The pre-operative assessment is a crucial part of preparing you for surgery. By finding out more about you we can make your surgical journey as safe as possible. By helping you get ready for your operation we can optimise the outcome and promote a speedy recovery. You may have a nurse assessment, an anaesthetic assessment, or both.

Nurse Assessment

You will have a preassessment appointment with a nurse. Depending on your procedure and on your general health this may be face to face appointment, or over the telephone. You may also have a preassessment appointment with an anaesthetic doctor: whether you will need this again depends on your procedure and on your general health.

During your nurse preassessment, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your overall fitness, medical history, and current medications, all of which will be supported and informed by the information you have provided to us at the pre-screening stage. The healthcare team may also take a number of observations, such as height and weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, and may conduct various tests, including urine or blood work.

Anaesthetic Assessment

An anaesthetic preassessment also involves a thorough evaluation of your overall health and fitness. It is likely that the doctor will discuss the risks involved with your procedure, and the different anaesthetic techniques. Sometimes the anaesthetic assessment can help address whether surgery is even the right treatment option for you.

Additionally, preoperative assessment with the nurse and doctor serves as an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns, ask questions, and receive information about the upcoming surgery, including what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. The team might feel you would benefit from other seeing other healthcare professionals before your operation, and they may discuss such referrals with you. This might be referrals to specialist doctors, or referrals to help with lifestyle factors that will affect your procedure and recovery, like smoking cessation or weight loss.

Ultimately, the preoperative assessment aims to ensure that both the patient and the surgical team are well-prepared, promoting a safer and more successful surgical experience.

Your Pre-assessment – how to prepare

To prepare for your pre-assessment, you could consider the following:

  • Double check your appointment to check the details (such as time and date) of your appointment. For most pre-assessment appointments at NNUH, we will ask you to arrive half an hour early so that we can take a few observations.
  • Bring all of your current medications with you, or your prescriptions. We will need to know what medications you take, the dosages, and how regularly. Bringing this information with you will make this section of the assessment much quicker.
  • Note down any allergies you have as you will be asked about these at the assessment.
  • Note down any questions you may want to ask.

You can eat and drink as normal in the run up to, and on the day of your pre-assessment.

Your Assessment – what to do on the day

On the day of your pre-assessment, you will need to arrive at the Arthur South Day Procedure Unit half an hour before the time on your letter. This will mean that you can be booked in and have observations taken in time for your appointment with the nurse and/or anaesthetist.

Once checked in, you will meet with one of our specialist HCAs who will take your height and weight as well as a range of other observations.

Your Assessment – what happens next

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

When we get your test results back, and when we’re happy with the results, 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.

The pre-admission section will tell you more about what you can expect, and what you should be doing between your pre-operative assessment and the date of your admission into hospital for your procedure.