Pre-admission Visits

You will receive information regarding the date and time of your pre-admission telephone call as well as your surgical date from your surgeon's office. You may be required to have specific lab work and/or X-rays in advance of your pre-admission phone call. These will be scheduled by your surgeon's office.

Physical Exam

You may be scheduled to meet with a physician assistant or nurse practitioner on Austen 7 to complete a history and physical. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) may also be performed at this time. Your surgeon's office will inform you if this is necessary.

The physician assistants and nurse practitioners are part of the team that works with your surgeon. They will see you routinely after your surgery and be involved in your care under the supervision of your surgeon.

The nurse practitioner or physician assistant will examine you and take a medical history. Please let the nurse or physician assistant know of any medical problems or allergies that you have and any medication that you take and the doses. Please bring a list or the bottles of these medications.

It is especially important that you tell the practitioner if you take Coumadin, any other blood thinners or prednisone.

Other Tests

You may have a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram and blood work if ordered by the anesthesiologist or surgeon.

Important Do's and Don’ts Before Surgery

  • Stop smoking: Smoking irritates your lungs, decreases their efficiency and interferes with your ability to recover from surgery. Each day that you are smoke free will help your lung function improve. You should stop smoking well before surgery. For more information on smoking cessation programs offered through Mass General, please call (617) 726-7443
  • Exercise: Being active before surgery helps to condition you and often makes you feel better. If you have an exercise program or are participating in a rehabilitation program, please continue this. If you have been very sedentary, try adding little pieces of activity to your day. Even increasing your level of simple activities of daily living can help. Take a short walk. Vacuum the house. Climb the stairs. Every little bit helps
  • Practice breathing exercises: Breathing exercises will be very important after surgery and can also be a good relaxation technique. If you are coughing up mucus (phlegm) before your surgery, deep breathing and coughing exercises are usually helpful
  • If you are unwell: If you have a fever or are sick, contact your thoracic surgeon’s office to decide if the surgery needs to be postponed

The Day Before Surgery

On the day before your procedure:

  • Try to spend a relaxing evening at home and get a good night’s sleep. Patients often find it helpful to listen to soft music, take a warm shower, read, or participate in other calming activities
  • Do not eat anything after 10:00 pm, including mints, chewing gum, etc.

The Day of Surgery

  • Take all of your heart medications with just a sip of water, unless otherwise directed by your physician
  • If you are a diabetic, do not take your insulin unless instructed to do so
  • Bring your own comfortable slippers or walking shoes and personal toilet articles
  • Please leave all valuables such as watches and necklaces at home