What is a pre-operative assessment?
The medical jargon for this in simple terms are as follows:
The pre–operative assessment is an opportunity to identify any current illness or family history that may lead to patient complications during the anaesthetic, surgical, or post-operative period.
What does the appointment entail?
I arrived at the clinic for my scheduled appointment time of 11am. I booked myself in and got given a blue clipboard with a few pages of general information that needed to be filled in. I had to fill in pages 2-8 and double check things, such as next of kin, on the paperwork. Much to my frustration, my ex-partner was still listed, so I had to get that all changed, both at clinic and over the phone.
How much time should you allow for the appointment?
Realistically, I would say 2-3 hrs not including travel time.
What did I have to include on the general information?
- I had to list all the surgeries I previously had, so that always makes for a brain fart moment while thinking, ‘oh bugger what are the bleeding dates?’
- List of current medications. The best advice would be to take your current repeat prescription, so you don’t have to spend forever trying to come up with the correct spellings.
- List of any food or medication allergies. This is important as if you don’t disclose the information, then the pain team could accidentally give you the one your body doesn’t like.
- Any body piercings or additional metal to the body.
- History of current ailments or heart problems.
- If you require glasses or contact lenses.
- Then finally, one for the ladies, are you, or could you be, pregnant? You also must provide the date for the first day of your last period.
The appointment consists of three steps:
You see the nurse in a consultation room where they will take your blood pressure and heart rate, along with oxygen saturation levels. They will then measure your legs for teddy stockings. You then may be hooked up to the ECG machine depending on family history. Finally, you have to do the MRSA swabs which goes up both nostrils. Then inside of both cheeks and in the groin area on either side.
You will then go into another consultation room, where the nurse in charge will go through the general information sheet and log everything onto the computer and in your notes. They then go through what anaesthetic you will receive, along with the operation procedure and discuss pain relief options with you and what your expected hospital stay might be. This part generally takes 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your level of health and list of previous operations. They will explain the risks of the anaesthetic and pain medication and suggest what is best for you. You will leave with three sets of paperwork and your signature is required for any updates to current information held.
Blood tests. Thankfully, I got out of this one yesterday as I have regular blood tests, so my results were only two weeks old. This is just to check that there is nothing underlying in the bloods that could affect the operation going ahead.
So that’s what a pre-operative assessment entails. I am hoping your appointment goes well and wishing you luck and a speedy recovery for your upcoming operation.
Thank you for reading,
The information in this blog is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given in this blog is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Each ostomates needs are unique to them and their stoma care routine. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse before undertaking any changes to your stoma care routine.