What happens at a pre-op assessment
Prior to surgery, we will invite you to a pre-op assessment to make sure you are well enough for your operation. The assessment also allows us to confirm that you understand everything that will happen during and after your procedure and the best way to aid your recovery
Once the decision has been made to have surgery, our Pre-Assessment team will contact you to arrange your pre-op assessment for you to come in to discuss your health needs and undertake some medical tests.
This pre-assessment is crucial, providing us with all the relevant information that enables us to provide you with the right type of care. It highlights any issues with your current health that may cause a problem and also identifies things such as allergies to latex or specific drugs. If attending a clinic, we will carry out some routine tests, as well as checking for MRSA.
As well as talking about what to expect with your actual procedure, we will discuss with you the best way to help aid your recovery.
Not everyone needs to be seen in clinic and some pre-assessments can be conducted over the telephone.
How long before the operation is a pre-op assessment?
Your will have your pre-op assessment 2-3 weeks before your surgery. This provides enough time to act on any positive results without needing to delay your operation.
How long does a pre-op assessment take?
The pre-op assessment takes between 30 minutes–2 hours, depending on the type of surgery you will be having.
You may be required to have additional tests or to be seen by a different department, for example to seen by a physiotherapist, or to have an X-ray or scan.
Before your appointment
If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you so the nurse can answer them.
Bring a list of all the medications that you currently take, including their strength and how often you take them, including supplements or herbal remedies you may be taking.
You can eat, drink and take your medications as normal on the day of your pre-op assessment.
What happens during a pre-op assessment?
The pre-assessment clinic is a nurse-led clinic and plays an important part in the preparation for your surgery. It includes an assessment of your general health and fitness before surgery by carrying out various tests and investigations. If you have more complex medical issues you may be seen in a clinic led by an anaesthetic consultant.
Routine observations will be recorded, which will include:
- Completion of a health questionnaire
- Blood pressure, pulse, weight, height and urine analysis
- Blood tests may be required. If you are needle phobic, please inform us prior to your appointment
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – this records the rate, rhythm and electrical activity of your heart. It is a simple test that takes about five minutes and does not cause any discomfort
- Most elective patients are pre-assessed with a baseline screen for MRSA. This depends on the surgery that you will be having. Patients culturing a positive MRSA screen are treated and re-screened before admission
If everything is satisfactory, our nurses will explain the plan for the day of your surgery, provide information leaflets about your procedure and answer any questions or queries that you may have. We will also discuss the prevention of deep vein thrombosis.
If for any reason we think you should not undertake surgery at this time, we will discuss this with you and look to reschedule your surgery where appropriate.
After your pre-op assessment appointment
If further tests are needed, the pre-assessment nurse will refer you to the relevant hospital department or your GP. If we find that you have problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you will need to visit your GP for treatment.
Should you become ill before your surgery, however mildly, before you are admitted, please contact us to let us know of your condition at the earliest possible opportunity, as it may affect your planned treatment.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
Please tell us as soon as possible if you need to change or cancel your appointment so we can offer your appointment to another patient.
You can change or cancel your appointment by contacting your hospital.