The purpose of your visit to the Pre-Admission Clinic is to prepare you for your surgery or procedures. The Pre-Admission Clinic is an outpatient clinic and your visit will facilitate your admission on the day of surgery. Some clients who are scheduled for day surgery procedures are also seen in the Pre-Admission Clinic if they require medical consultations or special tests prior to their surgery.
Your pre-admission appointment is booked for you prior to your operation. It may be booked anywhere from a month to a day before your operation date. Your appointment takes approximately 3-4 hours. You are welcome to bring a family member with you.
The many questions you will be asked to answer, the various lab tests ordered by your doctor and the visit from the anaesthetist all help us to:
- Get to know you and your medical history.
- Assess your general state of health.
- Plan the care that you will participate in before, during and after your hospitalization.
- Teach you and your family, if you wish, about your operation and how it will affect your lifestyle.
Before your operation
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 48 hours before your surgery. Alcohol may affect your body’s response to the anesthetic or sedation used.
- Follow the Canada food guide. Eat a nutritional well balanced diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stop smoking.
You may be given specific instructions for fasting before surgery. You must follow these instructions exactly – it is important that your stomach is empty before your operation.
Have a good rest the night before your surgery.
Bath or shower and shampoo your hair the night before or the morning of your surgery.
Remove all makeup and nail polish before coming to the hospital.
If you have your own crutches or walking aid and will need these after surgery, please bring them with you. Please label them with your name and address.
Please bring your medications in their labelled containers to the hospital on the day of surgery. Do not take any medications that morning unless you have been instructed to do so.
After your operation, it is very important to help clear your lungs to prevent any breathing problems. You must do the breathing exercises every one to two hours after your operation. If you practice before your operation, it will be easier for you afterwards.
- Sitting on the edge of the bed or lying on the bed with your knees bent (with the head of the bed slightly raised) – place your hands on your stomach below your ribs.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose and concentrate on filling your lungs completely. If your nose is blocked, breathe slowly through your mouth (if the hands on your abdomen rise as you inhale, you are breathing correctly). Hold your breath and slowly count to three.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth allowing the weight of your chest to expel the air. Do not force breathing out. Repeat these breaths four or five times each hour while you are awake.
- If you feel you have mucous in your upper chest and throat, on your last breath, with the air still in your lungs, cough or “huff” two or three times in a row. The deep breathing may cause you to feel the need to cough for a while. If you have abdominal or chest surgery, you can support or splint your incision by using a pillow or folded sheet. Don’t worry, your stitches are very strong. Repeat this exercise at least one more time.
After your operation, it is important to keep the blood circulating in your legs. The following are exercises you must do every one or two hours after your operation.
- Wiggle your toes up and down.
- Bend your feet up and down at your ankles and then around in circles.
- Point your toes toward your body and tighten your calf muscles, pressing the back of your knees into the bed. Tighten your buttock muscles and your thigh muscles as well. Hold this position for a slow count of five and then relax.
- Bend your knees one at a time and slide your feet along the bed. Raise your knee as high as you can and then slide your foot back down. Repeat with the other leg.
- Do not cross your legs. This slows down circulation and could cause problems.
- Remember to do your deep breathing, coughing and leg exercises together every one or two hours. You will be up and around as soon as possible.
Children having surgery
A parent or guardian must stay with the child until he/she goes to the operating room.
Watch this great video to help prepare your child for what they can expect.
Day of Admission Surgery Unit
Because all the tests, assessments and teaching were done on your Pre-Admission Clinic visit, there will be very little remaining to be completed. We will take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. We will ask you to change into a hospital gown, housecoat and slippers.
- Your personal belongings will be packed into special bags and labeled. We will take them to your room later in the day.
- We will then take you to our waiting area. You may want to bring along a book or magazine to read or you may want to watch TV. You may have a family member or friend stay with you.
- If the anesthetist has ordered a pre-op medication, we will give it to you at the ordered time.
Time for your operation
- You will be walked or taken by stretcher to the operating room by your nurse or a porter. The nurse in the holding area of the operating room (O.R.) will help you onto a stretcher and start an intravenous (IV).
- The OR nurses will put an automatic blood pressure cuff on your arm and a device on your fingertip to measure your pulse and oxygen level.
If you are a smoker, remember
- Do not smoke for a few days before, and after your operation.
- Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and nicotine increases your heart rate and blood pressure.
- The Region’s hospitals are non-smoking facilities – you will not be permitted to smoke while you are a patient here.
After your operation
You will wake up in the recovery room. The nurses will check your blood pressure, pulse, and your dressing frequently. If you are having pain, ask your nurse about medication to relieve it. When you are ready, you will be taken to your room on the unit.
In your room
- Once in your room. The nurse will be checking your blood pressure, pulse and bandages. You may have an intravenous, depending on the type of surgery you have had.
- The nurse will provide medication, as ordered by your doctor, for any discomfort you have.Don’t wait until the pain gets too uncomfortable before asking for something to relieve it.
- If you are nauseated, tell your nurse and she/he will give you a medication or suggest other ways to relieve it.
- The first few times you get up, you may be dizzy or unsteady on your feet, please call for assistance. Do not get up without help from your nurse.
- Your diet will depend on what kind of operation you had and how well you feel.
It is a good idea to think about how you will manage at home before you have your operation. Discuss any concerns or problems you can foresee with the Pre-Admission Clinic Nurse and your Doctor – we will be happy to help arrange the care and/or equipment you may need at home after your surgery.
If you need crutches or any other aids when you go home they will be arranged for before you leave.
- Discuss with your surgeon when you should return to work and strenuous exercise.
- Normal movement is encouraged; if it does not hurt it will do no harm. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding lifting.
- Your surgeon will give you instructions about bathing and care of your incision.
- Sometime patients leave the hospital with skin sutures (stitches), clips, tapes, or drains still in place. Your surgeon will make arrangements to remove these. If you have a drain removed shortly before you leave the hospital you may have drainage at the site for a few days. If daily bathing is ordered, you should put on a clean dressing after to protect the site and your clothes.
- If you have been taking medications before coming to the hospital you should check with your surgeon before leaving to find out if you should still take them.
- You may be given a prescription for medication to take after you leave the hospital – have it filled as soon as possible.
Please arrange in advance how you will be going home and who will be picking you up when you are discharged. Try and arrange for your discharge before 12 noon.