Question 1: How long will I have to wait until I go to theatre?
This depends on where you are listed on the operating theatre
list, which is set by the surgeon. In order that the theatre
list can run smoothly, all patients need to be seen by the surgeon
and the anaesthetist on the day of surgery before the operating
If you are admitted for a morning or afternoon list, you may
have to wait for up to 4 hours before you get to your theatre
On an all day list, this may be longer as the last person on
that list may need to wait for up to 8 hours if they have been
admitted in the morning.
Unfortunately there are times when cases overrun due to their
complex nature, which can lengthen the waiting time. We will
aim to keep you as fully informed as possible if this situation
We appreciate that waiting for your operation can be a very
anxious time and we are continuously exploring ways to improve this
You may wish to bring a book/magazine, DVD player, i-pod, etc to
occupy you whilst you wait.
Question 2: What will I wear to theatre?
You will be given an operating gown to change into. We ask that
all patients bring a warm dressing gown and slippers with
them. It is important that you keep yourself warm before your
surgery and we will give you an additional blanket in our Theatre
Reception hub to keep you extra warm.
Question 3: Can I chew gum or suck mints before my operation?
No. Chewing gum or sucking mints counts as food.
You must strictly follow the nil-by-mouth guidance given to you
at your pre-operative appointment. Chewing gum or sucking
mints on the day of your surgery will result in your operation
Question 4: Can I bring my partner to theatre?
We are very happy for your partner to accompany you to theatre
and to sit in the patient theatre reception area whilst
you await your surgery. We recognise this can be a very
stressful time for all patients and their relatives and we
understand that support is really important at this time.
Question 5: How will I feel after my operation?
Everyone is different and each person responds a little
differently. Generally, you can expect to feel a little
'groggy' in the recovery room and you may not remember everything
You may have a sore throat; this is due to a tube being placed
into your throat to enable you to breathe during your surgery and
this may feel sore.
You may have some discomfort. It is important that you tell the
Recovery Practitioner if you have any discomfort so we can look to
improve this for you as quickly as possible.
Again, if you are feely a little sick, please tell your Recovery
You will have an oxygen mask on your face.
When you are a little more awake, and before you go back to the
ward, we will ask you to take some sips of water - this is really
important to help with re-hydration and is an important part of the
enhanced recovery programme.
Question 6: Who are the Recovery Practitioners?
Recovery practitioners are highly skilled, specialist
practitioners and will be monitoring you and looking after you very
closely in the Recovery Room - this is sometimes known as PACU
(Post Anaesthetic Care Unit).