Most patients coming into hospital for an operation will be asked to attend the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic (POAC).
Clinics are run by Registered nurses, who are specially trained in pre-operative assessment. If you have more complex medical issues you may be seen in an anesthetic consultant-led clinic.
The purpose of the pre operative assessment clinic is to assess your general health before having an anaesthetic and undergoing surgery. You will normally be given an appointment to attend the clinic 4 - 6 weeks before your operation.
This appointment is important preparation for your surgery. You must come to this appointment or let us know if you need to cancel or change it.
By attending this appointment you are less likely to find that your operation or procedure is cancelled on the day due to unforeseen problems.
If you are unable to attend the appointment please tell us as soon as possible so we can offer you another appointment. Please contact us using the telephone numbers on your appointment letter.
Before your appointment
If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you to the clinic, so the nurse can answer them for you.
You will be asked to complete a health screening questionnaire before coming in to POAC. If you have any problems filling in this questionnaire you can ask a family member to help you. If this is not possible the nurse can help you when you come to the appointment.
Please bring with you a list of all the medications that you currently take, including their strength and how often you take them.
You can eat, drink and take your medications as normal on the day of your appointment.
What happens during the appointment?
During the appointment you will be given information about:
- What to expect on admission
- Your planned operation
- Your expected recovery time and predicted date of discharge
The nurse will ask you questions about your general health, fitness, and any previous operations and illnesses. As part of your assessment, you may also undergo some of the following tests or investigations:
- Blood pressure, pulse, temperature and/or respiratory rate measurements
- Blood tests
- A urine test. You may be given a pot for your urine sample when you arrive at the clinic. This can be used to test for infections, which must be treated before you can have surgery
- An electrocardiogram (ECG). This is a way of recording the rate, rhythm and electrical activity of your heart. It is a simple test that does not cause any discomfort or pain. Please note that you will need to partially undress for this test
- Recording your height and weight
- A physical examination, so you may need to partially undress and lie down on the examination couch. This examination will be performed by the nurse, who will listen to your heart and lungs
- You may also need to go for x-rays after your appointment, but this is not necessary for all patients.
After your appointment
Once these tests have been completed and you have received all the information you require, you will be able to leave. The results will be checked by the Nurse Practitioners. If there is anything they need to discuss with you they will contact you directly.
You must be assessed as being fit before you can have your surgery. If we find that you have problems that we were not aware of, such as high blood pressure, you will need to visit your GP for treatment. If further tests are needed, the pre-assessment nurse will make a referral to your GP.
Once your fitness has been confirmed you will be contacted by the Consultant`s secretary, normally by post with details of your admission date/time.