On your admission to hospital

You will be admitted either the day before or the day of surgery.

Please go to the ward at the time stated in your admission letter.

What to expect – immediately before surgery

  • On arrival, you will have your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and oxygen saturation levels recorded.
  • The anaesthetist and a member of the surgical team will visit you before surgery. The surgeon will discuss your consent again. The anaesthetist will review the anaesthetic and methods of pain control. You will have the opportunity to ask any further questions.
  • A member of the surgical team will draw an arrow on your leg to ensure the correct side is operated on. Do not wash off this arrow!
  • You will be given pre-operative painkillers. This is to ensure that they are in your bloodstream by the time of surgery.
  • Theatres run all day, so your surgery could be in the afternoon.
  • When it is time for your operation, you will be taken to the operating department holding area. There will be a series of patient checks that you go through to ensure your safety.
  • You will then go to the anaesthetic room. Here you will meet your anaesthetist again, and there will also be an anaesthetic assistant.
  • There will be a final series of checks and you will be attached to standard monitoring equipment.
  • Anaesthesia will proceed as outlined previously.

During surgery, what does my anaesthetist do?

Whilst you are in theatre the anaesthetist will monitor vital signs to ensure that you are safe, and will also administer any drugs or fluids that may be necessary. Most patients will be having their surgery under spinal block.

If you are awake or under light sedation, you will be aware at times of some noises and vibrations. The anaesthetist will be there at all times to reassure you. You may wish to bring an iPod or tablet to either listen to music or watch a movie.