Pre-operative assessments 

Before an operation, you will be asked to do a pre-operative assessment. Find out what this involves and how it helps reduce any risks during your operation.

Also read common health questions about operations, tests and procedures.

Transcript of Pre-operative assessments

My name's Catherine Andrews, I'm a registered nurse

and I'm the lead nurse for preoperative assessment

at Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust.

As part of your outpatient preparation for theatre,

for coming for an operation,

you almost certainly will be asked to visit a preoperative assessment unit.

The reason for this is to reduce your risks

and to do any tests or investigations that we need to

before you come for your operation.

We deliver pre-op assessments in three ways,

by telephone, by email

or by a visit to a nurse or a doctor in the hospital.

These generally take up to an hour.

During your visit, if you come in to see us,

you may have some investigations done

and we'll ask you about your medical history.

General history, any operations you've had before, any problems you've had.

Also we'll ask you about any medications that you're taking,

so it's important to remember to bring the list with you.

People who are younger and fitter and having minor surgery,

we will offer them the option of having their information sent to them by email.

This includes instructions on when to stop eating and drinking,

which is very important before surgery.

Examples of the tests you might have as an outpatient are blood tests.

We might do a swab from your skin which we use

to identify whether or not you have MRSA before you come into hospital.

We may do a special test of your heart,

which involves using leads and taking the electricity your heart puts out.

This is called an ECG.

All of these things are done at your preoperative assessment visit.

We know that coming into hospital for an operation is a scary business

and during your outpatient visit to preoperative assessment

we will aim to give you as much information as you need or want

and also to reassure you about coming in

and try and allay any fears or anxieties that you have.

You don't need to bring anything with you other than your list of medications

and the rest of it will be talking or any investigations that we need to do.

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