Day Surgery - General Information

General information leaflet for day surgery patients

Dear Patient,
Thank you for choosing our Day Centre for your treatment. Please read all the information in this leaflet carefully. It is very important that you follow these instructions. Failure to do so, may result in your surgery or treatment being cancelled.
Our Day Centre has been designed especially for patients who require surgical treatment but do not need an overnight stay in hospital. However, in case of any surgical or non-surgical complications we are ready to take care of you until you are able to go home. This booklet contains information to make your stay as comfortable and safe as possible and prepare you for your visit. Please take your time to read this booklet as it contains important information about:
• How to prepare yourself for your treatment/operation
• What to expect during your stay
• What to do when you are discharged home
• Advice for carergivers
Also, we have a contact person for Patient Advice at our Day Surgery Centre to give information and assistance. It is located at …………………………………………….. beside the unit.

Travelling to our Centre

The Day Centre is well serviced by public transportation. Bus, train or taxi seem to be faster than cars, especially in the morning. The main stop nearest our Centre is at ………………………………………… The address is:
If you travel by car, please keep in mind that you may be delayed due to the heavy traffic in the morning. Also, always remember that car parking spaces close to the hospital are very limited, so we can not guarantee that you will find a space. Besides, parking fees should be paid. Parking can be easily reserved by phone, but if none is available, please remember to bring coins to pay. Marked spaces are available for registered disabled persons for the usual parking charge.

Before you come to the Day Surgery Centre

You have already seen a surgeon and staff in an outpatient clinic and they have decided that you require an operation or procedure as a day case. Please bring the referral issued by the surgeon with you in the outpatient clinic. You will be greeted at the reception and an appointment for pre-assessment will then be given to you.
At the outpatient surgical and anesthesia clinic you may have been given a form to fill out with details about your general health and any medical problems you may have, as well as sign your consent for the operation. Please do not forget to bring this document with you.

Your pre-assessment is to ensure you are well enough to be treated as a day case. Once your pre-assessment has been completed and you are deemed fit for surgery, you will be informed by phone or e-mail about your appointments. You will be given the name of an Admissions Officer who will discuss with you a date for pre-assessment and a potential date for your operation/procedure.
All the relevant paperwork you require will be given to you at this stage. It is very important that you follow all instructions given to you. If you fail to attend or do not telephone us in advance, you are at risk of being removed from our waiting list.
Please make arrangements to leave young children at home with someone. You should not be left on your own with children for the 24 hours following general anaesthesia.

The day surgery unit has no facilities for children except those having an operation.

If you are having a general anaesthetic, you must arrange for a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours. If you are taking a taxi home, you must have a responsible adult to travel with you.
Even if you are having a local anaesthetic, it is recommended to have someone to take you home. You must not drive if your mobility is restricted by the surgery.
If you are unwell before your surgery (for example: with a cold or ’flu), please ring us for advice before you come in.
We recommend that you do not smoke for the 2 days before your operation.
Please give a contact number for your relative or friend.
Before you come in you must have a shower or a bath.
Please remove all make-up and nail varnish.
Please do not bring valuables, jewellery, large sums of money, credit cards or mobile phones. If this is unavoidable, please ask your relative/friend to look after them for you.

Please bring with you:
  • Any tablets, medicines or inhalers that you are currently taking
  • Something to help you pass the time (book, magazines etc.)
  • Spectacles/contact lenses and case
  • Dental pots
  • For your own comfort you may prefer to bring a dressing gown and slippers with you. You are also welcome to bring a towel and toiletries as a shower is available.

Fasting before the appointment:

If your operation is in the morning, do not eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, from midnight the night before. Water is the only exception. You may drink water until 5.30 am on the day of your operation.
If your operation is in the afternoon, have a light breakfast (tea and toast) before 7.30 am. You may drink water until 10.30 am.
If you have diabetes or have worries about not eating, please ring the Centre for advice.

On arrival to the Day Centre:

  • Please check – in at the reception desk. You must present your personal documents (identity card, insurance card, referals, any previous medical reports) to the nurse, who will identify you and help you fill out the nursing forms.
  • You will be given a hospital identity bracelet with your name and details on it.
  • You will then be taken to the ward to occupy your bed.
  • The preparation process for the operation begins at this moment.
  • Please continue to take all of your normal medications unless told otherwise by the anesthesiologist during your pre-assessment.
  • Please remember you are at a Day Surgery Centre and not an outpatient clinic. The order of the operating list is not confirmed until the day of admission so you will have to wait some time before your procedure. On the day of your procedure you must also allow time for the procedure and your recovery. Therefore, you should expect to spend most of the day with us.
  • Once you have booked into the unit by the receptionist, any relatives, friends or escorts will not be allowed to remain with you during your stay. We have very limited space in the treatment areas. Escorts are only allowed to stay with you, if they are directly involved with your daily care, for example if you have learning difficulties and/or a disability. Relatives, friends or escorts are welcome to use the waiting areas.
  • Exception will be for children under 18 who are having treatment. One parent or guardian can remain with the child throughout their stay. Siblings should not be brought to the unit.
  • Following your treatment and a period of recovery, you will be discharged home. Please ask your escort to contact the Day Surgery Unit to check the time you will be ready to be picked up. For morning appointments, they should phone after 11.30 am, or after 3.30 pm if you have had an afternoon appointment. At times, the nursing staff may ring your escorts earlier if you are able to go home before those times.

When will I have my treatment?

You may have to wait up to 4 hours for your treatment. We need time to prepare you for your procedure. We try to use the operating theatre efficiently. The nursing staff will get you ready for your operation and answer any questions you may have. The anaesthetist and surgeon will usually see you before your operation and explain what type of anaesthetic you may require. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will then examine you and explain your proposed operation/procedure. If you are having an operation on a particular part of your body this may be marked with an arrow by the staff. Every patient is important to us and the staff will always make time for you. Feel free to ask questions at any time and tell us if anything is troubling you. The nurses will double check your personal details before escorting you to the operating theatre. They do this at the start of the operating list. Please bring something to occupy you while you are waiting.

Immediately after your operation

After your operation, if you had a general anaesthetic you will be taken to the recovery area where we will treat any pain or sickness that you may experience.
Here your pulse and your blood pressure will be measured regularly and someone will watch over you. At first you will feel drowsy. You may also feel sick and, depending on the type of procedure, you may feel a bit sore around the site of your operation. Your throat may feel a little dry and you may have a mild sore throat (as a tube will be put into your throat to help you breathe while you are asleep).
Once you are awake and alert you will be taken back to the ward area where you will be able to relax and have some refreshment before making the journey home. This recovery period varies from individual to individual and could take anywhere from one to six hours. The nursing staff will advise you when it is safe for you to leave. If you had a local anaesthetic you will be taken back to the ward area straight after your procedure has finished. You will be offered some refreshments (a drink and biscuits) before making your journey home. Please note the amount of time you will have to spend recovering varies according to the individual and type of surgery. The nursing staff will advise you when it is safe to leave.

Anaesthetic drugs remain in your body for several hours and during this time you will react more slowly, and thus more likely to have an accident. Please do not drive, as you may react too slowly to sudden stops.You may need some days off work and help at home.

Immediately after discharge

If you have had a general anaesthetic, the surgeon and anaesthetist may visit you later in the day to let you know how things went and give you advice as what to do over the next few days. You may be given some pain relief medication to take home with you, or other medication depending on your type of surgery. A responsible adult must then accompany you home by car or taxi – public transport is not suitable. Please refer to the patient information leaflet given to you at pre-assessment for information on aftercare and what to expect over the next few days while you are at home. If you no longer have this leaflet, please ask a member of the nursing staff for another copy. A copy of the operation sheet/discharge letter will be sent to your family doctor. You will also receive a copy of this letter. If you or your relative have any questions before you leave for home, please make sure you speak to a member of the nursing staff. We will periscribe all the medicines you need to take during your recovery at home. The medicines will be perscribed according to your procedure (e.g. painkillers, antibiotics etc).

At home

You may feel tired; so only do as much as you feel able.
  • Do not operate machinery or drive a car for 48 hours after a general anaesthetic.
  • If you have had a local anaesthetic the nursing staff will advise when it is safe to drive a car or operate machinery. II
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat light meals but do not drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours.
  • If you have had a local anaesthetic the nursing staff will advise you when it is safe to start drinking alcohol.
  • Please follow specific advice of the nursing and medical staff when taking prescribed medication – including painkillers.
  • Try to arrange help with bathing or showering as you may feel light-headed when getting out of the bath or unsteady on your feet in the shower.
  • Do not make any important decisions or sign any contracts for at least 24 hours after having had a general anaesthetic.

Instructions for carers

Please ensure that your carer understands their responsibilities:
  • Escort you home by car or taxi (not public transport)
  • Stay with you for 24 hours in your or their home
  • Help you with household activities, such as cooking and cleaning
  • Offer plenty of fluids to drink (no alcohol)
  • Help you with washing/bathing and getting dressed
  • Ensure you take regular painkillers as prescribed/advised
  • Run necessary errands for you
  • Be aware of common complications following surgery, such as bleeding, oozing, signs of infection and know what to do,

After 24 – 48 hours you should be feeling considerably better and will need less support and help. Your carer might not need to stay overnight, but perhaps could still offer some daytime support, such as shopping, cooking, vacuuming and hair washing.

Queries and concerns

If you have any problems you wish to discuss following your operation/procedure, please phone the Day Surgery Centre:


Nurse on duty:

Your surgeon:

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