Do not bring any valuables with you. This includes mobile phones, jewellery (including watches) and wallets.
If you are staying overnight, please bring a small bag with 1–2 items of sleepwear and your toiletries. Arrange for a friend or family member to bring extra sleepwear, dressing gown, slippers etc. after the surgery. There is no storage available for large bags in the Preadmission area.
If you wear glasses, bring a case for them.
If you wear a hearing aid, please bring it with you and a spare battery.
If your child is having surgery, it is helpful to bring their favourite toy or book.
What do I need to know before my child’s operation?
What is an anaesthetist?
An anaesthetist is a doctor who has special training to look after your child before, during and after surgery. They see patients before their operation to get them ready for their surgery.
The anaesthetist will talk to you about the best type of anaesthetic for your child and the surgery your child is having.
The anaesthetist will stay with your child and monitor them during their surgery and while they are in the recovery room. Anaesthetists are actively involved in managing any pain your child will have after an operation.
What should I tell my child’s anaesthetist?
Your child’s anaesthetist needs to know about your child’s health and medical history so they can plan their anaesthetic. You should tell the anaesthetist about any: 1. Significant illnesses such as asthma, heart problems, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, epilepsy, cerebral palsy etc. 2. Problems your child or any other family member/s has/have had with an anaesthetic in the past. 3. Allergies to drugs, medicines or adhesive tapes. 4. Other information about your child you think might be important, such as loose teeth, cough/cold, growth or learning delays, feeding difficulties etc. 5. Medications your child is taking.
Types of anaesthetics
Different anaesthetics are suitable for different kinds of operations. The anaesthetist will talk with you about the best one for your child’s surgery.
General anaesthesia is a state of deep and controlled sleep induced by medications given by an anaesthetist. Your child’s anaesthetist may place a small drip into your child’s hand/arm and inject medicine that will put your child to sleep. The anaesthetist will be with your child during the operation, monitoring their condition closely while they are asleep and as they wake. Your child should not feel pain during the surgery.
The anaesthetist will inject local anaesthetic into the nerves that supply an arm or leg to make them completely numb. Your child will be asleep when this happens. For some operations that require a general anaesthetic, a nerve block or local anaesthetic may be also given to reduce the amount of pain felt after the operation.
This anaesthetic will numb just the area that needs minor surgery. The anaesthetic is injected into the skin.
Intravenous means that the medicine will go directly into your child’s veins through a drip. The sedation will make your child sleep. This method is used for minor procedures and can sometimes help your child before their operation.
Epidural and spinal anaesthesia
This type of anaesthetic is rarely used in children and only for specific surgical procedures. The anaesthetist will inject the medication to block feeling to a particular part of the body. It is still possible to feel touch and pressure but not pain.
What do I need to do before my child’s operation?
Please fill out your child’s health questionnaire with your most up to date information. From this information we will be able to see if your child need an appointment with the nursing staff in the Preadmission Clinic, before their operation.
Please follow any special instructions for your child for surgery, especially with regard to eating and drinking before surgery. Your child can have their normal medication/s before their operation, unless you are given special instructions by the preadmission nursing staff, anaesthetist or their surgical doctor.
If your child develops a cold, or any other infection, in the week before their operation, please let the preadmission nurse know by calling 4215 1627.
If your child is going home on the same day as their operation, please make sure that there is someone to stay with your child for 24 hours.
What risks are involved?
There are risks involved with all anaesthetics and surgery. Your child’s anaesthetist will answer any questions you may have, before the operation.
Can I go to the operating theatre with my child?
If you choose, you can go with your child while they are ‘checked in’ before their operation. You may be able to stay with your child until they are asleep, but will then need to leave the operating theatre. You will be allowed to be with your child in the recovery room once they have woken after their operation.
Please feel free to ask your child’s anaesthetist any questions about the anaesthetic.
For more information about anaesthetics, please phone the Preadmissions clinic on 4215 1627.
An anaesthetist is a doctor who has specialised training to look after patients before, during and after surgery. They see patients with medical conditions before their operation to get them medically ready for their surgery.
The anaesthetist will talk to you about the best type of anaesthetic for you and the surgery you are having.
Your anaesthetist will stay with you and monitor you during your surgery and while you are in the recovery room. Anaesthetists are actively involved in the management of pain after your operation.
What should I tell my anaesthetist?
Your anaesthetist needs to know how healthy you are so they can plan your anaesthetic.
You should tell your anaesthetist:
If you have any major medical conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, etc
If you have had any problems with anaesthetics before
Any allergies to drugs, medicines or adhesive tapes
If you have any loose teeth, caps or crowns
If you smoke and/or drink alcohol and how much
Any medications you are taking
If you have indigestion or stomach acid reflux
What is an anaesthetic and what sort of anaesthetic might I have?
Anaesthesia is a state of deep and controlled sleep induced by medications given by an anaesthetist. Your anaesthetist will place a small drip into your arm and inject medicine that will put you to sleep. You should not feel pain during the surgery.
Epidural and spinal anaesthesia
This anaesthetic involves injecting a medication into your back to the nerves that supply a specific part of your body. You may still feel touch and pressure, but you will not feel any pain. When this type of anaesthetic is used, you may be given a sedative medication that will make you drowsy.
A needle is used to inject local anaesthetic around the nerves that supply an arm or a leg to numb the area completely.
A drug is injected into the skin around the area to be operated on, to numb the area completely for minor surgery to small areas. For some operations that require a general anaesthetic, a nerve block or local anaesthetic may be also given to reduce the amount of pain felt after the operation.
These medications are given through a drip in your arm to make you sleep, and are used for minor procedures. They are used when the patient needs to be comfortable, but doesn’t need any of the other anaesthetics.
What do I need to do before my operation?
Please fill out your health questionnaire with your most up to date information. From this information we will be able to see if you need an appointment with the nursing staff in the Pre Admission Clinic, before your operation.
You may also be asked to come to the preadmission clinic to talk to an anaesthetist and/or resident doctor, depending on the type of operation your surgeon is planning.
You need to follow any special instructions you are given, especially those related to eating and drinking before surgery.
Keep taking your medication, unless you are given special instructions by the preadmission nursing staff, anaesthetist or your surgical doctor.
Try to keep up your normal exercise level up to the day of your surgery unless your doctor has told you not to.
Stopping smoking before your operation, lowers your risk of serious problems during and after your surgery. The more smokefree time you have before surgery, the greater the benefits to you. The latest research shows that quitting smoking 6-8 weeks before your surgery significantly reduces risk of infection or other complications. See ‘How to quit smoking before surgery’ for more information.
Please tell the preadmission nurses or the anaesthetist if you or any member of your family have had problems with anaesthetics in the past.
If you develop a cold, or any other infection, in the week before your operation, please let the preadmission nurse know by calling 4215 1627.
If you are going home on the same day as your operation, please make sure that there is someone to take you home and stay with you overnight. You must not drive a car until the day after your operation or longer, depending on the operation you have had.
What risks are involved?
There are risks involved with all anaesthetics and surgery. Your anaesthetist will answer any questions you may have, when they see you about your operation.
What are the risks from smoking?
When you have surgery, you usually have an anaesthetic drug so the operation can be performed without pain. If you are unconscious, your breathing and heart need monitoring to prevent problems. Smoking adds to the stress of surgery under anaesthesia so if you continue to smoke right up to the time you have surgery, you will be more likely to:
experience reduced oxygen supply to your heart and body during and after surgery
have difficulty breathing during and after surgery
have an increased risk of wound infection
have an increased risk of lung complications
experience slowed healing of bones, skin and wounds
experience reduced effectiveness of some pain-relieving and other drugs.
If you smoke, you are more likely to be admitted to intensive care and to need life support.
How to quit smoking before my operation?
Your surgeon and anaesthetist will talk to you about your smoking, and give you relevant information and resources.
They will likely recommend the Barwon Health Be Smoke service, which is a special clinic devoted to supporting people to quit smoking. The service is available through each of the four main Barwon Health Community Health Centres (Corio, Newcomb, Belmont, Torquay). To make an appointment simply call Information and Access on 1300 715 673
Should I take my medications before my operation?
Normal medications should be taken with a small amount of water prior to 7.00am unless you have been told by the preadmission nurses, the anaesthetist or your surgical doctor not to.
If you are a diabetic, it is important to follow any instructions you have been given.
If you are taking blood thinning medication such as Warfarin, Clopidogrel (Plavix) or Dabigatran, please follow the instructions from the preadmission nurses or the anaesthetist.
Please feel free to ask your anaesthetist any questions about your anaesthetic.
For more information about anaesthetics, please phone 4215 1627.
What if I do not have anyone to pick me up and take me home?
Please discuss this with the Preadmission nurse. We are able to arrange accommodation in an assisted living facility overnight, and you can return to your home the following day. We are able to assist with transport to this facility, but it is your responsibility to arrange transport home from there.
Whilst transport to and from appointments and admission are your responsibility, the Perioperative Service is sometimes able to arrange transport for you. If you are being discharged on the day of your surgery/procedure, you will need to have a responsible adult to accompany you home. You will not be permitted to travel by public transport, and if catching a taxi will need someone else with you. If you need help arranging transport, please contact the Perioperative Service.
If you require support to arrange transport to and from your appointment, please phone the Perioperative Service on ph 4215 1340.
For further details about transport and parking around University Hospital Geelong, click here.
If you have ticked the appropriate box on the health questionnaire, the Perioperative Nurses will phone you to determine what kind of help you may need, and will send a referral to the home referral service.
You should not have anything to eat for at least six hours prior to your surgery. This includes chewing gum and lollies.
For a morning procedure, do not eat anything (including chewing gum), from the midnight prior to admission. You may have water only (not tea/coffee/carbonated drinks) until 6am, then nothing further to drink.
For an afternoon procedure, you should have a light breakfast before 7:30am, and then water only until 11am.
If you are taking bowel preparation, you should follow the instructions provided.
If you do not follow the fasting instructions that have been given to you, your surgery will most probably be cancelled.
The anaesthetist will not give you an anaesthetic if you have not fasted. This is for your safety/health as the risks of problems during the anaesthetic are markedly increased.
If you have any questions related to fasting requirements, please contact Preadmission on 4215 1340.
When will I know which ward I will be going to postoperatively?
We often do not know which ward you will be going to when you go into theatre. This is because we are waiting for patients to be discharged before we can make this decision. If you are having day surgery, and are being admitted through the Perioperative Service, you will be discharged through the Greta Volum Centre in Bellarine Street.
Why do I have to come in for appointments before the surgery? Can these appointments be changed?
These appointments are required to ensure that you are in the best possible health prior to your surgery. Some of these appointments may be able to be changed, but some of the doctors are only available on certain days at certain times. Contact the Perioperative Service to discuss any problems you may have attending appointments.