Your surgery appointment
You will have a pre-operative assessment where we assess your fitness for surgery.
On the day
Please follow the instructions on your appointment letter about where to go and what time you need to arrive.
If are having an anaesthetic you'll need to fast on the day of your operation. This usually means you cannot eat or drink anything (except water) for 6 hours before your surgery. You can drink water up to 2 hours before surgery.
We'll give you clear instructions if you need to fast. If you're in doubt, please ask. The instructions you need to follow depend on when your surgery is scheduled.
If you're coming to the hospital at 7am for morning surgery:
- do not eat after 2am
- you can drink still water up to 6am
If you're coming to the hospital at 11am for afternoon surgery:
- have a light breakfast of toast or cereal with tea or coffee before 7am
- do not eat after 7am
- you can drink still water up to 11am
You should continue to take any medicines as usual on the day of your surgery, unless your anaesthetist or surgeon has asked you not to.
You'll meet the anaesthetist before your operation, on the ward or in theatre. They will look at the results of your health check and may ask you further questions. It might be necessary to:
- listen to your chest with a stethoscope
- examine your neck and jaw movements
- look in your mouth
We want to involve you in decisions about your care and treatment. Your treatment will not go ahead until you understand and agree with what has been planned for you.
After your surgery you'll be advised on how to take any medicines. Please follow these instructions. We'll let you know if you need any follow-up appointments before you are discharged. Appointment details will be sent to you.
You'll recover from your surgery in a recovery area. We'll help with any post-surgery pain and sickness.
You'll either be allowed to leave hospital or admitted to a ward. Your doctors will tell you if you need to stay overnight. If you are unsure, please ask.
If you move to a ward, the nursing team will give you welcome information about that ward. This includes visiting times and facilities. You and your friend or family member will be told on the day which ward you'll be going to.
If you're being discharged on the same day, you'll move to a single-sex discharge lounge. Please talk to the team if you have any concerns about this.
We'll give you some light refreshments and do your last set of clinical checks. You may want to bring your own light snack if you have any special dietary requirements. Please do not bring food that needs reheating.
You must arrange to have an adult to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery.
It may take you a few days or weeks to feel fully recovered following your surgery. This will depend on the type of surgery you have had and your surgeon may give you specific advice.
In the first 48 hours after your surgery we advise you do not:
- do not drive a car or ride a bike
- do not operate machinery
- do not cook, use sharp objects or pour hot liquids
- do not drink alcohol
- do not smoke
- do not take sleeping tablets
- do not make important decisions or sign contracts
Last updated: September 2023