Information for Patients Undergoing Surgical Procedures with General Anaesthesia or Sedation at North Tas Day Hospital
PREPARATION FOR SURGERY
NorthTas Day Hospital will contact you 1 week prior to your surgery date with the time to attend for your procedure. If you have not heard the day before your surgery please contact the office staff on 6331 6200.
- Please bring with you all relevant paperwork.
- Ensure that the pre-admission health assessment form is complete.
- Ensure that you have someone to take you home and stay with you. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your procedure.
- For those patients having scrotal procedures, ensure that you are wearing supportive underwear not boxer shorts.
- Clothing should be warm, loose and comfortable e.g. track pants. Flat shoes are recommended to prevent falls.
- Please do not bring any valuables with you.
PREPARATION FOR THE ANAESTHETIC
On your surgery day you need to fast, ie NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK FOR SIX HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR SURGERY. It is important that you adhere to the fasting time which you have been given. DO NOT CHEW GUM OR SUCK LOZENGES. If your stomach is not completely empty vomiting can occur and this may result in inhalation of gastric contents. It is advisable to cease smoking 24 hours prior to your procedure.
Your doctor needs to be aware of all the medications that you are taking including prescription drugs,
anti-coagulant drugs, non-prescription and complimentary medicines (including herbal drugs, vitamins, creams, drops and puffers.) This is important because some drugs can adversely interact with others and some drugs may need to be stopped prior to surgery.
Patients will be offered light refreshments following their procedure. We do not offer a full food service.
Normal activities may be resumed following discharge unless otherwise instructed.
GENERAL ANAESTHETIC / SEDATION
Due to the effects of the anaesthetic or sedation for 24 hours you must not:
- Drive a car
- Operate machinery
- Consume alcohol or sedatives
- Sign any legal documents
Depending on the type of surgery and anaesthetic you received, you may experience one or more of the following :
- Sore throat
During a general anaesthetic a tube is passed into the throat to maintain the airway. Occasionally this may cause temporary discomfort which usually passes in 24 hours.
- Discomfort at the injection site
Irritation of the vein or slight bruising can occur from the needle or the injectable drugs. This may persist for several days.
- Disturbed ability to concentrate or impaired memory
Following a general anaesthetic this may last a few hours or even into the next day and should not be of any concern, the symptoms will pass.
- Muscle pains
Muscle aches can occur for up to 48 hours after the anaesthetic. This is due to certain medications and is temporary. Rest and restricted activities should minimize the discomfort.
- Nausea and vomiting
This is less common due to the introduction of modern anaesthesia. If it does occur it is usually short lasting. Medication will be administered in the recovery room to alleviate this symptom should it occur. If it persists after discharge maintain fluids and avoid food. Contact your doctor if it does not resolve within 24 hours.
POST OPERATIVE PAIN MANAGEMENT
You will experience pain or discomfort following surgery. While it is not always possible to relieve pain entirely, our aim is to achieve comfort.
The first dose of pain relief will be given to you before or during the procedure. Local anaesthetic blocks will be instilled at the completion of the procedure. This combination of pain relief should keep you comfortable for a few hours post operatively.
Upon discharge you will be given a prescription for oral analgesia. It is important that you follow the instructions. It is more beneficial to take regular doses for the first 48 hours than to wait until you are uncomfortable.
Any medication may cause an allergic reaction. If you develop itching, rash, difficulty breathing or swelling around your face do not take any more medication and contact your doctor.
Impaired mental status due to sedation or anaesthesia may increase the risk of falls. Patients are advised to go home and rest and seek assistance to walk until symptoms subside.
DISCHARGE INFORMATION HANDOUTS
Upon discharge you will be given verbal and written post operative instructions, contact phone numbers and an appointment time. The practice nurse will contact you within 48 hours to check on your progress.
As part of our quality improvement programme you may be asked to complete a confidential patient survey. We appreciate your feedback and any suggestions by you to improve our service delivery.