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Having an operation

Your doctor or nurse will carry out routine examinations and any necessary tests. Your doctor will explain to you the details of your particular operation, describe to you what will happen during your operation, and inform you how you can expect to feel afterwards.

Once you are absolutely sure you understand the full procedure you will be asked to sign a form consenting to your operation.


Fasting is essential prior to surgery under general anaesthetic, as it prevents vomiting and other complications. The length of fasting time varies for different procedures. You will be notified of this either by post, or by the nursing staff if you are already on the ward.

Prior to the operation

You should have a bath or thorough wash before your operation as this reduces the risk of infection.

You will be provided with a gown. This should be worn with nothing underneath. The nurses will help you with this, as the gowns tie at the back.

Jewellery, glasses and dentures should all be removed prior to going to theatre. Any valuables can be locked away until your return.

Time to go

A porter from the theatre will come to the ward to collect you on your bed. One of the ward nurses will accompany you to the theatre. The next thing you will remember is waking up.

After your operation you will wake up in the recovery room, and one of the theatre nurses will be with you. Once you have recovered from your anaesthetic, a nurse from the ward will collect you.

Last reviewed: 20 July 2023