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Moving Through the System

No two patient journeys are exactly alike. However, there are parallels most patients will experience as they move through Saskatchewan’s health care system. If you require surgery, you can expect the following steps to guide you from pre-surgery to rehabilitation and recovery. 

Step 1:  Patient Information
During your first appointment with your surgeon, you will be asked to provide information such as your birth date, health insurance number and contact phone number.

Doctor & PatientStep 2:  Diagnostic Tests and Patient Assessment
Your surgeon will order any diagnostic tests required (such as an MRI or CT scan) and will assess your need for surgery.

Step 3:  Informed Consent
Because all surgeries have associated risks, it is very important that you understand the possible outcomes.

Your surgeon is responsible for educating you about all the care options available. He or she will explain the benefits and risks of any recommended surgical procedures. This is the best time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure. For a list of common questions, please visit our questions to ask your specialist.

If you agree that surgery is necessary, your surgeon will have you sign a consent form that will be sent to the hospital.

Step 4:  Date of Surgery / Pre-Surgery Information
One to six weeks prior to your surgery you will receive a tentative date for your procedure and be informed of the process for arriving at the hospital. You may be asked to provide some personal information to determine whether you require pre-surgery tests or consultations. Depending on the procedure, you may also be asked to visit the hospital to attend training classes about your particular procedure and post-surgical care.

Step 5:  Pre-Operative Tests
Any tests required prior to your surgery will be completed.

Step 6:  Length of Stay in Hospital
Your surgery will likely fall into one of the three categories below:

Lindy McKinleyDay surgery – You arrive at the hospital, have your surgery, and after a short recovery period you return home that same day.

Same day admit procedure – You are admitted to the hospital on the day of surgery and stay in the hospital for one or more nights.

Inpatient procedure – You are admitted to hospital prior to the day of surgery and stay in hospital for one or more nights.

An increasing number of less complicated procedures are being performed outside of operating rooms. The steps for these outpatient procedures differ between individual facilities.

Step 7:  Post Surgery Care
Following your procedure, your surgical care team will advise you about post-surgery care. This will include any required medications, therapies, treatments and follow-up appointments.


If you have any questions about whether your surgery will be performed in an operating room, questions about the process for outpatient procedures, or concerns about any of the steps of the surgical journey above, please contact your surgeon’s office or the Surgical Care Co-ordinator/Regional Contact in the region where you will be having surgery.

 See left menu for more patient information.

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