What happens before the surgery?

Before your surgery, your urologist and specialist nurse will explain the operation to you. They will tell you what to expect after the surgery. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about the operation. You can also tell your doctor about any medications you are taking.

It’s important to discuss the operation fully with your surgeon beforehand so that you understand what it involves. Remember, no operation or procedure will be done without your consent.

Usually, you will have a pre-operative assessment at an outpatient clinic a few days before the operation. You will have a medical examination to check your general health. This will include a blood test and sometimes a tracing of your heart (ECG) and a chest x-ray. This is to make sure that you’re fit enough to have an anaesthetic. The anaesthetist will also see you to explain about the anaesthetic.

You usually go into hospital on the day of your operation. Most people have a general anaesthetic for their surgery, but some people have the operation done under a spinal anaesthetic.

For a spinal anaesthetic, the doctor injects an anaesthetic drug through a needle into the back. This numbs the nerves from the waist down. Although you’re awake during the operation, you won’t feel anything. If you are having a spinal anaesthetic, you may also have a sedative to help you relax.

Back to Surgery explained

Who might I meet?

A team of specialists will plan your surgery. This will include a surgeon who specialises in your type of cancer.