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Preparing for your surgery will depend on whether you are having your operation under a local or a general anaesthetic. You will be told which type of anaesthetic you need before the day of your operation and what you should do regarding your medication and fasting.

If you are having a local anaesthetic:

  • you can continue to eat and drink as normal and should take any medications as usual before your operation, unless told otherwise by the nurse or midwife at your pre-assessment appointment.
  • you will wear your own clothes during your operation, but please wear a button-fastening top such as a shirt or blouse.
  • we recommend bringing a new or freshly laundered pair of slippers to wear in a theatre.

If you are having a general anaesthetic:

  • you must not eat after midnight on the night before your operation.
  • you may drink clear still water only, up until 6.00 am and nothing after that.
  • you should not chew chewing gum whilst fasting.
  • you will need to change into a theatre gown prior to surgery so you might want to bring a dressing gown with you.
  • you may want to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your mouth fresh while fasting. If you wear dentures, you might be asked to remove them just before going to theatre.

Whether you are having a local or a general anaesthetic, we ask that you:

  • bring all of your medications with you on the day of your operation.
  • bring a small toiletries bag if you would like to freshen up after your operation.
  • leave any valuables at home.
  • do not wear nail varnish, makeup or jewellery, except for your wedding ring, if you wear one.
  • wear flat shoes.
  • please bring only one friend or relative with you on the day of your operation, as there is limited space.

We also recommend that you:

  • bathe and wash your hair the day before your operation, as you might be unable to do so for the first few days after surgery.
  • ensure you have enough food and essentials to last a couple of days at home in case you do not feel like shopping.

Overnight patients

If you have been told that you will need to stay in overnight, we suggest you bring the following items with you:

  • pyjamas or nightdress, dressing gown and slippers.
  • handkerchiefs and toiletries, for example towels, flannel, soap, toothbrush and paste, hairbrush, or comb.

When in hospital these items should be kept in your locker. Any items left in communal wash areas will be thrown away.

If you prefer, you are able to wear your day clothes during your stay in hospital.