On this page:

The preoperative assessment clinic will help you to prepare for your upcoming surgery, and help the hospital to plan your care. It is vital you attend your preoperative assessment appointment, or your surgery may be postponed.

If you or your child has received a date for a planned operation, you will receive a preoperative assessment appointment with the team based at the Willow Annex on the hospital’s Perimeter Road.

During the COVID -19 outbreak we are taking every measure to conduct your preoperative assessment as safely and effectively as possible.

When you receive a letter for the appointment:

  • Please respond to the text message from the hospital to confirm the appointment
  • If you need to rearrange or cancel the appointment, please call our administrative staff on 020 8266 6909
  • To maintain social distancing, you may be offered a telephone/online appointment with our specialist nurses. Following your consultation, if there are any further investigations required, you may be offered a face-to-face appointment
  • Please make sure you check the location for your preoperative assessment, as specialities like cardiac, thoracic, vascular and maxillofacial surgeries hold their preoperative assessments at different locations

Shielding prior to your surgery:

  • When you receive a date for your surgery, it’s very important that you self-isolate (shield) at home for 14 days, along with the members of your household
  • During this shielding period, you may still have to come in to the hospital for face-to-face consultations, investigations or for COVID-19 swab testing. Social distancing is strictly followed by our staff during these visits
  • Please do not bring friends or relatives to the appointment, unless it is absolutely necessary. We encourage one person to accompany children or patients with special needs for their assessment. This includes patients with translators
  • At the reception, you will be asked to confirm that you have not had a cough or fever in the last 14 days.  You need to be symptom free for at least 7 days before your appointment.
  • If you have any symptoms of cough, headache, breathing difficulties or fever you will have to self-isolate, following national guidance. For your safety, we will rearrange your surgery date.
  • After any recent foreign travel, you will have to quarantine, according to the governments guidance, and we will rearrange your surgery for after this time.
  • Please find latest Coronavirus (COVID -19) update by following links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

When you arrive for your appointment

You can find us on the Perimeter Road, behind the main hospital building.

  • Please aim to arrive in the waiting area no sooner than 15 minutes before the appointment. This is to reduce the number of people in our waiting areas.
  • Face covering should be worn at all times
  • Please bring a list of all medication you are taking, including herbal medication. Please also bring any relevant previous medical notes, clinic letters, discharge summaries or investigation results
  • If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, take anti-coagulation medication, or have any other medical record book, please bring it with you

During your appointment

Your appointment will take between 1 – 3 hours, depending on tests you require.   An average appointment takes about an hour.

  • Some of the tests might include blood or urine tests, an ECG (heart tracing), spirometry (breathing test), MRSA swabs, blood pressure, weight and height measurements
  • Our specialist nurses will assess your fitness for anaesthesia and surgery by asking questions about your health and examining you.
  • You will be called by the hospital for your COVID-19 swab test 48-72 hours before surgery. If you do not attend this, unfortunately your surgery will be cancelled.
  • Our staff use personal protective equipment (PPE) like a mask, goggles and gloves, for your and their safety.

Important information given to you during preoperative assessment consultation

  • Information about your anaesthesia and pain relief
  • Fasting instructions before your surgery
  • Any specific medication instruction before your surgery
  • Postoperative recovery and discharge plans

In addition to our ‘Your Guide to Surgery’ booklet, the following information leaflets are helpful regarding your anaesthesia:

We also have information specific to St George’s patients on the hospital’s patient information pages.

You can also find the most popular patient information leaflets translated in the 20 most common languages used in the UK.

https://rcoa.ac.uk/patient-information/patient-information-resources/translations

Consultant anaesthetic clinic

If you are having complex surgery or have complex medical issues, you may need an appointment with an anaesthetist.  This can be via telephone, video call or face-to-face. This is to assess your fitness to for anaesthesia, surgery and recovery.  We will discuss the risks of your operation and make a plan to care for you safely.

Since November 2017 we have been running a weekly Surgery School session (“Get Set 4 Surgery”) for patients preparing for major surgery. You can read more about the preparation sessions and more information about preparing for surgery on this link