Before you go for your operation you will have a series of investigations, including:
• Observations: Your blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate and temperature will be recorded. Also your height and weight.
• Echo: This is where your heart is scanned to provide information for the medical staff. This can take a bit of time, so chill out for awhile.
• Chest X-Ray: Usually done in the x-ray department, to provide information about the size of your heart and the blood flow through the lungs.
• Blood Tests: OK, no one likes blood tests, but they are sometimes necessary. If you want, your nurse can put on some local anaesthetic cream to stop it hurting.
• ECG: This provides information on the electrical function of the heart.
Before you go to theatre
• Fasting: If you are going to have a general anaesthetic you will be “fasted” before you go. That means nothing to eat or drink. Your nurse will discuss times with you.
• Premed: Medication can be prescribed by the anaesthetist about an hour before you go, this can relax or even sedate you before you go.
Transfer to theatre
Someone from theatre will come with a trolley to collect you. Your nurse will come with you and stay with you until you are asleep. Our anaesthetists allow parents to stay with you until you are asleep.
After the operation is completed you will usually be taken to the intensive care unit. The unit is full of medical equipment and can appear a little overwhelming, but it is all essential to assist the nursing and medical staff to monitor your condition. Each patient in the unit has one nurse. That nurse is responsible for monitoring your condition. Also involved will be teams of surgical and medical personnel.