obtain blood work, urine sample or electrocardiogram, if indicated
  • Ask for the name and phone number of the adult who will take you home if you are being discharged home on the day of surgery

When we are ready to have you change into a hospital gown, we will secure your clothing and other belongings. Depending on your expected discharge, your belongings will either be returned to you in the recovery room or brought to your hospital room following your surgery or procedure.

Once you are changed, your family or loved one will be asked to return to the waiting room. We will move you to the next perioperative area where you will meet your anesthesia and surgical teams. They will review your medical history, answer your questions regarding the appropriate anesthetic and discuss the post-procedure care plan.

Updating Family and Loved Ones

In the CPC waiting area, there is a wall-mounted digital communication board that provides real-time updates on a patient’s progress. This color-coded board protects the patient’s privacy yet allows family and loved ones to see when the patient enters and leaves the operating room.

Our surgical liaison is available to answer any questions and provide updates as you wait.

Medical Interpreter

Patients who are deaf or have limited English proficiency have a right to a medical interpreter at no cost to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Interpreters are provided by phone, in-person or by video, depending on availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my family member or loved one join me on the day of surgery?

While you are in the waiting area, you may have one family member or loved one, who is at least 14 years of age, stay with you. Patients are encouraged to review the Mass General visitor policy prior to arrival.

How will my family member or loved one be notified when my surgery is done?

In the pre-operative area, the nurse will ask who you would like the surgeon to contact after the surgery is complete. This information will be shared with your surgeon, who will call or meet with them in the waiting room.

Will an interpreter be provided if I need one?

We have nationally trained and certified medical interpreters available for those who do not speak English at all, speak limited English or are deaf or hard of hearing.

Patient Resources

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International Patient Center

International Patient Center

We are a full-service office that helps patients and their families navigate care.

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Coming to Mass General

Coming to Mass General

We are ready to care for you—whatever your health care needs may be.

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Find a Doctor

Find a Doctor

Our surgeons are among the best in the world, providing specialized care.

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Find a Location

Find a Location

We offer care in and around the Boston area.

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Parking & Shuttles

Parking & Shuttles

We provide a free shuttle bus and affordable parking for patients, visitors and employees

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Services & Amenities

Services & Amenities

We offer a wide range of services and amenities for patients, visitors and staff.

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Blum Patient and Family Learning Center

Blum Patient and Family Learning Center

The Blum Center is a place for patients, families and friends to find health information.

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Maps & Directions

Maps & Directions

Our main campus spans nearly 30 buildings. Use these maps to help plan your visit.

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Visiting Boston

Visiting Boston

We are located in the West End on the Charles River, near Beacon Hill, in Boston, MA.