If you need surgery, a visit to the Center for Preoperative Assessment & Planning (CPAP) is an important step you will take along this path of care.

What is the CPAP?

Center for Preoperative Assessment & Planning is a unit of Barnes-Jewish Hospital where important information about your health can be gathered before surgery. The Center for Preoperative Assessment and Planning team includes a group of anesthesiologists, advanced practitioners, nurses, laboratory technicians and secretaries who are responsible for making sure you are medically ready for your scheduled operation.

Why should I visit CPAP?

We want your day of surgery to be safe, smooth and well-planned. To help ensure this, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University have developed this unit to complete a preoperative evaluation. Your visit will provide the CPAP team with enough information to decide if you are medically ready for your scheduled surgery. Occasionally, we discover an undiagnosed medical problem or a current medical condition that is not under control. If the team at CPAP finds that you are not medically ready for surgery, or that your medical condition is very complicated, we will discuss our evaluation with your surgeon and recommend the testing or treatment you should receive before and after your surgery. This information becomes part of your medical record.

What can I expect during my appointment at CPAP?

During your appointment, the health care team at CPAP will:

  • Take your medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Perform a nursing assessment
  • Review and/or perform tests ordered by your surgeon or our practitioners
  • Educate you regarding the preparation necessary for your day of surgery

If I go to CPAP, am I guaranteed to have my surgery on the scheduled date?

In most cases, surgery will not be delayed or cancelled. However if your medical condition worsens between your CPAP visit and the day of surgery, your operation could be postponed or cancelled. Sometimes a simple cold or other infection could be reason enough for postponing your day of surgery.

When should I make my appointment for a CPAP visit?

Please call and make your appointment as soon as your surgeon schedules your operation to ensure a timely date. We advise you to make your appointment at CPAP at least five to seven days before surgery especially if your medical history is complex. This is to allow for potential further testing.

What if I am not seen In CPAP before surgery?

You will be evaluated by an anesthesiologist immediately prior to your operation. In general, this is not a problem if you are healthy or have a medical condition that is well controlled. However, if the anesthesiologist determines that you are not medically ready for surgery, your operation may be delayed or cancelled.

How should I prepare for my visit to CPAP?

Your CPAP visit does not require you to be without food or drink. Be advised though, that sometimes your surgeon schedules other testing on the same day as your CPAP appointment. Please verify those restrictions with your surgeon.

What should I bring?

  • Your medications or a Home Medication Record, including the dose and how often you take them. Include all over the counter items – vitamins, herbs, aspirin, inhalers etc.
  • Any advanced testing i.e. stress test or echocardiogram results or the testing site’s phone numbers.
  • Your implant/information card for devices such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, or blood vessel stent.
  • If you have recently seen your cardiologist, ask him/her for a letter regarding your heart history, any implanted heart devices, and your most recent test results.
  • Your Primary Care Physician’s office phone & fax numbers.
  • The name and/or phone number of your laboratory, MD office or hospital where any recent blood testing, EKG or chest x-rays have been done. If you have a copy of your own, please bring.
  • Your Advanced Directive or Living Will.
  • If applicable, the paperwork showing Power of Attorney, guardianship or adoption for the patient. This is necessary for us to render care.
  • All current insurance cards.
  • A completed Health Questionnaire.

How do I get to CPAP?

Park in the North Garage and cross the skywalk over Euclid Avenue to the Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM). Proceed to the information desk and ask for directions to CPAP or the Preoperative Center. We are located in the CAM on the ground floor at the West end. The signs directing you in the hospital read “Preoperative Center.” Exit the elevator lobby to the right. Continue along the hallway, go down the steps and continue until you come to the CPAP on your right. Click here for a map.