Perioperative Unit and Day Surgery

How we can help you

Most patients who are having planned elective surgery come through our Perioperative Unit on the day of their procedure. 

If you are go home the same day or of if you are staying one night you will also return to the Perioperative Unit before going home. If you are staying longer than one night you will be transferred to one of our surgical wards.

Perioperative means around the time of surgery. 

For information on your booking and date of surgery see our Admissions Department.

    Before your surgery you may need to attend one of our pre-admission clinics where you will see a nurse, anaesthetist or one of the surgical team.  They will take tests, explain how you can best prepare for your surgery and care for yourself when you leave hospital. If you need to attend a pre-admission clinic, we will call you or send you a letter with the location of the clinic, contact details and what to bring. If you are not contacted you do not need to attend.

    If you are having a minor plastics procedure under local anaesthetic this will happen in the Bright Alliance Building.

    If you are having elective surgery in the public hospital system, you will be placed on a waiting list and given a priority category depending on the seriousness of your condition. Your surgeon will decide this. Sometimes it is necessary to change a booked surgery to make way for people who come through our Emergency Department and need life saving surgery.

    If you have questions about current waiting times and want to speak with someone you can call the Surgery Access Line on 1800 053 456.

    When you have a surgical procedure in hospital your surgeon will talk with you to make sure you understand your health concern and the proposed surgery. The Surgeon will explain your health concern, diagnostic and/or treatment options, benefits and risks and expected outcomes. If you do not understand something the Surgeon has said or have more questions you should ask someone from the health care team until you feel you thoroughly understand. It is your right to choose to accept or refuse to go ahead with the procedure or surgery.

    If you choose to go ahead, the Surgeon will ask you to sign a form which states you understand and accept the treatment.

    How do I know the date of my surgery? 

    If you are having a planned elective surgery you will have received an email or letter from our Admissions Department outlining what surgery you are having, the date of your surgery or procedure and when you will need to telephone to find out confirm details. If we need to change to your surgery date we will contact you.

    When do I need to arrive at the hospital?

    Your letter or email will ask you to come in the day of your surgery or the day before your surgery.

    If you have been asked to come in the day of your surgery, please telephone us the day before between 3.30pm and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, on 020 9382 3842 or 02 9382 3847. If your appointment is on a Monday or a public holiday, please phone on the last working day before your appointment.

    If you have been asked to come into hospital the day before surgery, please follow the instructions in the letter or email we sent you.

    When you phone us, we will let you know what time you need to arrive.

    Do I need to fast?

    When you phone us we will let you know what time you need to arrive and when you need to start fasting. Fasting means you have to stop eating and drinking completely. This includes all types of food (even lollies and chewing gum) and all drinks (even tea, coffee and water).  We will also let you know what medicine you should take, or stop taking, before your surgery.

    What do I need to bring?

    Please bring:

    • Current Medicare card or Veteran Affairs card
    • Health Care card, Pensioner Concession card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Care card
    • Insurer details (eg workers compensation, public liability or third party).
    • Your Private Health Fund Membership card if you are currently insured with a private health fund
    • Any test results, X-rays or reports relating to your current medical condition.
    • Medicines you are taking, or bring an up-to-date medicine list if you have one.
    • If you are staying overnight, please bring sleepwear, toiletries and medicines.
    • You may have to wait a long time before your surgery so we recommend that you bring reading material with you.
    • Please remove nail polish and shellac.
    • You are welcome to bring a relative or friend with you. Please do not bring children.

    Please do not bring jewellery including body piercings, valuables or large amounts of money. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to your property.

    Can I drive myself home?

    If you have been given any type of anaesthetic or sedation you must not drive a car or operate complex machinery for 24 hours.

    If you are going home on the day of your surgery you will need to be taken home by a responsible adult who should stay with you for the first night. Please arrange this.

    If you are going home the day after your surgery, please arrange for a responsible adult to pick you up from the hospital around 10.00 am.

    Physiotherapy helps to restore your movement and function after injury, illness or disability. It also can help reduce your risk of injury or illness in the future.

    Our Physiotherapist may meet with you or talk to you on the phone before your surgery. They will check your movement and function and show you exercises that will help:

    • Deep breathing and to prevent chest infections and pneumonia.
    • Get your body moving and functioning again after surgery.
    • Support your wound when you need to cough or move.
    • Early movement to prevent blood clots.

    This is our physiotherapy guide for patients having major abdominal (tummy) surgery.  The exercises in this guide are also useful for patients who are having other types of surgery.

    Watch this video regarding what exercises we will encourage before and after your surgery. 

    This video is a product of Prince of Wales Hospital and was funded by the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation.

    On the day of your surgery you will usually come to the Admissions Department to book in. Our clerks will go through the paperwork with you before showing you to our waiting room. A nurse will then come and talk to you.

    Please tell the nurse if:

    • Your medical condition has changed. For example, if you have the flu or if you have been in hospital recently
    • There has been a recent change in your medicines
    • You have diabetes
    • You have taken aspirin or medicine like aspirin (for example Nurofen) in the last 7 days
    • You have taken herbal or ‘natural’ medicine, or non-prescription drugs in the last 2 weeks

    If you are going home on the day of your surgery, you will need to be taken home by a responsible adult who should stay with you for the first night.

    If you are going home the day after your surgery, please arrange for a responsible adult to pick you up from the hospital around 10am.

    You must not drive a car or operate complex machinery for 24 hours after your surgery.

    When the doctor says you can go home you will be given:

    • all the medicines your doctor prescribed or a script for your medicines.
    • a letter to give to your GP (local doctor)
    • a follow-up appointment
    • all your belongings you came with including any scans and x-rays

    The nurse will talk to you about:

    • your pain medicine
    • wound dressing(s)
    • what activity you can and cannot do over the next few days
    • what you can eat
    • toileting

    The nurse will answer any questions you have.

    After you have had your surgery and returned home and you experience any bleeding, high temperature, vomiting, moderate to severe pain please contact your general practitioner (GP) or go to your nearest Emergency Department.  

    If you have any questions or other concerns post procedure, please contact the Perioperative Unit on 9382 3840 between 7.00am – 8.00pm, Monday to Friday.

    Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.

    We are a teaching hospital and you may be asked to be involved in research or for a student to be present at your appointment. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will no impact in any way on the services we will provide.