At QE Gateshead, we understand that getting yourself prepared for surgery can be an anxious time, but we’re here for you.
Before your operation, we ask you to come in and see us to make sure you understand everything about your operation and your recovery afterwards.
You can also use your pre-assessment appointment to talk to our staff about any concerns or worries you have.
Where do I go?
Our pre-assessment unit is based on level three of the Peter Smith Surgery Centre.
What will happen during pre-assessment?
During your pre-assessment visit we will:
- ask about your medical history and any medication you take.
- possibly take some observations such as your blood pressure, heart rate, checking your oxygen levels, or asking for a sample of blood or urine.
- make sure you’re fit enough for an anaesthetic and help you to reduce any risk factors before your surgery. If we think you may be at an increased risk around your surgery due to any heart or lung impairment, you may be asked to undertake Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Testing.
- give you the opportunity to discuss which anaesthetic is the best option for your surgery. Find out more about anaesthetics.
- take some swabs to ensure that you don’t carry any infections such as MRSA which can be easily passed on to other patients. Swabs are taken from your nose and throat unless specified and we ask you to wash with a special antimicrobial wash for five days before your surgery. You will be given the wash at your pre assessment appointment. Find out more about infection control at the QE Gateshead.
Our clinics are run by nurses and most patients will meet their anaesthetists on the day of their operation.
As we ask about your medical history, it’s a good idea to bring a list of any medication you take to your appointment. You will be given instructions about what medication you may need to stop taking in the run up to your surgery.
If necessary, the anaesthetists will prescribe additional medication to take before your procedure. You will always be given written instruction about when to take any additional medication.
On the day of your operation, the surgeon and anaesthetists will provide a more detailed account of what will happen during and after your surgery.
If you feel unwell before surgery
Even with the best preparation, you might become unwell in the run up to your operation.
If you feel unwell when you are due to come in to hospital, we’ll need to know.
Depending on the illness and how urgent the surgery is, your operation may need to be postponed until you are better.
This is important to minimise the risk of complications from your surgery and anaesthetic.
If you need to tell someone you feel unwell, you can call the surgeon’s secretary, whose telephone number will be on your appointment letter. Please also ring pre-assessment and they will be able to cancel your pre-assessment.