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Patients responsibilities and pre-operative preparation

Patient responsibilities

Please bring dressing gowns, shoes, toiletries and appropriate i.e. loose clothing to go home in postoperatively. Track suit bottoms are ideal.

Please also bring with you any medication that you take regularly together with its packaging.
It is your responsibility to arrange transport home so please make arrangements beforehand or bring sufficient funds to do so from hospital. We will normally let you know how many nights you would need to stay in hospital to make planning easier but this does vary from person to person and on the speed of your recovery so please do allow for a certain amount of flexibility in your travel plans.  A pillow or soft cushion to sit on is very useful.

You do need to ensure that you have appropriate accommodation to go home to following the surgery and that if you are planning to have friends or family to be with you once you go home that this has all been arranged before you come into hospital. 

Please make contact with your GP practice in advance of your operation to let them know that it is coming up.  If possible bring with you the telephone number that our ward staff should ring to talk to the practice nurse or district nurse who will be looking after you once you go home.  Depending on the procedure that you are having, the ward staff may need to talk to them before you go home and in any case will want to fax through details of your surgery and postoperative care.

Finally, be aware that whilst there will be no charge to you for any aspect of your treatment in the hospital if you are funded by the NHS, certain non-medical services would be charged to you should you use them.  Examples are telephone calls, newspapers and visitors’ meals but if in doubt please check with a member of staff.


Pre-operative preparation

Regardless of the procedure that is being performed, the better your general health before surgery the easier you will find it.  Due to the increased risk of complications and poor outcomes we will not list you for surgery involving skin grafts or flaps until you have stopped smoking for at least two months and it will normally be about six months from stopping smoking till the date of the surgery as the surgical risk goes down with time.  It is important that you then continue to refrain from smoking for at least six weeks after the surgery.  If you use nicotine replacement of any sort then this should be discontinued a month before surgery and not started again until a month afterwards.

We do not perform non-emergency surgery if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 30 (use the male tables) as this too causes significant risks of complications.  Equally the hospitals require patients to have a BMI of at least 18 for elective surgery to proceed.  Be aware though that these are the extreme limits and generally speaking you can expect better results by being well within them rather than on the borderline.

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