This information explains what you can expect during your surgery at Memorial Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s (MSK’s) main hospital. Read this before your surgery so that you know what to do and what to expect. Remember to review the educational resources your nurse gave you.Back to top
Before Your Surgery
Watch a virtual tour
This video will give you an idea of what to expect when you come to MSK’s main hospital on the day of your surgery.
Note the time and place of your surgery
If you don’t receive a call by 7:00 pm, please call 212-639-5014.
The Day of Your Surgery
Where to park
MSK’s parking garage is located on East 66th Street between York and First Avenues. If you have questions about prices, call 212-639-2338.
To reach the garage, turn onto East 66th Street from York Avenue. The garage is located about a quarter of a block in from York Avenue, on the right-hand (north) side of the street. There is a pedestrian tunnel that you can walk through that connects the garage to the hospital.
There are also other garages located on East 69th Street between First and Second Avenues, East 67th Street between York and First Avenues, and East 65th Street between First and Second Avenues.
What to expect
Once you’re in the hospital
You will be asked to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. People with the same or similar names may be having surgery on the same day.
Get dressed for surgery
When it’s time to change for surgery, you will get a hospital gown, robe, and nonskid socks to wear.
Meet with your nurse
You will meet with your nurse before surgery. Your nurse will review all your medications (including patches and creams) with you.
Your nurse may place an intravenous (IV) line into one of your veins, usually in your arm or hand. If your nurse doesn’t place the IV, your anesthesiologist will do it later once you’re in the operating room.
Meet with your anesthesiologist
Your anesthesiologist will:
Review your medical history with you.
- Ask you if you’ve had any problems with anesthesia in the past, including nausea or pain.
- Talk with you about your comfort and safety during your surgery.
Talk with you about the kind of anesthesia (medication to make you sleep during surgery) you will receive.
Answer questions you have about your anesthesia.
Prepare for your surgery
Once your nurse has seen you, 1 or 2 visitors can keep you company as you wait for your surgery to begin. When it’s time for your surgery, your visitor(s) will be shown to the waiting area. Your visitors should read our resource Information for Family and Friends for the Day of Surgery.
Information for Family and Friends
When the patient arrives at the hospital, we will ask for the phone number for 1 person. This person will get updates from the nurse liaison during the surgery, and speak with the surgeon after the surgery. If the patient will go home on the same day, we will ask for the phone number for the person who will be taking the patient home.
Before surgery, 1 person can go with the patient to the Presurgical Center (PSC). Other visitors should wait in the waiting area. If the patient wishes, other visitors may go to the PSC when the nurse has finished examining the patient.
When the patient is taken into the operating room, visitors will wait in the main lobby on the first floor.
- Don’t bring food or drinks into the PSC.
- Don’t visit if you have any cold or flu symptoms (fever, sneezing, sniffles, or a cough).
- If the patient brought any valuables, (such as a cell phone or iPad) please keep them safe during surgery.
- If the surgery is delayed, we will make every effort to keep you updated.
For more information about what to expect on the day your friend or family member is having surgery, read our resource Information for Family and Friends for the Day of Surgery.Back to top
After Your Surgery
When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Your visitors can see you briefly in the PACU, usually within 90 minutes after you arrive there. A member of the nursing staff will explain the guidelines to them.
Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may spend the night in the PACU, be transferred to your hospital room, or go home.
Before you leave the hospital, your nurse will review your discharge instructions with you and your caregiver.
The day after you go home, a member of your healthcare team will call you to see how you’re feeling and answer any questions.Back to top