• Get a little fitter. Regular walks will work wonders.
• Stop smoking. Ideally, stop six weeks before surgery. Smoking interferes with oxygen transport to the tissues, and hence wound healing.
• Minimise alcohol consumption.
• Continue to take any drugs which have been prescribed, but remember to let your anaesthetist and surgeon know what they are.
• If you are taking aspirin, drugs for arthritis or blood thinning drugs, consult your surgeon or anaesthetist about whether you should stop taking them prior to surgery.
• If you are taking drugs to regulate your blood sugar, contact your anaesthetist to seek advice.
These are not normally taken on the day of surgery.
• If you are having a catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation, or implantation of a Watchman Device, see the page advising how best to proceed.
• If you have any kind of health problem tell your anaesthetist and surgeon so they are fully informed.
• If you are concerned about your anaesthetic, contact me before admission to hospital and get the answers you need.
• Stop taking herbal products at least two to three weeks prior to surgery. Some herbal extracts contain powerful drugs that can interact with other drugs prescribed by your doctor.
• Let me know if you use recreational drugs as these may interact with the anaesthetic.
• Tell the anaesthetist if you object to blood transfusions.
What you can do to make the experience safer: