Preparation for surgery

It is worthwhile stopping smoking prior to your anaesthetic. Ideally, this should be done at least six weeks before the date of your surgery.

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Day of surgery


For safety reasons, it is preferable that your stomach is empty of food and drink when you receive your anaesthetic. However, it is safe for you to eat up to six hours prior to the time of your operation. Drinks with a small amount of milk (e.g. tea or coffee) may be consumed up to four hours prior to the time of your operation and water may be consumed up to two hours beforehand.

Please do not eat sweets or chew chewing gum within four hours of your operation time.

Failure to comply with the above recommendations represents a potential hazard to your safety and may lead to the operation being delayed or postponed.


There are some drugs which you should stop taking prior to your operation. You will receive advice about these either from your surgeon or from the nurse in the pre-admission clinic at New Hall Hospital. Unless you have been advised otherwise, other drugs and medicines should be taken as normal on the morning of surgery.

A small amount of water can be used to help swallow them, irrespective of the time prior to the operation.

Before your operation

Immediately prior to your operation, the ward nurse will escort you to the anaesthetic room. This is a small room next to the operating theatre. Here, the operating theatre staff will confirm your identity and check that you agree with the information on your consent form. The anaesthetist will then administer your anaesthetic.

After your operation

After the operation, you will be transferred from the operating theatre to the recovery room. The recovery room nurses will continue to observe and monitor you as you wake up. They will also check that you are comfortable and organise your transfer back to the ward when appropriate.


Many patients are able to go home on the same day as the surgery. If you are having a "daycase procedure" then it will be possible for you to go home once you have fully woken up, had something to eat and drink and been reviewed by the nurse looking after you on the ward.

Certain operations require a stay in hospital for one or more nights. In these cases, the surgeon will plan your discharge according to your progress following the procedure.