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Surgical services

This section contains information on the services that form our surgical directorate.

Anaesthetic pre-assessment

When you are put on the waiting list for surgery you will need to attend the anaesthetic pre-assessment clinic as soon as you can. This is to get you as fit as possible prior to your surgery by identifying potential problems early.

Your GP will have checked your health prior to referral. This is especially important if you have long standing conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. You must make every effort to comply with advice and medication to improve your operative risk. Abnormal investigations or poorly controlled medical problems can result in postponement or cancellation until resolved or stabilised. 

To aid planning of treatment you will be asked to complete a pre-surgery screening questionnaire prior to your pre-assessment visit. You will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire on your fitness level. 

It is important that you bring all your medication, herbal remedies and/or supplements with you, both prescribed and over the counter drugs (in their original containers) with you when you attend your pre-assessment appointment.

What will happen?

During your visit you will be asked detailed information about your surgical and medical history, allergies and drug treatment. The process may take some time and you may bring a family member or friend to sit with you.

You will be weighed and have your height measured to allow calculation of your Body Mass Index. Your blood pressure will be checked and your pulse and oxygen saturation level measured by a finger probe. Depending on the proposed surgery you may be asked to provide a urine sample.

Tests will be ordered based on you as an individual. They may include heart tests looking at the rhythm or structure of your heart, breathing tests and blood tests. Other more complex investigations may be arranged by your consultant. 

How can I improve my fitness for surgery?

  • Smoking: Our breath analyser will show the level of carbon monoxide in your blood which interferes with oxygen delivery to your tissues. The longer you can stop before surgery the better.
  • Drinking alcohol:Regular or heavy alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing post operative confusion. Stop or reduce your alcohol intake
  • Weight: Being overweight increases your risks of airway and breathing problems and the possibility of wound infection. Regular exercise including light weight lifting can aid weight loss and improve muscle strength which will speed your recovery
  • Diet: Try and maintain a balanced diet with a reasonable protein intake

Our aim is to ensure that you are as fit as possible for your surgery, but we need your help. Questions or concerns should be raised with your nurse or you can contact us by the numbers in your booklet.