Day Surgery Centre - Your day case operation

Information for patients

Theatres and Anaesthetics


We look forward to welcoming you to the Day Surgery Centre and we will make every effort to make your visit as comfortable and as pleasant as possible. This information aims to put you at ease and to answer any questions you may have.

After reading the information, please do not hesitate to talk to us should you feel concerned in any way.

If you wish to talk to us before the day of your admission, please call is on 01709 424585, 01709 424565 or 01709 424566 to speak to someone in the Pre-admissions Centre.

Pre-operative assessment

Before your operation you will have a pre-operative assessment. This is to ask you some questions about your health to check you are fit for surgery and to go home on the same day.

Some tests and investigations may also be done at your pre-operative assessment.

Household arrangements

You may be away from home for the whole day. When you are discharged home you will need a responsible adult at home who is able to take care of you after your operation.

If you have a dependant relative or child who needs you at home, please make alternative care arrangements for at least 48 hours after your operation.

Please telephone the pre-operative assessment team if:

  • You need advice about your admission
  • You need to cancel or postpone your surgery before the day

Pre-operative assessment 

Telephone 01709 424566 or 01709 424585.

If you are phoning to cancel or postpone your surgery, please do not contact the Day Surgery Centre or Theatres Admission Unit unless it is the day of your surgery. Please contact pre-operative assessment on the numbers above.

Being prepared

  • If you smoke, you should stop at least 24 hours before your operation. You will not be able to smoke in the hospital or its grounds. This includes e-cigarettes.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours before your operation.
  • If you can take simple pain medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, please ensure that you have these at home to take after your surgery. If you need any stronger pain medication, the hospital will supply this for you.
  • Please remember to stop any medication that Pre-operative assessment advised you to.
  • Please continue to take your usual medicines if you have not been advised to stop them. These can be taken with a small glass of water.
  • You may need to take some time off work following your operation. This will be discussed with you at discharge. If you need a sickness certificate, please tell the nurse and surgeon on your admission.

Do I need to starve?

If you are having an operation that requires you have a general anaesthetic, regional anaesthetic, spinal anaesthetic or any sedation you will need to starve/fast (be nil by mouth). This means nothing to eat or drink. 

It is important to fast before an anaesthetic so that your stomach is empty of food and drink before your operation. If there is food or drink in your stomach during your anaesthetic it may come up into the back of your throat and into your lungs which could damage them or make you very unwell.

If you do not follow your starving instructions, your operation will be cancelled.

Starving instructions

Morning operations (7.15am admission)

Nothing to eat after 2am, this includes food, milk, sweets and fizzy drinks. You are encouraged to drink water or clear fluids before your operation. Please do not drink after 6am but you can have sips of water until you are admitted.

Afternoon operations (11.30am admission)

Nothing to eat after 7am, this includes food, milk, sweets and fizzy drinks. You are encouraged to drink water or clear fluids before your operation. Please do not drink after 6am but you can have sips of water until you are admitted.

On the day of surgery

  • Please do not smoke 24 hours before your operation. This will help avoid breathing problems during your anaesthetic. This includes e-cigarettes. 
  • If you are taking medicines, you should continue to take them as usual, unless your pre-operative assessment nurse has asked you not to. If you take drugs to stop you getting blood clots (anticoagulants) or drugs for diabetes you will need specific instructions. You may take your tablets with a small glass of water. 
  • You should remove all nail varnish, false nails, tongue and any body piercings. 
  • Have a bath or a shower before you come into hospital.
  • Make sure you follow your starving instructions as given in this booklet.
  • Do not suck sweets.
  • Please do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before your operation.

If you are unsure about how to prepare for your surgery, please call your pre-operative assessment nurse, or you may risk your surgery being cancelled.

What do I bring into hospital?

  • You will need a dressing gown and a pair of slippers.
  • Please remove and leave all jewellery and body piercings at home. You do not need to remove your wedding ring unless having surgery on that hand or arm, but it will need to be covered with tape. If you have been unable to remove your piercings please inform us on your admission. However if you are undergoing hand surgery you will be asked to remove all jewellery on that arm.
  • Please bring your CPAP machine for sleep apnoea if you have one.
  • Please bring in all of your regular medications including drugs, inhalers, GTN spray etc. even if you haven’t used them for a long time. Please check that they have not passed their expiry date.
  • Please do not wear make-up, including mascara or lash extensions.
  • Remove any nail varnish and/or false nails before you come into hospital. 
  • Please bring hearing aids and glasses if you require them, preferably do not bring contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses you will need to remove them before you have your anaesthetic.
  • Any mobility aids that you need.
  • You may wish to bring a book or magazine with you.
  • Please make sure you bring in contact numbers of your relatives, carers and transport.

What will happen on the day of my operation?

You will be admitted to either Day Surgery Centre (DSC) or the Theatre Admissions Unit (TAU). You will be informed of which department to attend at your pre-operative assessment or by the scheduler when your operation date is confirmed.

Please note that the time you are asked to arrive is not necessarily the time at which you will have your operation.

Once you arrive at the Day Surgery Centre or Theatre Admissions Unit please report to the reception desk where you will be welcomed to the unit, your details will be checked and you will be admitted to the unit.

You will be asked to change into a theatre gown and to put on your dressing gown and slippers. You are allowed to have sips of water until you are collected for theatre unless you are told you are not allowed to.

A nurse will record your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. It may be necessary to take some further blood samples or send you for different tests.

A surgeon will discuss your operation with you and complete the consent form unless completed already. It may also be necessary to mark your skin with a marker pen to identify the operation site.

If you are having a General anaesthetic, spinal or regional anaesthetic, you will also see an Anaesthetist who will discuss your general health with you and assess whether you are fit enough to have an anaesthetic. Please refer to the ‘You and your anaesthetic’ leaflet for more detail about anaesthetics.

If you are female and aged between 12 and 55 you will be asked permission for a pregnancy test to be taken prior to your surgery. This is usually a urine test but may need to be a blood test. If you know you are pregnant before your admission please tell us.

Single sex accommodation

The day surgery unit is divided into male and female seated waiting areas and also has a limited number of consulting rooms where patients can wait until it is time to go to Theatre. Some patients for day surgery are admitted via Theatres Admission Unit. 

The day surgery ward is divided into male and female areas and does not have any cubicles but does have curtains around each bed space to maintain privacy as needed. 

If you have a preference of where you would like to wait please mention this to the nurse who admits you. 

Recovering from your anaesthetic

Once your operation is over, you will be taken to a recovery area near the operating theatre, where you will be closely monitored until you are awake. When you wake up you will be breathing oxygen through a clear mask - don’t be alarmed everyone gets this after an anaesthetic.

You may feel drowsy, this is normal and will pass. You will be left to rest for a short time. We may have to do some checks to make sure you are recovering safely but will try not to disturb you unnecessarily.

If you have had a spinal anaesthetic or regional anaesthetic you may be taken directly to the day surgery ward in Day Surgery Centre as soon as your surgery is complete instead of theatre recovery.

Later on

Once you are awake and the team are happy with your recovery you will be offered a light snack and a drink. Once you have eaten, you will be moved to the recovery lounge where the nursing staff will begin to prepare your discharge information. 

Please note that for some procedures you may be in the Day Surgery Centre for most of the day.

When we discharge you, we do this with your relative or carer. This is to ensure you retain all the information we give you. If for any reason you wish to be discharged alone - please tell the nurse.

Back at home

  • Following general anaesthetic or sedation, you may feel wide awake but you may still be under the influence of the drugs used for at least 24 hours. Your reactions will be slower, your concentration and co-ordination may be affected, and you may suddenly feel light-headed or faint.
  • It is essential you rest after your operation, and you may feel tired for up to a week.
  • Do not operate any machinery (even kettles and cookers), or drive for 24 hours after your discharge - the anaesthetic may leave you with a slightly impaired judgement which you may not be aware of.
  • Do not make any important decisions while you may be under the influence of anaesthetic drugs or strong pain killers.
  • Eat and drink as you wish (unless otherwise advised), but avoid alcohol and cigarettes for at least 24 hours.
  • If you are unable to sleep at all, try doing something else.
  • If you have a bath or a shower, leave the bathroom door unlocked, so that whoever is looking after you can help you if you feel dizzy.
  • Please follow any additional advice you may have been given at the Day Surgery Centre. Particularly any advice specific to your operation.

If you are at all worried about your condition, telephone the Day Surgery Centre on 01709 426500 and ask to speak to a nurse - between the hours of 8am and 8pm. 

After 8pm please contact the second contact number which can be found on your discharge letter.

Overnight admissions

On very rare occasions, patients may need to be transferred to a ward for an overnight stay.

When this happens it is usually due to:

  • More complicated surgery than originally planned
  • Some patients making a slower recovery than expected

We will ensure that your contact/relative is kept informed.

Help us to help you

Whilst nobody would describe a stay in hospital as enjoyable, we hope to make your admission as pleasant as possible. If you have any comments or suggestions on our service please let us know. 

Either contact the Patient Experience Team or the Day Surgery Centre and ask to speak to the nurse in charge.

Checklist before leaving home

  • I’ve arranged someone to collect me from the Day Surgery Centre later on
  • Telephone number of the person collecting me
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Have a bath or a shower
  • Nothing to eat or drink (including sweets)
  • No make up including mascara and lash extensions 
  • No nail varnish on fingers or toes and all gels and artificial nails removed
  • Removed all jewellery and any body piercings
  • Bring any medicines of any sort, even if not used for a while (including inhalers, GTN sprays that you use)
  • Bring your CPAP machine for sleep apnoea if you have one
  • Any mobility aids that you need
  • Hearing aids and glasses if you require them. If you wear contact lenses you will need to remove them before you have your anaesthetic.
  • A supply of painkillers
  • Book or magazine to read
  • No valuables


Anaesthetist - The doctor in charge of your pain relief and anaesthetic.

General anaesthetic - Makes you asleep for the operation.

Regional anaesthetic - Numbs the area being operated on.

Spinal anaesthetic - Makes you numb from the waist down.

How to contact us

Pre Admission Centre 

01709 424565
01709 424585

Day Surgery Centre Reception

01709 426500

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  • Page last reviewed: 21 January 2023
  • Next review due: 21 January 2024