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Gynaecology Pre-operative Assessment Clinic - John Radcliffe Hospital

What is pre-operative assessment?

Before your operation we need to make sure that you are fit and healthy for an anaesthetic. This means that you will be 'assessed' from a medical and nursing point of view before your operation.

We will give you an appointment to come to the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic, ideally 2-3 weeks before your operation, but it could also be a little later.

How long will it take?

Please allow several hours for your Pre-operative Assessment Clinic appointment. Parking can be difficult, so please do not drive unless you have no other option. Allow plenty of time to get to your appointment. Young children need to be supervised at all times - we advise that alternative arrangements are made for them.

Is it necessary?

Coming to the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic before you are admitted to hospital for your operation is very important. It means that any problems can be identified and resolved prior to your operation and it therefore reduces the risk of your operation being cancelled on the day of surgery.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please contact us:

Tel: 01865 572531

If you do not attend your pre-operative assessment appointment then your operation will be cancelled or postponed. You cannot have your surgery unless you have been seen in the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic.

What to bring with you

Please bring with you any medicines that you are taking, such as tablets, eye drops or inhalers.

Seeing the pre-assessment nurse

The pre-operative assessment nurse will take your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. You will also be weighed, your urine checked, and a pregnancy test may be done.

The nurse will ask you some questions about your lifestyle, for example:

  • whether you smoke, drink, or become breathless on exertion
  • whether you have any difficulties walking or use any aids to help with walking
  • whether you have carers to help you at home.

She will also ask you questions about yourself and your general health, and talk to you about any arrangements you may need to make for when you get home after your operation.

The nurse will also give you an information leaflet explaining what happens when you come into hospital, and your care before, during and after your operation. This is so that you know what to expect and also to help you think about what arrangements you need to make for when you go home, for example, picking up children from school or arranging for someone to be at home for the first two weeks.

The Pre-operative Assessment Clinic is predominately run by nurses but there may be a need for you to see a doctor and this will be arranged.

Blood and other tests

We will need to take some blood in order to carry out various tests. We need to know what blood type you are in case you need to have a blood transfusion after your operation. You may need other blood tests, depending on your medical history. You may also have a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram (ECG), where small pads are placed on your chest and a tracing of your heart is made.

You will need to go to other departments within the hospital to have these tests done. When you have had all your tests, you will need to return to the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic to give the results to the nurse.

If, during your pre-operative assessment, a problem is discovered (for example, that you have high blood pressure), there may be time to treat it before your operation. If this is not possible, you will be referred back to your GP for further treatment. Your operation may be delayed as a result of this. However, it is important that you are as fit as possible before you undergo your operation.

Can I look around the ward?

Yes, we think that's a good idea. It may help you feel confident when you know how welcoming the nurses are, and it will also give you an opportunity to ask questions about what you need to bring into hospital.


There is a League of Friends tea bar in the Women's Centre, where you are able to purchase filled rolls, hot drinks and confectionary.

There are toilets in the Outpatient Department. There is also a breastfeeding and changing room.

Shops, cafes and other facilities - John Radcliffe Hospital

Find us and contact us

The Pre-operative Assessment Clinic is held in the Outpatient Department, Level 1, Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital.

On entering the building, please report to the receptionist and then take a seat. The nurse will call for you.

If, when you get home, you are worried or have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tel: 01865 572531

If the answerphone is on, just leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.