Preparing for your operation

Preparing for your surgery will be slightly different depending on whether you are having your operation under a local or a general anaesthetic. You will be told which type of anaesthetic you need before the day of your operation.

If you are having a local anaesthetic, you can continue to eat and drink as normal and should take any medications as usual before your operation, unless told otherwise by the nurse at your pre-assessment appointment.  You will remain fully clothed during your operation, but please wear a button-fastening top such as a shirt or blouse.

If you are having a general anaesthetic, you must have nothing to eat from 12.00 midnight on the morning of your operation.  You may drink clear water only, not fizzy (and no more than a maximum of 500mls), up to 6.00 am and nothing after that.  You should not chew chewing gum.  You will need to change into a theatre gown prior to surgery, so you might want to bring a dressing gown with you. We also suggest that you bring a tooth brush and tooth paste to keep your mouth fresh while fasting.  If you wear dentures, you might be asked to remove them just before going to theatre.

Whether you are having a local or a general anaesthetic, please follow these instructions:

  • It is a good idea to bathe and wash your hair the day before your operation, as you might be unable to do so for the first few days after surgery
  • Ensure you have enough food and essentials to last a couple of days at home because you might not feel like shopping
  • Bring all of your medications and eye drops with you on the day of your operation, as well as your spectacles or contact lenses with their cases and solutions, and a small toiletries bag if you would like to freshen up after your operation
  • As there is limited space on the ward, please bring only one friend or relative with you on the day of your operation
  • Leave any valuables at home
  • Wear flat shoes
  • Do not wear nail varnish, makeup or jewellery, except for your wedding ring, if you wear one

You are advised to obtain a roll of surgical tape prior to surgery from your local pharmacy as you might need to wear a shield at night for up to two weeks following your operation.

Last updated: 16th November 2017