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Articles of relevance to day and short-stay surgery.

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Getting Yourself Ready

There are a number of common issues that can lead to a delay in surgery and may increase your risks of suffering complications. These are issues that you may be able to improve yourself.


Your weight is a very important factor in planning for your surgery, and in your recovery afterwards. Medical professionals use something called Body Mass Index (BMI) to help assess whether or not a person's weight is healthy.

There are many online BMI calculators such as this one provided by the NHS:

Simply type in your height and weight, and it will do the rest.

Alternatively you can work it out yourself using this formula: BMI = W/(H x H) where W is weight in kilograms and H is height in metres. For example, if your weight is 90 Kg and your height is 1.8 m, then your BMI is: 90 divided by (1.8 x 1.8) = 28

If you are overweight, try to reduce your weight as much as you can, ideally so that your BMI is lower than 30.


Smoking significantly affects your breathing so try to give up several weeks before your planned surgery date - the earlier the better. If you can't give up completely, try to cut down. The less you smoke the smaller your risk of breathing problems during or after your surgery.

If you want stop, or at least reduce, your smoking you can find useful information here:


Feeling anxious about coming into hospital or having surgery is quite normal and natural, but it can have unwanted effect, such as increasing your blood pressure.

Some people find techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga or breathing exercises can relieve anxiety and help them to prepare better for surgery. If you are very anxious, then speak to your GP or specialist as soon as you can, so that they can help you.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions and Medication

Everyone involved in your care needs to be fully aware of your medical history so that, where appropriate, they can tailor your treatment to suit you and your individual needs. Any long term medical condition you might have should be discussed with your GP or at your specialist's outpatient clinic, and you should ask for a check up. You should make sure to tell the medical staff about this when you attend for preoperative assessment.

Likewise, if you are on any long-term medication or dietary supplements (such as vitamins, glucosamine, fish oil or herbal products), you should discuss this with your GP or at outpatients' clinic to check whether any change to your medication is advisable before your surgery.

Make sure you have a supply of suitable pain killers at home for after your surgery. Hospitals vary in what and how much they are able to give you to take home. Over-the-counter preparations such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are very effective if taken properly.