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Pre-Operative Assessment

We have provided some information and links to other resources to help you get ready for your surgery. You will also find information about your recovery and getting back to normal life after your surgery. The aim is to help you maximise your chances of recovering quickly and help prevent complications.

We encourage you to read through the website and discuss any questions you may have about your anaesthetic with your pre-assessment nurse or anaesthetist.

About the Service

The Pre-operative assessment (POA) service plays an important part in the preparation for a patient’s surgery.

A pre-operative assessment is performed on all patients who are going to have an operation or a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic or regional anaesthetic.

What do we do?

The aims of the service are to:

  • To make an assessment of a patient’s physical status and functional capacity.
  • Recognise common conditions that increase a patient’s risk from surgery and identify high risk patients.
  • To arrange appropriate blood tests, investigations and referral for medical advice, based on the patient’s risk factors and planned surgery.
  • Make an assessment of a patient’s suitability for ambulatory surgery, same day admission for surgery or requirement for post-operative specialist care.

Educate the patient about surgery, anaesthesia, intraoperative care and postoperative pain treatments in the hope of reducing anxiety and facilitating recovery.

How to be referred to the service

Your pre-operative assessment happens after you and your surgeon have decided that a surgical procedure is necessary, before your surgery date.

You may be offered an appointment at any POA clinic across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Similarly, you may be offered a date for your surgical procedure at any hospital across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

At your appointment

At the clinic, you may meet members of the team looking after you including the surgeon, the pre-operative assessment nurse, anaesthetist and junior doctor.

The pre-operative assessment nurse will arrange all relevant tests and co-ordinate your appointments. You may have several tests and investigations at the clinic or scheduled for another date.

Tests may include:

  • Medical history
  • Blood pressure, Pulse & Oxygen levels
  • Blood tests
  • Height & weight
  • Urine test
  • Consent for your operation
  • ECG (tracing of your heart) if necessary
  • Chest X-ray if necessary
  • You will also be measured for stockings to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot 
  • Further tests may include a heart scan or lung function test.
Preparing for surgery

Preparing for Surgery

If your surgeon has recommended that you need an operation, you will be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment clinic before the date of your surgery.

This appointment can take up to 3 hours. This is to make sure you are well enough and fully prepared for your surgery and that you are prepared for going home from the hospital (discharge) and ongoing recovery.

Please bring any medication that you are taking (or a copy of a recent prescription).

Your anaesthetic

We encourage you to read through the website and discuss any questions you may have about your anaesthetic with your pre-assessment nurse or anaesthetist.

We have provided some information and links to other resources to help you get ready for your surgery. You will also find information about your recovery and getting back to normal life after your surgery. The aim is to help you maximise your chances of recovering quickly and help prevent complications.

You can download the below patient information leaflet for more information:

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

The ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Programme’ simply refers to the processes that are in place to ensure you are prepared for your surgery and receive the care required to get you back to the comfort of your own home as quickly as possible.

Evidence tells us that a huge part of improving a patient’s recovery after surgery is making sure they have a good understanding of what to expect before coming into hospital. This website together with information leaflets and appointments with the staff in the hospital are all opportunities to find out about what will happen when you come into hospital and how to prepare.

The operation itself and healing process place high physical demands on your body. In the weeks and months before your operation you can take actions to improve your health and fitness in preparation for surgery. If you do this then you will be back to your normal self much more quickly and hopefully gaining the benefits of your new hip or knee as soon as possible.

We also aim to make sure all patients get the same high level of care during their anaesthetic and surgery and afterwards on the ward so we can get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Getting out of bed with the help of the physiotherapists and nursing staff soon after surgery, eating and drinking normally, getting dressed into your own clothes and getting home as soon as possible have all been shown to get your recovery off to the best possible start and do not increase the risk of any complications.

Evidence tells us that the sooner you can get moving and back on your feet the better the result from your surgery. It also helps reduce any discomfort. We will ensure you have plenty of medication available to help ease the pain when you need it. In most cases the discomfort significantly improves after only a few days.

You will be told how long your hospital stay is likely to be when you come into hospital so you know what to expect. The planned duration of stay will vary depending on the specifics of your operation and which hospital you are attending. You will be assessed regularly after your surgery to check how you are progressing and to monitor for any complications. You will be discharged home when you are ready even if this is earlier than the planned date. If you need a little more help don’t worry, you will not be discharged until you are ready.

Eating and drinking the day before surgery

Please follow the advice below.

Note: ‘Clear fluids’ includes water, black tea or black coffee (no milk).

If you are asked to come to the hospital for morning surgery:

  • Eat your evening meal as normal on the day before surgery
  • Have a snack in the evening if you want
  • Do not eat anything after midnight
  • Drink only clear fluids after midnight
  • Drink clear fluids when you are thirsty until 0600
  • Have a drink of around 300ml of clear fluid at 0600 to help stop you getting thirsty and improve your comfort while you wait.

If you are asked to come to the hospital for afternoon surgery:

  • Have a light breakfast before 0700 on the day of surgery to keep you feeling comfortable during the day ahead
  • Do not eat anything after 0700
  • Drink clear fluids when you are thirsty until 1100
  • Have a drink of around 300ml of clear fluid at 1100 to help stop you getting thirsty and improve your comfort while you wait.

The exact time of your surgery may not be confirmed until on the day as you will be part of a theatre list with other patients. We ask more than one patient to arrive for the start of the day to help ensure flexibility if there are last minute changes and to allow the theatre staff to see you before the surgical session begins. If there will be time for you to have a further drink of clear fluid on arrival at hospital the nursing team will be able to advise you of this on the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring with me?
  • List of current medications that you take.
  • Any samples that have been requested.
  • A list of any relevant medical conditions or surgical procedures you have/have had.
  • Questions you may have about your admission.
What do I do if I need an Interpreter?

If your English is limited or if you need the services of a sign-language interpreter please contact Pre-operative Assessment Clinic as soon as possible so that an interpreter can be arranged.

How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?

This appointment is important preparation for your surgery. You must come to this appointment or let us know if you need to cancel or change it. 

Sector Specific Information