Coming for Surgery | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Surgical care team

Located on levels three and four of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, day surgery unit provides care and treatment for patients requiring cancer-related surgery. Services provided include endoscopy, plastics and reconstruction surgery, head and neck surgery, gynaeoncology surgery, breast surgery, urology, ear nose and throat surgery, colorectal surgery, Mohs (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) surgery, thoracic surgery and upper gastrointestinal surgery.

During your time in the day surgery unit, your care team strives to ensure you receive the highest level of care in a compassionate, friendly, caring and safe environment. A team of surgeons specialist, anaesthetists, doctors, nurses and support staff will work together to help assist your well-being, safety and recovery. Find out about our multidisciplinary approach to care.

If you are not sure about anything, including known risks, recovery, alternatives to having the procedure, please don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you fully understand the procedure, how it works and what will happen.

Phone: (02) 8514 1000
Fax: (02) 9383 1090

Surgical Admissions Centre, Level 4, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
119 – 143 Missenden Rd
Camperdown NSW 2050
(Entrance to Lifehouse is near the corner of Missenden and Salisbury Rds, almost opposite the main Royal Prince Alfred Hospital entrance).

Postal address:
Surgical Admissions Centre
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
PO Box M33
Missenden Rd NSW 2050

For general Lifehouse enquiries, click here.

Your Surgery

Your surgeon’s/specialist’s office will liaise with you to book the appropriate time/date of your surgery, provide instructions about preparing you for the procedure, send you the admission form to fill out, and confirm billing arrangements.

If you have seen your surgeon or specialist in Lifehouse clinics you may like to bring your booking forms up to The Surgical Admissions Unit on Level 4. There is nursing staff available if you some questions in regard to your medical history questions.

Filling out the admission form

Your surgeon’s/specialist’s office will send you an admission form to fill out before your procedure. The sections you need to fill out are clearly marked with the words ‘Patient to Complete’. Some other sections of the admission form will be filled out by your surgeon/specialist/nurse. The information you will need to fill out includes:

  • Your contact details
  • Next of kin details
  • Insurance details
  • Consent to medical or surgical treatment
  • Allergies information
  • Current medications
  • Pre-admission pathology information
  • Medical and surgical history
  • Lifestyle and dietary information
  • Patient escort (pick up) details

While it might take some time to fill out the form, it is important that you read and complete all relevant sections of it. This will enable us to best plan your admission and care and ensure we are aware of anything that might impact on your treatment. Please review all the information on your form and ensure all relevant parts of the form are signed and dated. If your form is incomplete, it might delay your surgery.

Once you have submitted your admission form, you will receive a Lifehouse welcome pack, which includes:

  • A welcome letter.
  • Consent to share health information form for you to sign, which gives us permission to share your medical health information with the Sydney Local Health District to help provide you with the best possible, ongoing medical care.
  • Privacy brochure.
  • Patient rights and responsibilities brochure.
  • Parking information.

Surgery can often be a daunting experience but there are a few things you can do to help prepare, to assist the procedure and your recovery:

Before surgery

  • You will receive a phone call from Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in the days before your booked surgery to discuss any medical issues that may be highlighted on your medical information.
  • You will be asked to call Admissions between 2pm – 4pm ((02) 8514 1000) the day prior to your surgery to receive your arrival and fasting time.
  • Please arrange for someone to come and pick you up after your surgery.
  • All surgical procedures require fasting, which means nothing to eat or drink, except a sip of water with medications. Some surgical procedures require some special preparation in addition to fasting. Your specialist’s/surgeon’s office will provide you with specific preparations instructions, so please ensure you follow them.
  • Please avoid consumption of alcohol and avoid smoking prior to your procedure.  Your specialist’s/surgeon’s office will advise how far in advance you should refrain from smoking and/or consuming alcohol.
  • If there is a change in your general condition such as a cold or a fever, please contact the Surgical Admissions Centre on (02) 8514 1000, as this could impact on your surgery.
  • Please shower before your arrival. Do not apply any powder, creams or lotions and do not wear makeup or nail polish.

What to bring

You will be provided with a small locker to store your clothes and belongings while you are in surgery, however, space is limited, so please only bring essential items with you. Please do not bring anything bigger than a cabin bag as it will not fit in the locker. Please remember to bring:

  • Your Medicare card.
  • Your private health fund details/card (if applicable).
  • Current contact details for the person who will be pick you up after surgery.
  • Your signed Consent to Exchange Information (if not previously provided).
  • Payment (if you have not pre-paid).
  • Glasses. If you wear contact lenses, we would suggest you wear glasses instead as we do not have storage containers for contact lenses.
  • Hearing aid.
  • Any medications you are taking in their original containers eg asthma medication, insulin etc
  • Dentures. These may be removed during the procedure.
  • Prosthetics.
  • Walking aid such as walking sticks or frames.
  • Any relevant x-rays, scans or films.
  • A book or magazine to read while you’re waiting for your procedure.
  • You may bring small religious icons if you wish.

Please do not bring:

  • Valuables such as money, jewellery, money, computer or electrical equipment, or any other expensive items into the hospital. Please leave these items at home or give them to your carer or family member to look after. While Chris O’Brien Lifehouse will endeavour to take every possible care of your personal property, it does not accept any liability or responsibility for theft, loss or damage of your personal items including your dentures, glasses or hearing aids.
  • Large amounts of luggage or large suitcases/bags.

Please note, you may be asked to remove nail polish, false nails, body piercings and dentures prior to your surgery.

If you need to make a phone call, you will be able to do so from phones in the Day Surgery Unit.  Patients can also have access to touch-screen infotainment units to search the internet, check emails and watch TV.

What to wear

  • Loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Flat, comfortable, ‘sensible’ shoes with non-stick soles.

There are a number of steps you will go through on your day of admission. Here’s a guide to help you:

1. Arriving for your procedure

  • Once you arrive at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, you will need to catch the glass lifts up to level 4 and head to the entrance of the Surgical Admissions Centre. The Lifehouse team, the reception desk on the ground floor and the touch-screen navigation kiosks on the ground floor will direct you.
  • If you are delayed for any reason (eg stuck in traffic) or there is a change in your general condition such as a cold or a fever, please contact the Surgical Admissions Centre on (02) 8514 1000. We are open from 6am.

2. Entering the Surgical Admissions Centre

  • You will be greeted at the Surgical Admissions Centre reception desk by one of our clerical team who will confirm your admission paperwork.
  • You will also be able to settle any expenses at this time.
  • Here you will meet your Admission nurse who will do the preoperative check list and then escort you to Level 3.

3. Getting ready for the procedure

  • The Admission Nurse will then escort you to a private space with a bed, which is where you will get changed and prepare for your surgery. You can draw the curtains around the bed for privacy. At this time, your carer is welcome to leave.
  • Your nurse may talk to you about medications you’re on and will check your vital signs and if over 65 years of age have an ECG.
  • You will be asked again to confirm your name, age and what procedure/surgery you are having.
  • This identification check ensures you are being cared for properly and undergoing the correct procedure.
  • Your nurse will place your personal belongings in a small locker and provide instructions about what you will need to change into for surgery.
  • At this time, you will change into your surgical gown. There is a toilet close by if you need it. Please let the nurse know if you need any assistance getting to the toilet or changing into the surgical gown.
  • Your surgeon/specialist or anaesthetist may visit you before surgery to answer any last minute questions.

4. Going into the operating theatre for surgery

  • You will be wheeled into the operating theatre complex on a bed and placed into an anaesthetic bay outside your operating room. Your support person/carer will not be allowed into the operating theatre. The nurses will ask you your name, date of birth and what procedure you are having again. This identification check ensures you are being cared for properly and undergoing the correct procedure.
  • The anaesthetist will give you anaesthetics that will make you feel drowsy or make you fall asleep, depending on your procedure. While this is happening, you will be hooked up to monitors to measure your heart rate and other vitals during the procedure.
  • The surgeon/specialist will perform the procedure while you are under anaesthetic.
  • Patients are taken into the operating room in the order of the operating list. Although operating lists are carefully planned, patient emergencies can result in a change in order of the list or longer than expected theatre times. We will make every effort to keep your waiting time to a minimum and will keep you informed if any unexpected delays occur.

5. Post-surgery Recovery

  • After your surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area called the Post Anaesthetic Recovery Unit (PARU) where nurses will closely monitor you. The time you spend here will depend on the procedure and how your recovery is progressing.
  • While in PARU, if you are going home on the same day as your surgery the nurse will call your nominated escort to let them know what time you will be ready to be collected from the Day Surgery Unit.
  • Please note: it is a requirement that you have someone to accompany you home after your procedure and stay with you overnight. Your escort’s details will need to be provided in advance of your surgery, in your admission form. If you do not have someone to take you home, then the surgery will not be able to proceed or you will be kept in hospital overnight, which will incur costs.

6. Getting ready for discharge

  • Once you have recovered from your surgery, you will be taken back into the Day Stay Unit where you can have something to eat and drink, get changed into your clothes and reunite with your carer/escort. Please notify us of in advance any dietary requirements, if you haven’t already done so in your admission form.
  • Your surgeon/specialist will see you here and discuss your procedure with you. Our nurse will discuss your post operative instructions and make sure you have all the relevant information required and:
    • Ensure you are well enough to go home.
    • Ensure you have all your belongings including any x-rays or scans.
    • Provide you with contact details if you become unwell.
    • Provide you with instructions/signs to look out for that might suggest you’re becoming unwell.
    • Provide you with scripts for medication and instructions for any new medications.

Going home check list

  • Escort ready to pick you up/take you home.
  • Scripts and instructions for medications.
  • Instructions from your surgeon/specialist about next steps for your care.
  • Instructions for signs to look out for after surgery and what to do if you become unwell.
  • All clothing and personal belongings from the locker including dentures, walking aides, books, magazines etc
  • Any scans, x-rays etc
  • Please be available,  contactable and close by to collect the patient if they are to be discharged the day of their surgery.
  • At the time of admission, you will be given an approximate time for how long the procedure will take. When the patient is in recovery after the procedure, you will receive a phone call from the nurse to let you know what time to collect the patient. Please ensure you are easily contactable and that your mobile phone is switched on, in range and well charged.
  • The Day Stay Unit and Surgical Admission Unit is a ‘no eating or drinking zone’. The reason for that is that the patients going into surgery will have fasted for a long time before they arrive. We would therefore ask you to be considerate of our patients and refrain from eating or drinking while in the suite. If you wish to have something to eat or drink, head down to the ground floor.
  • While the Surgical Admissions Centre has toilets for patients only, we would ask that carers/escorts use the public toilets on the ground floor, level 1 or level 2. Catch the glass lifts down to these floors and follow the public toilet signs.
  • We would suggest that each patient restricts visitor numbers to just their primary carer/escort.
  • If you are waiting for a patient who is in surgery, you may wish to :
    • Enjoy something to eat or drink at the Lifehouse café on the ground floor near the main entrance to the building.
    • Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and relax with a book or magazine in the Lifehouse Lounge on the ground floor, which is a dedicated space for patients and their carers. Come out of the glass lifts on the ground floor, turn right and follow the sign to the Lifehouse Lounge. You will also be able to make use of the computers to search the internet here.
    • Have some quiet time in our reflection room, on the ground floor near the LivingRoom. Come out of the glass lifts on the ground floor, turn right and head up the stairs to the LivingRoom. The team at the LivingRoom reception desk will be able to direct you.
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