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Attending pre-operative assessment clinics

What to expect about attending an assessment clinic before your operation.

Download a pdf version of this guide by following the link on the right.

Why do I need to attend a preoperative assessment clinic?

It’s to make sure you’re fit for your operation and allows us to identify any problems at an early stage. This gives us time to address any issues before surgery and make sure any long term conditions such as asthma or diabetes are under control.

The assessment will also help you plan for your hospital stay and recovery, and give you the chance to ask any questions about your surgery.

Where will I need to go for my pre-operative assessment?

Clinics take place every day at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Wycombe Hospital. We’ll tell you in advance where you need to go.

How long will my pre-operative assessment take?

Your appointment can take between 1 to 3 hours depending on:

  • any tests you need
  • if you need to see an anaesthetist
  • if you’re attending an education class.

The average appointment duration is one hour.

We aim to make your stay in the department as short as possible however please understand it may take longer. Be prepared by bringing drinks, snacks and something to occupy your time.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring:

  • glasses or hearing aids if you wear them
  • any medication you take regularly (either in the original packaging or your repeat prescriptions), including herbal remedies
  • a note of any allergies you have
  • a note of any questions you want to ask us.

What happens during preoperative assessment?

We’ll ask you to  fill in a health questionnaire after your surgical consultation. A trained nurse will review your questionnaire who will decide whether to complete the full assessment on the same day or whether you will need to return for a longer appointment at a later date.

We’ll check your:

  • blood pressure
  • pulse
  • weight
  • height

Samples and tests

We’ll take skin swabs to test for MRSA infections.

If applicable, you’ll have an ECG (heart tracing) and a urine test. Please try not to go to the toilet before you arrive at the clinic.

At the end of your appointment, you may have blood tests.

Next of kin details

We ask all adult patients to provide a full name and contact details for a nominated ‘next of kin’ formally prior to their procedure. Up to date contact details are essential.

What happens after my pre-operative assessment?

We hope you’ll understand more about your operation and have had your questions answered.

When we get your test results back and we’re happy with the outcome, we’ll tell your surgeon’s booking co-ordinator that you’re fit for surgery.

There is no set waiting time between your assessment and surgery. This depends on your surgeon’s waiting list. Your surgeon’s booking co-ordinator will contact you when they can schedule a date for your operation.

If there’s any delay to this process, for example, if we need to do further tests, we’ll keep you and your GP informed.

Who can I contact if I have any urgent questions?

Call the phone number on your appointment letter.