• Madeleine Cowey

What happens at a 'pre-operative assessment'?


There is absolutely no context to these piggies, but they're cute and I'm running low on cat GIFs.

With my operation approaching (11th September!), I thought it a good opportunity to get some information on here about the whole process.

A pre-operative assessment, or pre-assessment or pre-op is the thing you have before your operation. Obviously. But if you've never had an operation or planned surgery before you probably don't know what it entails. For my first operation I don't think I actually had a formal pre-op, because it was planned so last-minute, but for my second one I certainly did, and I didn't know what to expect. I've just had mine for my lung ablation - so I definitely know what they entail now!!

The pre-op is pretty much a general health check, and is there to prepare you for your surgery, and check your general health. You will be sat down with a nurse who has to fill out an entire booklet full of your medical history and current health. They will explain the procedure to you in detail, from the moment you enter the hospital, to your anesthetic, the actual surgery to the moment you leave the hospital and even what you should be doing post-surgery. They will also explain whether you should be fasting/how long for (No food after 6am for me! 6am! - How will I survive?!). This is your moment to ask any questions you may have (like, how will I survive without eating for over 6 hours?!).

In terms of general health checks, they will ask you about your medical history, including family history, and any conditions you may have, drugs you may take. They need to know so that when you are in hospital they can treat you properly if any of these problems crop up. You will also have some physical checks done, like your BMI (ugh), and the nurse may listen to your heart, and for me checked my breathing/lungs, and they will test you for MRSA (involves a cotton bud up your nose and in your throat, ew).

Other than simple checks like this, you will also need blood tests (my least fave). In my case this time around I had two as they made a mistake with the first one (my worst nightmare). Two needles in one day, each arm jabbed!! I was told by my boyfriend I was very brave, so I'll take that!

You may also need scans, of the area they are operating on, which I didn't need this time around but did last time, it just depends.

If you want any more information on surgery, and pre-ops then you can head to the NHS website where there is a plethora of information far better conveyed than on here! (I'm just here for the personal touch).

I have a post about eating in Rome pending... and after my operation I'd love to make a post all about that. Please leave a comment and let me know what kind of posts you might be interested in as I'm happy to talk about anything!

Until next time,

M x

#cancer #hospital #operation #ablation #treatment #cancertreatment #preop #uclh #guide

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