Patients undergoing elective surgery all need to undergo a preoperative assessment to assess their general health and fitness for the procedure. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about anaesthetics and be provided with information about anaesthetic options and post operative pain management.
The process starts once you have seen the Surgeon and surgery is identified as an option. You will be given a general health questionnaire to complete and take to Clinic 3. Here you will be seen and have routine observations; blood pressure and heart rate recordings are taken. Following this you will need to be seen by a member of the nursing team, this may be on the same day or an appointment may need to be booked for you the following week.
When you see the nurse further tests may be required, for example blood tests, ECG (a non-invasive test of the heart) etc. Some patients need sleep studies prior to their operation, or may need to be seen by the Consultant Anaesthetic Doctor. These will be arranged by the Preoperative Assessment Team.
Patients having major surgery will also be given an appointment to see a Consultant Anaesthetist in clinic to discuss further risk and anaesthetic options.
The overarching aims of a Preoperative Assessment are:
- To gain information from about patients general health and fitness for the anaesthetist;
- To give patients information about anaesthetic options and pain management;
- To refer early for any further tests or specialist opinions which may be needed in order to deliver a safe anaesthetic;
- To refer to a Consultant Anaesthetist where necessary, for specialist advice and risk assessment;
- To give patients advice about optimising their health prior to surgery including; smoking cessation, reduction in alcohol consumption, improve fitness levels and weight loss amongst many others;
- To deliver a personalised service according to individual patient needs.