Things to consider before you have the operation:
- After surgery you will probably need to rest for at least 7 days. Therefore, if you work, you will need at least 1 week’s leave.
- After surgery you should remain within the UK for at least 3 weeks.
- Your procedure requires a general anaesthetic, meaning that you will have to stay at least one night at the hospital. If you have children, you will need to make suitable arrangements for them to be looked after by your partner or a responsible adult.
- If you smoke, it is very important that you stop 4 weeks prior to surgery and post-operatively. This helps to improve the healing process.
- Immediately after surgery, you must not lift heavy objects. If you have small children, you will need to ensure that you have the help and support of friends and family whilst you are recovering.
- Please inform the hospital if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms prior to surgery. If you are ill, we may need to postpone your procedure.
- If your operation is booked for the morning, you should not eat or drink after midnight on the night prior. Admissions will be advised regarding this matter. If you are having your operation at Burcot Hall Hospital, a member of the hospital team will contact you via telephone 48 hours prior to your procedure to advise you of your admission time.
- Any outstanding balance will need to be paid 21 days before surgery takes place. Please ensure you have the necessary funds to do this, as last minute delays can result in your operation being postponed or even cancelled.
- You must arrange for a suitable person to take you home the morning after surgery. If you do not, your operation may be postponed or cancelled. Under no circumstances can you drive yourself home after surgery.
Our Transport Service
As you won’t be able to drive after surgery, The Hospital Group offers a transport service (at additional charge). This is a popular option, removing the need to ask a friend or family member and meaning one less thing to worry about. Please ask your Surgeon Assistant for further details.
Preparing for your operation
Four weeks before your operation
- Stop smoking, and stop using nicotine patches and nicotine chewing gums completely, as they slow down blood flow.
- If you are taking HRT or the combined contraceptive pill, stop taking it at this point, as the oestrogen in these can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They can be recommenced 2 weeks after your operation
Three weeks before your operation
- Stop taking aspirin, drinking alcohol and any vitamin E tablets (a general multivitamin & mineral supplement is fine, as discussed above), as these products dilate the blood vessels and could increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
Two weeks before your operation
- Finish any courses of antibiotics for chest/throat infections.
One week before your operation
- If you develop any medical problem at all including a cough/cold from this point onwards, please contact your Surgeon Assistant immediately.
What should I pack for my hospital stay?
- Medication, including inhalers if you use any. Remember that any oral medication needs to be converted to a liquid or soluble version, so make sure you speak to your GP about this in plenty of time
- Front fastening nightwear
- Front fastening comfortable clothes
- Comfortable footwear
- Entertainment e.g. book/magazine, iPad/tablet
All surgery carries an element of risk. Weight loss surgery procedures may be voluntarily undertaken, but that does not mean that complications will not happen.
We have listed the risks and potential complications associated with your procedure in this booklet (see Risks of surgery/potential complications and side effects), and during the consultation process your consulting practitioner and surgeon will discuss them in greater detail.
Below are three key points that we need you to understand:
- The importance of your medical history.
You must provide us with every aspect of your medical history in order for us to assess you safely. If you withhold any relevant information, then you are potentially placing your own well-being at risk and your surgery may be cancelled.
- Pre-operative screening
Following on from your consultation, some pre-operative tests and screening will be undertaken to help reduce the post-operative risks and promote a good recovery. If you are having your operation at Burcot Hall Hospital, your local clinic nurse will contact you to go through the pre-operative screening process and coordinate any tests that might be required. Some preoperative tests are routine and will be covered in the fixed price package. However, additional costs may be necessary if the surgeon requires further tests. You may need to provide blood pressure and pulse readings, along with any recent blood test results.
If you are having your operation at an ‘external’ hospital (i.e. not Burcot Hall Hospital), the nursing team at the hospital will contact you separately.
If you take anticoagulant therapy, such as clopidogrel or aspirin, you will need to discuss with your nurse at the preoperative assessment about perhaps stopping this before the surgery. You must also discuss this with your GP.
- The role of your GP
You must be registered with a GP. In some cases prior to and after surgery, it may be essential for the surgeon or clinic nurse to contact your GP or any other relevant specialist that you have previously seen for further information. We reserve the right to contact your GP at any time, should the surgeon or nurse feel that this is necessary. In the case of an emergency we would contact your GP.
On the day of surgery
You must not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. It is essential to adhere to this – failure to do so could result in your surgery being cancelled as it is potentially harmful.
Other steps to safely prepare you for the anaesthetic and surgery:
- Jewellery including body piercings must be removed (wedding rings may be covered with tape)
- Make up, nail varnish and artificial nails must be removed so nursing staff can accurately assess your skin colour whilst you are under anaesthetic
- Contact lenses, glasses, hearing aids, crowns and dentures must be removed where applicable
- Hair extensions must be removed
The nurses have several necessary tasks to perform in the period prior to your operation. They will formally admit you to the hospital, take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature and measure your height and weight. They will ask you to take a shower before putting on a gown. You will be able to use your own soap or shower gel. You should not use any perfume,
talcum powder or body lotion after you have washed as these products can interact with the antiseptic used in theatre. You will then be asking to put on anti-embolism stockings.
Your surgeon and anaesthetist will also have to see you. You may have further questions that you might wish to ask, and you will also be required read and sign a consent form. It is important that you are relatively settled prior to going into theatre. Our aim is to ensure that your wait is not too long, but as with any surgical hospital, delays can occur for any number of reasons. Emergencies may be admitted from time to time.
Rarely, and only when it is completely unavoidable, you may be kept waiting for some hours. If this happens, please feel free to enquire as to the reason, and ask the nursing staff whether you are able to have a drink of water or other clear fluids. We will always endeavour to keep you informed of any changes or delays to your operating time.
The procedure takes approximately 1 to 2 hours in theatre, and requires at least one overnight stay.
You will usually be discharged the morning after your surgery. You will only be discharged when you are deemed fit, your observations are stable and you are tolerating fluids comfortably. You will be given liquid/soluble paracetamol to take home to help manage any pain. You also need to have somebody with you on your journey home.
You will be given a discharge summary that you must take to your GP.
Two to four days after surgery, you will receive a call from one of our nurses from the outpatient nursing team. Please see Follow-up and general guidelines for life with a band for more information on follow-up. If you have any concerns, please contact our Weight Loss Surgery Support team.