The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Pre-operative assessment

All patients requiring a surgical procedure must undergo a pre-assessment to ensure fitness for anaesthetic and surgery. You may be seen by a number of our team colleagues, they may include Receptionist, Clinical Support Worker, Registered Nurse, Doctor, Anaesthetist, Cardiology Technician, Phlebotomist, to name but a few.

What is pre-assessment

The Pre-assessment Clinic is run by Registered nurses, Consultant Anaesthetists and other members of the multi disciplinary team who will take a full medical, and social history. The clinic enables us to ensure you are in the best possible health prior to your operation, as this will speed your recovery.

You can help to improve your health prior to your operation:

  • If you smoke, you could cut down or even stop smoking
  • If you are overweight, you could try to lose some weight
  • If you drink a lot of alcohol, you could try and reduce the amount you drink
  • If you are physically able, you could take some light exercise

Why do I need to attend the pre-assessment clinic?

The main aim is to assess the patient’s fitness for surgery (this includes your fitness for anaesthesia), and organise any necessary preoperative investigations for example:

• ECG (heart tracing)
• taking blood samples
• pulmonary function tests (breathing tests)
• advice on support available to stop smoking

This helps us to identify patients who are not fit for surgery and reduces the risk of something going wrong. It also prevents unnecessary cancellations and wasted theatre slots. Patients who are not currently fit for surgery, but could be after some adjustments to their treatments or lifestyle are also identified and supported. This process generally helps to make the provision of elective surgery more efficient.

We will also provide you with written information about your planned operation.

Depending on your health and fitness, the assessment process can take up to two hours, so you need to make sure that you have allowed enough time in your day.