A pre-operative assessment is performed on all patients who are going to have a procedure or operation performed under a range of different types of anaesthetic in all but the very fittest of patients.
Your pre-operative assessment happens after you and your surgeon have decided that a surgical procedure is necessary.
What we do?
Our specialist preoperative nurses will assess your fitness for undergoing your surgery. The aims of the service are to:
- Assess you to ensure that you are as fit as possible for surgery and anaesthetic.
- Help reduce your worries and concerns.
- Provide verbal and written information about your admission to hospital, your surgical procedure, length of stay and discharge.
A pre-operative nurse will undertake most of your assessment, asking you questions about your general health, medications, and your lifestyle (e.g., whether you smoke or drink). They will be able to discuss the anaesthetic options available to you - these vary depending on your surgery and any health conditions. Options include general anaesthesia (here you will be asleep), spinal anaesthesia, epidural anaesthesia, and local anaesthesia with or without sedation (where you will be either drowsy or awake).
How long will it take?
You should allow at least 2 hours (approximately) for your entire Pre-Operative Assessment appointment.
If you have a complex medical problem, you may be referred to an Anaesthetist who may want to see you prior to your surgical procedure in a separate clinic appointment.
What to bring with you?
This is a clinic appointment, so you can eat and drink as normal before you attend your appointment.
- Your appointment letter.
- A list of current medication that you take, including their strength and how often you take them – your GP prescription should show this information clearly.
- Any samples that have been requested
- A list of any relevant medical conditions or surgical procedures you have / have had.
- Questions you may have about your surgery or anaesthetic.
- Change for car parking charges.
- If you have a medical alert card or medical implant e.g., pacemaker, it is important to bring these details with you to show the nurse.
- Please don’t bring in your valuables to hospital.
What do I do if I need an interpreter?
Please note that friends and relatives are not permitted to interpret for you during your assessment. Therefore, if your English is limited or you need the services of a sign language interpreter, please contact the Interpretation Service by telephone on 0161 627 8770 as soon as possible so that an interpreter can be arranged.
Changing or cancelling your appointment in advance
This appointment is important preparation for your surgery. If you're unable to keep your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible, so we can rebook your appointment and give your original appointment to someone else.
- By calling the number on your letter
- Rebook function through text reminder service
- Cancelling function through text reminder service.
At your appointment
Your blood pressure, height and weight will be checked some of which may be undertaken by our Health Care Support Workers. You may also have other additional tests carried out as appropriate for example,
- Swabs for MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) a type of bacteria that can cause infections. Any infection must be treated before you can have surgery.
- Blood tests.
- A physical examination, so you may need to partially undress and lie down on the examination couch. This examination will be performed by the nurse, who will listen to your heart and lungs.
- ECG (a tracing of the activity of your heart)
- Lung function test (this appointment will not be on the day)
- Chest X-ray (this appointment will not be on the day)
After your appointment
- If we find that you have problems that we were not aware of, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you will need to visit your GP for treatment
- If further tests are needed, the Pre-Assessment nurse will refer you to the relevant hospital department or your GP
- In certain more complex cases you may be asked to attend a further appointment with one of our consultant anaesthetists who will be able to discuss your procedure, anaesthetic and risks in further detail as well as arranging any further tests or assessments that may need to be done.
Other tests that may be necessary include:
- Echocardiogram (heart scan)
- Spirometry/Pulmonary Function test (breathing test)
Fairfield General Hospital - Blue Zone, Entrance 5