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Day Surgery

What is Day Surgery?

Day Surgery is a way of allowing patients to undergo certain surgical procedures while minimising the time spent away from home, family and work. You will be admitted and discharged on the same day. This is possible due to advanced surgical techniques and anaesthetic management, allowing you to recover quickly with minimal pain and other unpleasant side effects that were common in the past.

Many operations in the following Surgical Specialities can be performed as Day Procedures:

  • Orthopaedics
  • Gynaecology
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Some general surgery operations

Many of these employ specialty techniques referred to as Minimally Invasive or Key Hole Surgery. Day surgery can occur in both independent day hospitals or within day surgery sections of larger inpatient hospitals

Who decides whether your planned operation is suitable as a Day Patient?

Generally, your Surgeon will advise you. Many factors need to be considered, not just the operation type.

Other considerations include:

  • Your general health – more serious medical problems may be best dealt with as an inpatient
  • Your domestic situation – who is at home with you and the physical characteristics of your home
  • Previous history of surgery and anaesthesia – if you have had problems with anaesthetic or surgery such as severe nausea, your management may be best dealt with as an inpatient
  • Ability to arrange appropriate post procedural supervision – if you do not have a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you until the next morning you may be best dealt with as an inpatient where this can be provided.

These types of issues will be discussed with you prior to surgery and you should raise any concerns or questions at this time.

What type of Anaesthetic will I get for the surgery?

A specialist Anaesthetist will see your prior to the operation. This will often be just before the operation. The Anaesthetist will assess your general health and your history relating to any previous anaesthetics. It is during this consultation you will find out what type of Anaesthesia is suitable for your planned operation. Generally this will fall into one (or more) of the following categories:

  • General Anaesthetic
  • Epidural or Spinal Anaesthetic
  • Regional Anaesthetic, and
  • Sedation or Twilight Sleep

You should discuss any aspects of the Anaesthetic management with your Anaesthetist at this time.

What is required from you?

You will usually be contacted by the day surgery team before your booked surgery date. Many details will have been covered, but below is a list of some information that will make the process more efficient:

  • Bring a list of medications and allergies – your General Practitioner can sometimes provide this.
  • Bring test results, X-rays and scans. Generally only those relevant to the surgical problem you have are relevant. However, if you have complex or chronic heart and/or lung problems any scans or results relevant to that should be brought along with you.
  • Ensure you understand and follow the fasting instructions provided to you by your surgeon and the hospital. This is generally six hours of fasting from all food and fluid including water. If you have any questions about this please contact our office.
  • Most regular medications including cardiac and respiratory medicines should be taken on the day of surgery as per your usual doctor’s instructions. Some diabetic medication and some blood thinning medications are exceptions to this rule. If you are unsure, please call the day surgery team, your surgeons office or contact our office for clarification.
  • Allow yourself enough time to get to the facility so that you are as relaxed as possible when you get there – this is a stressful time for most patients.

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your day surgery procedure, it is best to ask either your surgeon, your anaesthetist or the day surgery team. We have heard most problems previously and have solutions for everything – we are all here to help.

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