Before your stay in hospital
Prior to coming into hospital you will receive a pre-operative questionnaire in the post. Please take your time to consider your response and complete as accurately and as completely as you can. If we have any queries, we will contact you to discuss your answers.
Once we have received your questionnaire we will arrange for you to attend our pre- assessment clinic. Our pre-assessment nurse will review your completed questionnaire and discuss your medical history. They will also review your current medication and give advice as to whether you need to omit or continue with this pre-operatively. You may also be measured for anti-embolic stockings.
We will take some baseline recording of your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respirations and oxygen saturations. Our ward nurses will use this information as a reference for your post-operative observations.
Your surgeon may have requested a blood test prior to your surgery. If so, one of our nurses will undertake this blood sampling during your pre-assessment.
Depending on your clinical need you may also have an ECG, urine test and MRSA screening.
Your pre-assessment nurse will take this opportunity to discuss your pending surgery with you and provide you with relevant information and reassurance; including details of our pain scoring system so that you can be reassured we will monitor your pain and deal with it swiftly.
Most patients are keen to know when they will be able to return to their own home, therefore, we will discuss your planned length of stay, time of discharge and whether you require any social/home support in order for you to return home. If you require a referral to social services, this can be arranged prior to your admission.
Nutrition is very important during your hospital stay, so we will also talk through any specific dietary requirements and inform the catering department to ensure we can meet your dietary needs.
During your pre-assessment the physiotherapist will talk through the operation and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about this. The physiotherapist will give you advice on what you will be able to do after your surgery and what limitations you may have, for example movements to be avoided and limitations to activities of daily living for example housework and recreational hobbies. The physiotherapist will advise you on the way to get in and out of bed and the physiotherapy you will receive on the ward after your operation and when you go home.
Any pre-existing conditions for example, arthritic knee or asthma, which may affect your recovery, will also be assessed so your treatment plan can be individually tailored to suit your needs.
The physiotherapists will also advise you on the exercises you will need to practice after your operation, for example core stability.
Core stability relates to the bodily region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm and its ability to stabilise the body during movement. The main muscles involved include the transversus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, the quadratus lumborum and the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the main muscle of breathing in the body and so breathing is important in providing the necessary core stability for moving and lifting. It is the action of these muscles contracting together upon the incompressible contents of the abdominal cavity (i.e. the internal organs or viscera) that provides support to the spine and pelvis during movement.
You may also meet a physiotherapist during your pre assessment (see Physiotherapy section).