Planning your operation

You may be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment appointment before admission for your operation. This is to make sure that you are well enough for an anaesthetic and surgery.

  • A doctor will examine you and ask questions about your health.
  • An anaesthetist will give your anaesthetic, and will be responsible for your wellbeing and safety during your operation.

You will be asked some questions about your health by a specialised pre assessment nurse or nurse practitioner, and will have a chance to discuss any concerns or worries you might have.

Some patients find it useful to make a list of these questions before the appointment and bring a friend or relative with them to the appointment.

Your general health will be assessed and you will be asked questions about any medicines you are taking and whether you have any allergies.

Please bring into hospital with you all the pills, medicines, herbal remedies or supplements you are taking, both prescribed and those that you have purchased over the counter.

You may also see an anaesthetist depending on the degree of your surgery and your general fitness. Your pre assessment nurse will also go over fasting times, attendance instructions and what to expect after your surgery with you.

Tests such as blood tests and x-rays or scans may also be carried out at this time.

Your pre assessment may indicate that you need more investigations prior to your surgery. This will be organised by the pre assessment team who will serve as your point of contact before you operation and who can be contacted between 9am to 5pm on weekdays for any queries about your upcoming surgery.

Usually we will try to arrange admission on the day of surgery. Some surgeries however, may require for you to come in the day before for surgical preparation.

Who will I meet before my operation?

You will meet several people before your operation. Some of them are listed here but there may be other specialist doctors, nurses or therapists who will help with your care:

  • A doctor will examine you and ask questions about your health.
  • Anaesthetists are doctors who specialise in anaesthetics and pain relief. They are responsible for giving you anaesthetic, and for your wellbeing and safety throughout your surgery.
  • Nurses will care for you before, during and after your operation. They will advise you what you can and can’t do and how you can prepare yourself. They will also tell you what to expect afterwards. You may meet specialist nurses, depending on your operation.
  • A physiotherapist may visit you, and teach you breathing and leg exercises. Deep breathing can help to prevent a chest infection. Moving your legs keeps the blood circulating and can help prevent clots. You may also be taught other exercise, depending on the type of surgery you have.
  • A social worker can offer advice or help about your job, home situation, or finance such as welfare benefits. Please ask if you wish to see a social worker.
  • Depending on the type of operation you have, you may meet other members of the rehabilitation team. These include occupational therapists to help you to achieve and maintain independence, or speech and language therapists who can help with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.

Other members of the hospital team are also available to help, such as a chaplain. Voluntary services and groups of people who have had a similar operation may also be able to offer support.