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On the day

What to expect on the day of your surgery.

Before your operation

When you go into hospital, your surgeon and anaesthetist will explain exactly what they are going to do.

A nurse may shave the area over the operation site.

A nurse or physiotherapist will teach you breathing and leg exercises. These help to prevent chest infections and blood clots after surgery.

Learning breathing and leg exercises

Breathing exercises help to stop you from getting a chest infection. If you smoke, it helps if you can stop at least a few weeks before your operation.

Leg exercises help to stop blood clots forming in your legs. You might also have medicines to stop the blood from clotting. You have them as small injections under the skin.

You start the injections before your operation. You might also wear compression stockings.

Your nurse and physiotherapist will get you up out of bed quite quickly after your surgery. This is to help prevent chest infections and blood clots forming.

This 3-minute video shows you how to do the breathing and leg exercises.

A few hours before

Your nurse will check your blood pressure, pulse and breathing rate.

Just before your operation you:
  • might need to stop eating for about 6 hours beforehand, but you can still drink clear fluids up to 2 hours beforehand
  • change into a hospital gown
  • take off any jewellery (except for a wedding ring)
  • remove your contact lenses

Your nurse might give you a tablet or an injection to help you relax. This will be an hour or so before you go to the operating theatre. This makes your mouth feel dry. But you can rinse your mouth with water to keep it moist. Your nurse will take you to the operating theatre on a trolley.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.