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Surgery and Procedure FAQs

Whether your surgery or procedure requires you to stay overnight or not, there are some important things you need to do and remember the day before your visit.

If you have questions about your specific surgery/procedure, please contact your care team.

COVID Testing

Why do I need to be tested for COVID-19 before my surgery/procedure, even if I do not have symptoms?

COVID-19 can be present even if you are asymptomatic. Testing each patient before a surgery/procedure minimizes the risk of spreading the virus since having COVID can increase the risk for complications and getting tested helps to also protect you.

Do I need to have my pre-surgery/procedure COVID-19 test at a specific site?

A test conducted within the Yale New Haven Health System is preferred and ensures an accurate, high-standard quality result. For your surgery/procedure, your results will be readily available to your physician and care team if the test is performed at a Yale site.

How long before my scheduled surgery/procedure date should I be tested?

You must be tested within three (3) calendar days before your scheduled surgery/procedure and the test must be performed with enough time to allow a result to be available before the time of your surgery.

I live more than an hour away from the hospital where my surgery/procedure is scheduled. Do I need to travel that far for my pre-surgery/procedure test?

There are several testing sites located throughout the health system. You may have your test at any of the Yale New Haven Health COVID testing tents. Sites are located in Greenwich, Bridgeport, Milford, New Haven and New London in Connecticut, with an additional site in Westerly, Rhode Island. Additionally, there are multiple Designated Lab Draw Stations located at sites throughout Connecticut and New York for asymptomatic pre-surgical/procedural COVID testing.

COVID Testing Locations

How many days per week are the testing sites open?

Most testing tent sites are open seven (7) days per week, including weekends and holidays. Yale New Haven Health Lab Draw Stations are open Monday-Saturday.

Why do I need to be tested again? I tested negative a few weeks ago.

You must be tested as close to the surgery/procedure as possible to ensure to make sure that you do not have COVID-19.

When will I receive notification about the appointment for my COVID test?

If you are a MyChart user, you will receive a message from us 7-10 days before your surgery/procedure date with a link to schedule your own COVID test appointment at a location, date and time that bests suits you. The options provided for your testing appointment will be within two (2) to three (3) days of your scheduled surgery/procedure.

If you are not a MyChart user, one of our healthcare members will contact you directly 5 days before your surgery/procedure date. If you do not receive a phone call to schedule a COVID screening appointment and it is three (3) days before your surgery/procedure, please call the YNHHS COVID Hotline Call Center at (833)- ASK-YNHH (833)-275-9644 to assist with scheduling 7 days per week 7am-7pm.

Can I go to a Yale New Haven Testing Site without an appointment, and have a screening test performed?

No. For your safety and for the appropriate timing of your COVID test, it is very important that you do not arrive at a Yale New Haven Testing site without an appointment.

What do I do if I cannot get transportation to a testing site prior to my scheduled surgery/procedure?

When our schedulers contact you 5 days before your surgery/procedure date with your appointment for the test, tell them that you do not have transportation. Our team can coordinate an alternative way for you to be tested.

Does my test need to involve a nasal swab?

Yes. Currently this is the only reliable test.

If I do not have a COVID test before my surgery/procedure, what will happen?

For your safety and for the safety of other patients, your surgery/procedure will be rescheduled until your testing is completed and resulted.

How will know if I tested positive for COVID?

You will get your results in MyChart. Your physician’s office will be notified you only if you have a positive result. If you are positive, do not arrive for your scheduled surgery/procedure until you have had a discussion with your physician about your plan.

If I do test positive for COVID, will my surgery/procedure be cancelled?

Your surgery/procedure may need to be rescheduled. We want you to have a safe surgery/procedure. However, there are special circumstances that do require a surgical procedure, even with a positive test result. You and your physician will discuss your specific care plan. If you test positive for COVID 19, do not arrive for your scheduled surgery/procedure until you have had a discussion with your physician about your plan.

Preparing for My Surgery/Procedure

My surgeon told me to “socially isolate” for at least seven days before my surgery/procedure. What does this mean?

Follow CDC guidelines:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others
  • Wash your hands frequently and wear a mask at all times in public places
  • Avoid contact with others outside of your immediate household members and avoid leaving your home as much as possible

You must still arrive for your scheduled COVID screening test.

What symptoms should I tell my physician about before I arrive on the day of my surgery/procedure?

Notify your physician if you have a fever that is greater than 100.5, new respiratory symptoms (such as cough or shortness of breath), sore throat, and/or the loss of smell or taste.


How will I know what time to arrive on the day of my surgery/procedure?

You will receive a message the afternoon prior to your scheduled surgery/procedure with details of your arrival time and parking instructions. Follow all pre-surgical/procedural instructions provided by your physician and/or preadmission testing provider.

What to Expect on the Day of My Surgery/Procedure

What can I bring with me when arriving for my surgery/procedure? Is there a safe place to store my belongings?

Please bring a form of ID. You may bring a cell phone, cell phone charger, glasses, contacts, hearing aids, dentures, toiletries and clothing as needed. We encourage you to leave any valuables at home and only bring what is necessary. The perioperative nursing team will safely store your belongings in a sealable plastic bag labeled with your name and place it in a locked closet during your procedure. The perioperative nursing team will retrieve your belongings once you are in the recovery room and bring the bag to your bedside.

Patient Safety Measures

What is Yale New Haven Health System doing to keep me safe during my surgery/procedure and/or hospital stay?

We have put a number of safety measures in place to keep you safe:

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection in hospital rooms and public areas
  • Our premises and all instruments are prepared for use following rigorous protocols
  • Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are cared for in designated areas, separate from patients without COVID-19
  • Minimizing lines during your check-in process
  • We encourage physical distancing wherever feasible throughout our facility
  • Screening processes and masking policies are in place throughout our facility for all patients, visitors and staff
  • We require our staff to participate in our COVID and influenza vaccination campaigns

What precautions are the nurses, doctors, residents and PA/APRNs and other hospital staff taking to protect me?

All YNHHS staff are self-monitoring for COVID19 symptoms and are advised not to work if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms concerning for COVID-19 or other communicable infections. All staff will be wearing masks and some may also be wearing eye protection. Good hand hygiene practices are part of our daily routines.

Do I have to bring my own mask on the day of my surgery/procedure?

Yes. Patients and visitors arriving without a mask or wearing a cloth mask, gaiter, bandana, or mask with an exhalation valve will be provided a health system approved facemask during the arrival process.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitor guidelines are updated regularly for the safety of our patients and staff. Please reach out to your physician’s office directly for the most up-to-date visitor guidelines.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitors are limited at this time. The visitation guidelines will be amended when appropriate.

View our latest visitor guidelines

Recovery After Your Surgery/Procedure

After my surgery/procedure, is it necessary for me to isolate/quarantine? And if so, for how long?

Your surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of surgery including if there is an increased risk of contracting COVID19. A period of isolation may or may not be necessary. Your surgeon will discuss any precautionary steps you must take for your protection to reduce the risk of surgical complications.