Surgery at our hospitals

It's important you know what to expect when you have surgery at our hospitals. This guide has advice and information that can help you to prepare for surgery and recover afterwards.

Blue icons showing the different stages of having surgery

There are different stages to having surgery. These include:

  1. being referred to us
  2. having an outpatient appointment
  3. deciding to have surgery
  4. keeping well while you wait
  5. pre-assessment to check that you can have surgery
  6. going to hospital for surgery
  7. recovery and aftercare

Being referred to us

Your GP or another team at the hospital might refer you to us, or you might use our self-referral process.

We send you details about when and where your appointment will be.

People referred for cancer or suspected cancer might have their first appointment within a few weeks. People referred for other conditions usually have to wait longer to be seen.

Having an outpatient appointment

Your appointment is with a member of the surgical team. This is by phone or video, or face to face. You have the chance to talk about the best treatment for you.

The appointment might include tests, such as blood tests, scans or swabs (when we take a small sample of a substance from your body for testing).

Read more about your outpatient appointment.

Deciding to have surgery

Before you decide to have surgery, we give you information about:

  • the benefits
  • the risks
  • what to expect
  • other treatment options

You might also have some tests at the clinic. This helps us and you to decide the right treatment for you. We make the decision together.

Read more about deciding to have surgery.

Keeping well while you wait

It's important to look after your health while you wait for surgery. Staying healthy and getting fit can help you to recover quicker. 

You also need to know who to contact for help.

Read more about keeping well before surgery.

Pre-assessment to check that you can have surgery

At the hospital's pre-assessment clinic, we do tests to check if it's ok for you to have surgery. This happens a few days before your surgery.

If you have a complex medical history, you might need more tests at different times.

Read more about the pre-operative assessment.

Going to hospital for surgery

You might be admitted to hospital. This is when you stay overnight as an inpatient in a ward or unit. We have information about preparing for an inpatient stay.

Or, you might have your surgery and leave hospital on the same day. We have information about how to prepare for day surgery.

Recovery and aftercare

You can leave hospital when we think that this is safe for you. 

It's important to keep well after surgery. This includes eating well, not smoking and drinking less alcohol if you need to.

There is support available if you need help with your recovery. You also need to go to any follow-up appointments.

Read more about recovering after surgery.

Resource number: 5312/VER1
Last reviewed: August 2022
Next review due: August 2025

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