Shoulder Replacement Surgery


What to do Before Your Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Preoperative Education: Please visit our website, This has information about shoulder replacement surgery, best outcomes with patient testimonials, and additional information about risks and benefits of this procedure. Go to our website and then select the option “PATIENTS”. Then go to the section entitled “EDUCATION”. Please watch the video underneath Dr. Warner’s name.

Assistance:  If you live alone and have no support after having your total shoulder replacement, notify our office prior to surgery.  Our office will contact Barbara McLaughlin, RN who heads the Clinical Care Management Unit at the MGH.  She will then call you and help you with Rehabilitation Services.

Clothing:  It is helpful to have oversized button down shirts to wear with your sling following your surgical procedure

CT Scan:  You will need a CT scan prior to your surgical procedure.  The scan is used to measure the prosthetic which will be placed into your shoulder.  Your surgical scheduler will set this up at the same time of your pre operative examination.

Letter of Medical Clearance:  If you are currently or have ever been in the past treated by a cardiologist you will need to obtain a letter of medical clearance.  This is a letter written and signed by your cardiologist that states you are medically cleared for your surgical procedure.  This letter must be dated within 30 days of your surgical procedure.  You will need to bring this letter to your pre operative visit.

Medications:  If you take any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, be sure you know which are okay to take before surgery; please check with our office or with your primary doctor.  Discontinue aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) ten days before your procedure.  You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) if needed for pain.

Private Room:  To request a private room or The Phillips House, please contact your surgical scheduler.  The Phillips House is a premier patient care unit that offers patients of all age’s world-class medical care in deluxe, private accommodations. 

Washing:  Please wash your shoulder with over-the-counter antibacterial soap daily for SEVEN days prior to your surgery.  Also, do not wear deodorant under your operative shoulder the morning of surgery.

 Discharge Planning

Assistance at Home:  You will not be discharged from the hospital without adult supervision in your home.  If you live alone and have no friend/family support, you will might want to consider a rehabilitation facility if you qualify through your insurance plan.  Visiting Nurse Association services can also be set up to come to your home.  Please make your case manager in the hospital aware of your circumstances if nothing was put into place prior to your surgical date.

Cooling Device:  You will be discharged with a cooling device to reduce swelling.  Make sure you use your cooling device and it works properly. Please contact us if there are any problems or questions regarding this device

Sleeping:  Recliners are very beneficial for comfortable sleeping for the first several days after surgery. It is also helpful to place a pillow behind your elbow.

Sling:  Please ask for instruction if you are not aware of how to get your sling on and off.


PATA Pre Admitting Testing Area
Jackson Building, Room 121
Telephone: (617) 726-3383

A PATA appointment is mandatory for all patients 50 and older who are having inpatient or outpatient surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  This appointment is scheduled within 30 days of your surgical procedure.  If you are under the age of 50 you will need a history and physical examination appointment described below.

PATA is a two to three hour appointment of various testing in order to clear you for your surgical procedure.  It can only be done at the MGH.

History and Physical Examination:  Every patient regardless of age will need to be seen in our office at the Yawkey Building, Suite 3G for a history and physical examination.  At the time of the exam you will also sign consent for your surgical procedure.  Please bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take (with dosages) and x-rays, MRI/CT scans done outside the MGH of your shoulder to your pre-testing appointment.

Interpreter Services:  Interpreter Services are available to all.  Please make your surgical scheduler aware if you would like to take advantage of this service.

For all information on PATA appointments please see the following website:

Day of Your Surgical Procedure

On the day of your surgical procedure please proceed to the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, 3rd Floor, Room 309 at the time indicated to you by the surgical scheduler.

You will be told to arrive two hours prior to your surgical procedure. 
• Remember to bring your MGH blue care for identification.
• Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before unless you were instructed to do so.
• If you have been instructed to take any medication take it with a small sip of water.
• Please bring your medications to the hospital if you were told to bring them with you.
• Wear loose comfortable clothing.
• Bring your glasses. You will not be able to wear contact lenses.
• Bring your dentures, hearing aides, and cases to store them.
• Do not wear hair spray, body lotion, or perfume.
• Do not wear any jewelry (including wedding rings), makeup or nail polish.
• Remove all body jewelry; this includes earrings and any other piercing.
• Leave all valuables at home.
• You may bring a book or a magazine to read before you go into surgery.

Where your Family/Friend/Escort can Wait During Surgery

Same Day Surgical Unit, 3rd floor, Room 309 located in the Wang Ambulatory Care Center.

Blum Patient and Family Learning Center located in the White Building, 1st Floor.

Gray Family Waiting Area located in the Gray Building, 1st Floor.

Treadwell Library located directly across the main entrance of the Wang
Ambulatory Care Center. 

Where your Family/Friend/Escort Picks on the day of your Discharge

The location of your floor/room is where your escort meets you to pick you up.

Discharges occur between 10:00am and 11:00am.  A hospital employee will bring you down in a wheelchair to the main entrance of the hospital.  You can then have your escort get his/her car to meet you at the front entrance.