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General Surgery

Our Theatres teams carry out a range of planned and emergency operations at Furness General Hospital and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, as well as some planned operations at Westmorland General Hospital.

If you are coming into one of our hospitals for day surgery or a planned operation, your appointment letter will tell you where to come, what to bring and anything you need to do beforehand.

If you are having a general or spinal anaesthetic or having sedation, please follow these instructions:

Morning operation - admission time 7.30 am

  • To reduce the risk of complications from the general anaesthetic you should not eat for six hours before your arrival time. This includes chewing gum and sweets, and drinks containing milk
  • In order to aid your recovery we suggest that you have a drink of water before 6.30am and take any regular medication at this time unless advised otherwise

Afternoon operation - admission time 12 noon

  •  You should have a light breakfast (for example cereal or a slice of toast) no later than 7.30am
  • We advise you drink water between 7.30am and 10.30am to aid your recovery
  • You should take any regular medication as usual on the morning of your operation, unless advised otherwise.

If you take any medication this should have been discussed with you beforehand, but if you have any questions please call the pre-operative assessment team.

If you are NOT having a general anaesthetic then please only have a light breakfast (e.g. a slice of toast) / lunch (e.g. a sandwich) prior to arrival.

You can continue drinking all non-alcoholic fluids up to your admission.

Please bathe on the day of your operation and remove all jewellery.

Please report to the department reception desk where indicated on your letter. A registered nurse will be allocated to coordinate your nursing care throughout your stay.

You will be asked for any relevant personal information, including contact details in case of an emergency. You will also be required to wear an identity bracelet at all times.

You will meet the surgeon and the anaesthetist prior to your surgery. You will find that you are asked the same question more than once; this is all part of a careful checking system.

As operating sessions normally run between approx. 8.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 5.30pm, you may have to wait for some time for your operation. The time given in your letter is the time of your admission; it does not mean your surgery will be straight after this as you may not be the only person having surgery for that session. Your named nurse for that day will keep you updated as to the time of your operation.

You’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown. You can also wear your slippers and dressing gown, as you may be able to walk to theatre or go in a wheel chair rather than on a trolley.

Occasionally you may need a needle connected to a drip which will be inserted into your hand, allowing fluids, nourishment and medicine to be given during your recovery.

If you have had a general anaesthetic or sedation, you will wake in the recovery area and then be taken back to the ward. Some degree of soreness and drowsiness is expected.

We will do our utmost for your surgery to go ahead on the day planned, but there may be instances when there may be last minute cancellations.

See our Inpatients page for more details

5 steps to safer surgery

In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a Global Patient Safety Challenge, ‘Safe Surgery Saves Lives’, to help improve the safety of surgery across the world.

Part of this work is the Surgical Safety Checklist – a core set of safety checks identified for improving performance at critical time points within the patient’s journey.

Using the five step approach to safer surgery can lead to significant improvements in outcomes for patients, as well a more efficient working environment for staff.

The below video explains more about the Safer Surgery Checklist