PREPARING FOR SURGERY
UNDERSTANDING YOUR SURGERY
We understand that having surgery can be an anxious experience for patients and their families. Below are some details of what to expect before, during, and after surgery. Please note this information must be considered as an educational service only. It is not intended to replace a visit to and discussions with your doctor.
Prior to deciding whether to have surgery, your doctor will discuss with you:
- What exactly will be done during your surgery
- The type of anaesthetic you will require
- The anticipated benefits of the surgery
- The risks associated with the surgery
- Any alternative treatment options for your problem
- The anticipated length of stay in hospital
- What to expect during your recovery
You will be asked to think over this information before deciding whether to proceed with surgery. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery and understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
You can find information about common urological procedures here
PRIOR TO SURGERY
You will be asked to sign a consent for surgery form confirming that you understand the nature of the surgery, and the risks involved.
You will be given a quote outlining the anticipated fees for your surgeon, surgical assistant and any specific equipment required. Once you have reviewed this quote you will be asked to sign an informed financial consent form confirming that you understand the anticipated costs for your surgery. More information about our surgical fees can be found here.
When possible, we will go through these forms with you at the time of your appointment. Alternatively, you will be asked to complete the forms at home and mail, fax or email them back to our rooms prior to your surgery.
Your doctor’s secretary will book the hospital, anaesthetist, surgical assistant, and any specific equipment required for your procedure. You will be given the contact details of the anaesthetist and the hospital. You can contact them directly to discuss their specific fees.
You may be asked to get tests performed prior to your surgery, for example, a urine test. It is important that you get these tests done as instructed. Incorrect timing or incomplete tests may delay your surgery.
Prior to your surgery we will contact you with fasting instructions. From the time you are instructed to fast, do not eat any food including chewing gum, lollies, breath mints, or cough drops. Also do not drink anything – water, coffee, juice, etc. Do not swallow any of the water that is used to brush your teeth. Failure to adhere to fasting instructions may result in delay to your surgery, and in some cases cancellation.
You will need to make arrangements for someone to collect you from the hospital on discharge. If you have day surgery, you will need to have a responsible adult with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
Unless otherwise instructed, continue to take all of your regular medications in the lead up to your surgery. You should stop taking natural medicines and supplements two weeks before your surgery.
ADMISSION TO HOSPITAL
Admission processes differ from hospital to hospital, so it is important to read the information we send to you.
Hospitals like to ensure that patients are admitted well before their procedure time to ensure that paper work and appropriate processes are completed before surgery. While every effort is made to minimise the waiting time for patients, even in private hospitals, there will be some waiting.
On the day of the surgery wear loose fitting comfortable clothes. You should also bring with you:
- Medicare card
- Private health insurance card
- Department of veterans’ affairs (DVA) card
- Work cover claim details
- A credit card to pay the hospital admission excess
- A list of the medications you take regularly
- X-rays or other scans which you have copies of
- A book, some magazines or something similar to pass the time.
- Contact details for the person who will take you home
- A case or holder for glasses, contacts, dentures or hearing aids
- If you are staying overnight: toiletries, pyjamas and a change of clothes
On the day of surgery:
- Do not bring non-essential valuables
- Do not wear make-up and make sure nail polish is removed
- Do not use lotions, creams, aftershave, or perfume
- Do not use hairspray, mousse, or gels
- Do not shave or use deodorants near the site of surgery
- Take off all body piercings
THE DAY OF YOUR SURGERY
Please arrive at the hospital admissions area at your admission time.
A staff member will check you in. If there is a hospital admission excess on your private health insurance policy, you may be required to pay this on admission.
You will be taken to the theatre waiting room. There you will change into a hospital gown. If you wear glasses, contacts, and/or hearing aids they will need to be removed.
A member of the nursing staff will check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and ask you questions about your general health. Your anaesthetist will come to talk to you about your anaesthetic.
You will then be taken into the operating theatre for your surgery.
After your surgery you will be taken to the recovery room. You will be monitored and given time to recover. The length of time will depend upon the type of surgery you have had.
If you are staying overnight, after you have recovered from the anaesthetic, you will be taken to the hospital ward.
DISCHARGE FROM HOSPITAL
It is not always possible to plan the exact time of your discharge in advance. Hospital staff will contact the person taking you home, giving them ample notice when you can be collected.
When it is time to leave, a staff member will go over instructions on how to take care of yourself at home.
You may be given medications dispensed by the hospital pharmacy, or prescriptions which can be filled in a community pharmacy.
Do not drive, operate machinery or sign legal documents within 24 hours of your surgery.
RECOVERY FROM SURGERY
Unless otherwise instructed, you should be able to have a light meal on the evening of your surgery, and a normal diet the day after your surgery.
You may be tired and have some discomfort after surgery. This is to be expected. Take pain relief medications as instructed. Continue to take your regular medications unless otherwise instructed.
Constipation is common after surgery. To avoid constipation, drink plenty of water, eat a diet high in cereals, grains, fruit and vegetables, and go for gentle walks. Over the counter medications for constipation are available from all pharmacies if required.
Wound dressings can usually be removed between one and seven days after your surgery. You will be told when they can be safely removed. After your dressings have been removed, wounds can usually get wet in the shower, unless otherwise instructed. Avoid baths and swimming for at least two weeks after surgery.
Check with your doctor when you can return to work, driving and exercise.
It is not normal to have pain which isn’t manageable with the pain relief prescribed, fevers or redness/swelling/discharge from your wounds. If this occurs, please phone us on 07 3830 3300 to speak to your surgeon or one of our nursing staff. Alternatively, you can see your general practitioner or present to your nearest hospital emergency department.
FOLLOW UP AFTER YOUR SURGERY
We will contact you to arrange a follow up appointment after your surgery.
A letter summarising your surgery will be sent to your general practitioner or referring doctor.