Surgical operation

We provide world-class care to patients and have experience in all areas of anaesthesia and surgical care.
Over 42 physicians and surgeons in our surgical program care for patients of all ages. We perform over 20,100 surgeries per year. About 50-60 per cent of our surgeries are out-patient procedures. This means you will have your surgery, spend approximately two hours after surgery recovering in the hospital, and then return home the same day. 

Our surgical program focuses on: safety and excellence, increased access to care; providing the “right” care at the “right” time, reducing surgical wait times, minimally invasive technology, ambulatory or same day surgery, surgical oncology, prevention through screening and endoscopic procedures and provision of surgical care close to home. 

We pride ourselves on meeting the needs of our culturally diverse patient population. Our surgical team is comprised of a diverse staff and physician group that is culturally competent and provides for culturally sensitive care. Many of our team members and physicians speak multiple languages. We provide some patient materials in different languages and are working on ensuring multilingual translation of all our patient education materials. We offer translation services if required so please be sure to let one of our team members know if you need this service.

Your safety and quality of care

Your safety is our top priority and we have many investments and processes in place to keep you safe.

Surgical safety checklist

The surgical safety checklist is a communication tool used by the interdisciplinary team in the operating room. Markham Stouffville Hospital was one of the first community hospitals in Canada to implement the surgical safety checklist in 2007. We focus not only on completion but also routinely audit the process for quality of information provided by the team members. You will hear the team sharing information when you enter the operating room during the briefing phase of the checklist and we encourage you to be a part of the conversation. Feel free to speak up and add information if you feel it necessary.

 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

Ontario Surgical Quality Improvement Network logoMarkham Stouffville Hospital is an early adopter of the national surgical quality improvement program (NSQIP) in Ontario and has been a member since 2012. As part of the program we monitor the quality of our surgical program and patient outcomes monthly and use this information to create a surgical quality improvement plan every year. This yearly plan guides us in our program planning. We report our plan and our outcomes to Health Quality Ontario.

On November 2, 2018 MSH was presented with the Health Quality Ontario - SQIN Interprofessional Team award. This is presented to the "surgical team who has assembled a professionally diverse group that includes not only the surgeons and surgical clinical reviewers, but also representation from hospital leaders and front line staff."

 Reduction of wait times

Our surgical program is committed to creating innovative ways to reduce wait times for surgery and get you the care you need faster. We are proud to have one of the best wait times in the province of Ontario for cancer surgery. We have also implemented a rapid assessment centre - the Orthopaedic Joint Assessment Centre - and centralized intake model for patients needing orthopaedic hip and knee surgery which allows you to be seen within two weeks of receiving your referral from your family doctor. We are proud to share that our wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery meet and exceed the Ontario requirement.

 Surgical Quality Committee

The surgical program created a quality committee that is interdisciplinary and involves team members from all areas of the surgical program as well as patient experience participants (PEPs). The committee reviews the quality of the program and any quality concerns or projects. Recommendations are made for program planning including areas of focus with best practice recommendations.

Surgical site infection reduction

While surgical site infection (SSI) is always a risk of surgery, our focus is always on reducing SSI to as low a risk as possible. As part of this focus, we have invested in many interventions to mitigate this risk. Some of the interventions we include are appropriate antibiotic use and dosage during surgery and after, evidence based surgical skin preparation, warming blankets while in surgery, a review of lifestyle risk factors for infection such as smoking, nutrition, and blood sugar management for diabetic patients, and high risk surgical patients receive pre-operative shower kits to take home to use prior to the day of surgery.

 Sterility of surgical supplies

Staff in the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD) are experts in sterility and ensuring all equipment is sterile prior to use in surgery. Our entire team in MDRD has formal sterile supply processing education from accredited colleges and the Medical Device Processing Association of Ontario (MDRAO).

Our surgical services

 Acute pain services

The acute pain service (APS) is comprised of anaesthesiologists and an advanced practice nurse working in collaboration with the inter-professional healthcare team (pharmacists, physicians, physiotherapists, nurses, etc.). We strive to provide the most current and effective methods of pain control. The APS is involved with patients’ care prior to surgery, during surgery and after surgery. The main focus of the APS is to provide pain and symptom management to patients after surgery. We will try to make sure you have as little pain as possible after surgery. It is important that you communicate your pain needs to your healthcare team.


The mission of the Department of Anaesthesiology is to provide the highest quality patient care. Aspiring to this goal is a team of skilled anaesthesia professionals with different educational backgrounds and unique specialties that embraces collaborative and collegial relationships among all members of the healthcare team. The department provides 24/7 coverage to patients at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

Anaesthesiologists provide total care of patients undergoing surgery for all surgical specialties and focus on the management of pain. Anaesthesiologists are responsible for providing consultative services for patients with specific healthcare needs pre and post operatively, including the diagnosis and treatment of both chronic and acute pain relief. As well, anaesthesiologists provide epidural analgesia for women during childbirth, assist with resuscitation in the Emergency Department and Diagnostic Imaging, treat critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit, and have a leadership role in the Acute Pain Service. Read more about the types of anasthesia used in healthcare.

The practice for the department reflects the requirements set by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Canadian Anaesthesiologists Society and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

The Canadian Anesthesiologist’s Society has created a helpful frequently asked anaesthesia questions, which you can read.