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Operation

This is the general information on the operation. Whether or not the information below is applicable to you will depend on your personal situation. Your healthcare provider will discuss this with you.

Preoperative screening

If you are to undergo an operation or examination under general anesthetic, then you will usually see the anesthetist and a member of the anesthetics nursing team beforehand at the Preoperative Screening clinic ("POS-poli"). You will receive a separate invitation letter for this.

At the Preoperative Screening clinic you will be examined so as to give us a good picture of your physical condition. This is to prevent the possibility of us discovering reasons not to operate right before the operation.

Your visit to the Preoperative Screening clinic includes the following:

  • physical examination by the anesthetist
  • an ECG (recording electrical activity of the heart) if you are aged 60 years or over
  • possibly a blood test

In addition, you will receive information on:

  • the anesthesia
  • fasting; the time beyond which you should not eat or drink

Your appointment will take around one hour. You will be able to ask all your questions at that juncture.

 

Preparation at home

In order to ensure that the operation goes smoothly, you should start preparing for the operation whilst still at home.

What can you do yourself?

  • The anesthetist or surgeon has given you instructions on eating and drinking. Please follow these instructions carefully. Your stomach needs to be empty when being anesthetized, otherwise the operation cannot proceed.
  • The anesthetist or surgeon has agreed with you what medication you will need to take in preparation for the operation and what medication you should stop taking. For example, they will give advice on the use of diuretics. Usually you will have to stop taking blood-thinning medication obtained from the thrombosis service. If this applies to you, please discuss this with the anesthetist. You will then be given a letter to take with you to the thrombosis service 
  • Not necessary for you to stay in the hospital after the operation? Then please organize transport and guidance in a timely fashion. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home after the operation. Please also ensure that you will not be alone at home on the night following the operation.
  • In order to prevent infections, it is important for you to have a bath or shower, wash your hair and clean your teeth prior to coming to the hospital.
  • If the skin of the area to be operated on has hair coverage, then we would ask you to refrain from shaving or removing the hair from this area in any other way yourself. If the surgeon deems it necessary to remove hair, then that will be done as part of the procedure. This is to reduce the chances of infections.
  • Please remove all make-up, including nail polish.
  • Jewelry is best left at home.
  • Choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to ensure that you will not have any problems with any dressings applied.
  • We would ask that you refrain from smoking on the day of the operation. Smoking irritates the lungs and affects stomach function, reducing the rate of digestion.

 

An operation during a multi-day admission

Some treatments or examinations require that the patient spend one or more nights in the hospital as a medical necessity. We refer to these as "multi-day admissions."

Preparation

Please report to Central Admissions in the hospital lobby. A volunteer will escort you from Central Admissions to the nursing ward. There you will have a consultation with:

  • A member of the nursing staff: you will be given information on the procedure on the ward.
  • A ward physician.
  • Your surgeon: things you can discuss with your surgeon include whom they can call after the operation.

The nurse will tell you what time the operation will be at. You will get ready in your room:

  • You can take a shower or wash (only after spending the night in the hospital).
  • Please remove all make-up, nail polish, jewelry and dentures.
  • Store all your valuables in a locker. The nurse can keep the key for you.
  • After this, put the hospital clothing on. Usually this is a gown loosely tied at the back. You can keep your underwear on.
  • Sometimes you will be given a sedative to prepare you for the anesthetic around one hour before the operation.

 

A nurse will take you to the operating center shortly before the operation is scheduled to begin. There, you will wait in a room until the operating room is ready.

Following the operation

After the operation you will be taken to the recovery room. This is where you will come round from the anesthetic. You will continue to be a little woozy and sometimes nauseous from the anesthetic for a while. Visitors are not allowed in the recovery room. Usually you will remain in the recovery room for a few hours. After that you will be taken back to the nursing ward. Sometimes you will spend one or more days in the Intensive Care Unit.

You will have a drip in your arm. This is a thin tube inserted into a blood vessel. The drip is used to supply you with liquid and nutrients, because you cannot eat or drink shortly after the operation.

During the operation the physician will insert a drain into the site of the incision. A drain is a small tube used to drain exudate. Your physician will decide when the drain can be removed.

The nursing staff on the nursing ward will initially help you with whatever you cannot yet do on your own. Slowly but surely you will require less and less assistance.

An operation during a day admission

In the case of certain treatments or examinations, you will be able to return home the same day. This is referred to as a day admission or day treatment.

Preparation

Please report to the day treatment ward (reception 10). There you will have a consultation with:

  • A member of the nursing staff: you will be given information on the procedure on the ward.
  • A ward physician.
  • Your surgeon: things you can discuss with your surgeon include whom they can call after the operation.

Information on the day treatment ward

If you are to receive a general anesthetic, then the nurse will take you to the preparation room. Unfortunately, it is not possible for partners or companions to accompany you to the preparation room. You will be asked to lie on a bed and put on a hospital gown. Additional preparations for the operation will also be made.

Will you be receiving a local anesthetic? If so, the nurse will take you straight to the operating room.

Following the operation

After the operation you will be taken to the recovery room. This is where you will come round from the anesthetic. You will continue to be a little woozy and sometimes nauseous from the anesthetic for a while. Visitors are not allowed in the recovery room. You will be allowed to use a telephone to call your family. You will be given a light meal in the recovery room.

After consulting with the anesthetist, a decision will be made on when you can return home. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home after the operation. You will only be allowed to return home accompanied. If need be, your companion can borrow a wheelchair in the hospital’s central lobby.

Please call your family doctor if you experience any problems during the evening or night following the surgery. In consultation with your family doctor, you can contact the ER. For any problems arising after the first night, please see your family doctor or the physician treating you.

 

Post-operative pain

It is important for you to let healthcare providers know whether or not you are in a lot of pain and/or the painkillers are working properly. Various painkillers are an option.