Unless otherwise instructed, you will not be allowed food or drink for at least six hours prior to your surgery. This includes NO sweets, chewing gum, breath fresheners or water. If you have any questions about fasting and the taking of medications, please discuss this with your specialist.
The information letter you received from the Surgeon will have the admission time and fasting time details. Usually you will also be contacted by the hospital to confirm the expected admission time and where you should check in.
Please wear clean clothes to the Hospital that are comfortable and easy to remove. Do not wear jewellery, make-up or nail varnish.
Please use the following checklist to ensure you remember to bring all the items you need to the hospital:
- Any paperwork relating to your hospital stay not already returned to the hospital
- PATS forms for country patients if applicable
- Medicare card and health fund details if applicable
- Pension health benefits card and pharmaceutical card if applicable
- Any medications you are currently taking (in original containers)
- All relevant x-rays/scans or test results (to be returned to you prior to your discharge)
- Any special equipment you may require e.g. CPAP for sleep apnoea
- Night attire, if staying overnight
- Shoes / slippers that fit you well with a non-slip sole
- Reading material
- Glasses and physical aids e.g. walking sticks, hearing aids, etc.
- Comfortable clothes to go home in.
After your procedure
After surgery, you will be closely monitored by highly experienced caregivers in the recovery room. The nurses will then arrange for your transfer to the clinical ward for overnight patients. Day procedure patients will spend approximately 2-4 hours in the second stage recovery area, where you will be closely monitored until you are ready to go home.
You usually receive a lot of instructions just prior to leaving the Hospital. Please ensure you have discharge instructions in writing, such as a list of the medications you will need to take and post-operative wound care instructions. It is hard to remember everything. As always, ask questions if you do not understand the instructions.
It is important to consider any difficulties that you may face upon your return home from hospital prior to discharge. Please ensure you have a Carer to transport you home and stay with you for a minimum of 24 hours.
- Have a family member present to help recall what was said.
- Take notes, and specifically find out:
- How to care for bandages/dressings
- When is bathing permitted
- When it is okay to be alone in the house
- When you can drive
- Advice about elevation of an operated extremity, and weight bearing on a leg after surgery
- Understand about all medicines you need. Someone will have to get prescriptions filled to you. If you have any concerns or ongoing pain, please advise your nurse.
- Make sure you understand any signs of complications, such as infections or blood clots. Know how to quickly contact your doctor or healthcare team should you notice signs of complications.