What happens before the surgery?

Your surgeon or nurse will explain the operation and talk to you about what to expect afterwards. This is a good time to ask any questions you have about the operation.

Usually, you go to a pre-assessment clinic a few days before the operation. You will have a medical examination to check your general health. You will have a blood test and may also have a tracing of your heart (ECG) and a chest x-ray. Some people also have further tests to make sure they are fit enough to have the surgery. The anaesthetist will also see you to explain about the anaesthetic.

If you think that you might have problems when you go home (for example, if you live alone), tell your nurse or social worker. You should do this before your operation so that they have time to organise any help you will need.

You will usually be admitted to hospital the day before your surgery. This is so the doctors and nurses can do any further tests and prepare you for the surgery. Some hospitals make sure that all the tests and preparations for surgery are done beforehand. In this case, you will go into hospital on the day of your surgery.

Some hospitals use a programme called Enhanced Recovery. This helps to you prepare for surgery and recover sooner after surgery. Your surgeon or specialist nurse will explain more about this and if it is suitable for you.

Because part of your bowel is used for a urinary diversion, you may need a clear bowel for the surgery. Your doctor or nurse will give you any instructions you need about this before surgery. You may be asked to follow a special diet for a few days and take a laxative. Some people have an enema, where medicine is given into the back passage to help empty their bowel. This is usually given the evening before the operation.

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