If you are having surgery

Preparing for your day surgery

It is important to plan carefully to ensure that your day surgery goes smoothly.
Please inform your consultant's secretary as soon as possible if:
  • you develop a cold, sore throat or any other illness

  • you know you are pregnant or think you might be

  • you will be unable to come in for any other reason

Please inform us on 01634 825020 if you are extremely overweight or have a long-standing medical condition such as heart disease, lung disease or very high blood pressure. You may need to be pre-assessed prior to admission.
Please make sure that you have a friend or relative who can accompany you home after your operation. Remember that you will not be able to go home alone and that, following a general anaesthetic, you will not be able to drive for 48 hours. When you are planning your journey home, please remember that public transport is not suitable. We suggest that you use either private transport or a taxi.
Following your operation, you will need easy access to a toilet and telephone. Please inform the centre if you foresee any difficulties.
You must make sure that you have someone to stay with you during the evening and night following your operation.
Remember that the time taken to resume normal activities following your operation will vary depending on what you have had done. Operations on the hands or any part of the leg, including a hernia repair, may limit your mobility and prevent you from driving for many days.

What to Bring

Beyond the items listed in the Before your appointment page, you may also want to bring something to read or keep you occupied while you are waiting.

Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Do not wear tight clothing, particularly if you are having a knee operation. You may bring your own dressing gown and slippers if you prefer.

Please do not bring:

  • large amounts of cash
  • valuables
  • jewellery

The Trust cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to your personal property.

On the day

Before you come in to the Sunderland Day Case Centre, please bath or shower and remove all nail varnish, makeup and jewellery. Please take any prescribed medication. A very small quantity of water can be taken with tablets. If you are unsure or have any problems, please ring the centre to seek advice. You will be asked to come in to the centre at either 8am or 1pm. Please come to the reception desk in the centre where staff will check your details. If you have changed your GP recently, please inform the staff.
Following your arrival, you will be allocated a bed space. Each bed space has its own clothes locker, easy chair and curtain screen. The ward area accommodates both men and women. If you have any concerns about mixed accommodation, please contact the centre. Children are admitted to a separate ward area.

Eating and drinking

It is very important that you follow the instructions you're given about eating and drinking if you are going to have a general anaesthetic. These instructions are for your own safety and if you fail to follow them, your operation may be cancelled.

Morning appointment

Please do not eat anything after midnight the night before your operation. You may drink tea, coffee or squash but not milk or alcohol so long as you finish drinking before 6am. You must not eat sweets or chew gum.

Afternoon appointment

You may have a light breakfast such as tea and toast before 9am. You may drink tea, coffee or squash but not milk or alcohol so long as you finish drinking before 11am. You must not eat sweets or chew gum.

Your operation

In the ward, nursing staff will weigh you, take your pulse and blood pressure and ask you questions about your health. Some patients may have attended a pre-assessment clinic before coming into the Sunderland Day Case Centre but most patients will be assessed on admission. Medical staff will then see you to make sure that your details are correct before they start the operating session.
Usually there will be a short time to wait before your operation. Unfortunately, some patients will have to wait longer for their operation than others, but in the interests of safety and efficiency, this is unavoidable. 
When it is time for your operation, a nurse will ask you to change into a gown and to get onto a trolley. The trolley will then be wheeled to the anaesthetic room. In the anaesthetic room, you will be given an injection into the hand or arm which will either send you to sleep or, if you are having a local anaesthetic, freeze the area to be operated on.

Consent to operation

Before you have your operation, you will be asked to sign a consent form. The doctor will discuss your operation with you before you sign the form. Please remember to raise any concerns you have about your operation during your discussion with the doctor.


The Sunderland Day Case Centre has some doctors and nurses who are completing their training. We hope you will agree to be seen by these students. You do, however, have the right to refuse to be seen by students and this will not affect your treatment in any way.

After your operation

Once you are awake, you will be returned to the ward. When you are more alert, you will be offered some light refreshments.
When you are fully recovered, you will be discharged home. If you have had a general anaesthetic, the minimum time before discharge will be about two hours. Patients who have had a local anaesthetic may be well enough to leave sooner. The nurse looking after you will inform you of what to expect over the next few days and will give you some information about your operation and appropriate after care. You will be given any pain killing tablets that you may need together with a letter for your doctor.
Most patients are discharged after a few hours' rest, but if for some reason you are not fit to go home, arrangements will be made for you to be admitted to a ward in the hospital.

If you have had a general anaesthetic, remember:

  • drugs remain in your body for up to 48 hours
  • you must be accompanied home by an adult
  • please try to rest for 24 to 48 hours
  • you must not operate machinery or drive a car for 48 hours
  • avoid alcohol
  • drink plenty of fluids and eat a light diet
  • take things easy
  • do not make any important decisions for 48 hours.