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Preparing for CSM Surgery

Preparing for an Operation - The Day Before Surgery

Pre-operative Assessment

Often patients awaiting an operation will attend for a pre-operative assessment. This may be completed by a doctor or a specialist nurse. They will explore in detail any other health problems you have, record any medication you take, perform an examination of your heart and lungs and complete some baseline investigations such as a blood test and ECG (trace of the heart).

This assessment is important to highlight whether you might be at greater risk from the operation. If any concerns are identified, you will be referred for further detailed assessment, including review by an anaesthetist, (the doctor who performs the general anaesthetic).

Do you take blood thinning agents?

A degree of bleeding is unavoidable with surgery. Therefore, if you take a blood thinning agent, this can be harder to control. If you take a blood thinning agent you should discuss this with your surgeon. 

Do you carry a blood born virus?

Carrying a blood born virus does not prevent you undergoing surgery. However, it is important your medical team are aware so they can take special precautions to prevent transmission to staff or other patients.

What can I do to help?

Whilst not essential, there a number of aspects that can help you through an operation:

  1. Stop smoking – smoking damages the lungs (important when having a general anaesthetic) and affects wound healing (important for recovery after surgery). By stopping smoking, you reduce your risks of post-operative infections and complications of general anaesthesia. This should ideally be at least six weeks before your operation.
  2. Lose weight – obesity can affect wound healing and increase the risk of post-operative infection.

The Day of Surgery

It is important to remember that you should have nothing to eat or drink for six hours before the operation. This will generally mean having nothing to eat or drink from bedtime the night before.

Your hospital should have informed you of the time and place to attend. You should attend at the allotted time. Remember to bring all your regular medication. You will be provided with a hospital gown and your personal possessions will be collected and locked away. You will be reviewed by your medical team, usually the anaesthetist and surgeon.

It is impossible to provide an exact operating time as so many different factors are involved. It is therefore a good idea to bring something along to pass any waiting time.

Learn more about what happens after surgery