Planning for Cancer Surgery

Smilow Cancer Hospital's Greenwich Hospital Campus's staff provides specialized attention to all cancer surgery patients.

Personal Guidance

Patient support includes organizing preoperative tests and admission procedures, making discharge arrangements, organizing home care and rehabilitation services and helping patients understand their insurance benefits.

In addition, a nurse navigator from the Breast Center assists patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.


Greenwich Hospital’s preadmission program works with patients and families to ensure that admission, discharge and after-care go smoothly.

A preadmission nurse conducts preoperative interviews by telephone with all patients scheduled for surgery. The nurse explains:

  • What is involved with the procedure
  • How to prepare for surgery
  • What to expect during the hospital stay
  • How to prepare for returning home after surgery
  • Follow-up physical therapy or rehabilitation, if the patient’s surgery requires it

The preadmission nurse makes sure that all necessary preoperative tests have been done and conducts a complete review of the patient’s medical history. Any needs the patient has, such as translation services or transportation, are discussed.

More on Patient Services at Greenwich Hospital

More about Admitting

Pain Management

Appropriate pain control helps patients recover faster and also reduces the risk of developing certain complications. When pain is well controlled, patients are better able to participate in important activities such as walking, deep breathing exercises and physical therapy and rehabilitation. All surgery patients are continually assessed to ensure they remain comfortable.

Learn more about pain management for surgery

Healing Touch

This holistic, energy-based therapy complements patient care. Trained Healing Touch volunteers use soothing techniques to help patients relax and facilitate healing. This service can be arranged through staff on the inpatient surgical floor.

Spiritual Care

Greenwich Hospital is one of the few facilities in the nation to have an oncology chaplain devoted exclusively to assisting cancer patients and their loved ones. Hospital chaplains provide a spiritual presence in keeping with the beliefs or religious practices of patients and their families. Chaplains are available to those in need for counsel, prayer and support. The Spiritual Care Department will also assist in contacting clergy from the community.

Learn more about our Spiritual Care Department

Discharge Planning

Discharge planning begins with the preadmission interview.

Patients who are scheduled for ambulatory surgery, often called “same-day surgery,” receive discharge instructions during the preadmission phone interview. They will receive them again after they are admitted to the hospital.

Patients who stay longer will review discharge information with the care team during their hospital stay. An individualized plan will be developed, often in collaboration with physicians, nurses, case workers and others to address a variety of patient needs. These include transportation, support services, home care, medication management and rehabilitation referrals or placements.

A case manager works directly with patients to review their insurance benefits. The case manager will also recommend post-discharge treatment options based on the patient’s insurance coverage. In addition, a nurse navigator from the Breast Center assists patients with discharge instructions undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

To learn more about Discharge Procedures

To contact the surgery preadmission nurse, please call (203) 863-3629.
To contact our Case Management Department, call (203) 863-3336 or e-mail Ann Marie Coviello

Billing and Payment

Part of the discharge planning process includes helping patients fully understand the billing process in order to plan for payment. Case managers work closely with patients to clarify insurance benefits eligibility.

Please note: Patients may receive separate bills from providers other than the hospital. These may include physicians, such as the radiologist and anesthesiologist, and the laboratory.

Learn more about Billing and How to Pay Your Bill Online