The Preoperative Assessment Clinic plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of patients recommended for surgery. An interdisciplinary team of diverse medical experts assesses patients and builds comprehensive patient profiles to inform treatment pathways and highlight potential risks during the anaesthetic, surgical and postoperative period. Each year, at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh, we treat over 24,000 patients and perform more than 3,200 elective surgical procedures. As we do not have Intensive Care Facilities we cannot perform surgeries on high-risk patients. The Preoperative Assessment Clinic helps us to determine if patients are suitable for surgery at the Hospital. The Clinic also provides patients with valuable information and education, helping them to prepare for surgery and plan for their discharge.
Preoperative Assessment Pack
Patients recommended for surgery at the Hospital receive a Preoperative Assessment Pack by post, containing:
A comprehensive medical questionnaire
A consent form: authorising the Hospital to obtain further information from the GP or referring medical consultant
An information booklet detailing the patient’s visit to the Preoperative Assessment Clinic.
Please complete and return the medical questionnaire and signed consent form so that we can begin the assessment process. Failure to do so will delay the assessment and surgery.
Telephone Triage Service
On receipt of the completed medical questionnaire and consent form, additional information may be requested from a GP or Hospital Consultant as necessary, to determine the most appropriate treatment pathway.
A member of the Preoperative Assessment Clinic will call you to verify the information provided and request additional information beneficial to the assessment process.
You will be asked to attend one of the Preoperative Assessment Clinics for a comprehensive assessment or Same-Day Admissions for preoperative blood analysis and routine tests.
The Preoperative Assessment Clinic offers Nurse-led and Anaesthetic-led assessment services. Nurse-led Clinics assess low-risk patients who require surgery. Assessments can take two to three hours to complete.
Anaesethetic-led Clinics provide comprehensive assessments for patients with health complications, those facing major surgical procedures and older adult patients. These assessments can take four to five hours, and are valid for five months, provided there are no significant changes to the patient’s health in the intervening period.
Young, healthy patients, who are considered low-risk and require minor surgery, may attend Same-day Admissions for routine tests.
On the Morning of your Assessment
Eat breakfast on the morning of attendance
Bring snacks and drinks, especially if you are attending for an Anaesthetic-led assessment
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid tights
Take all medications as ususal
What to Bring?
Blood pressure check results from your GP (if easy to obtain)
Current medication in its original packaging
The name, address and contact numbers for two persons
Reading glasses should you require them
MRI Scan or X-rays, from the hospital of referral
What to Expect?
You will meet members of the pre-operative assessment clinic multi-disciplinary team who will:
Examine your referral, personal medical history, files provided by GP and Hospital Consultant
Review your family history to identify hereditary medical conditions that may constitute a surgical risk
Conduct an assessment of general physical health, and examine the affected site and symptoms
Initiate a series of tests that may include: EC, Blood pressure testing, Blood tests, Sepsis screening, X-rays. Additional tests may be required to inform the decision as to whether to proceed to surgery
Provide information on your procedure, set expectations for recovery and outline postoperative care
Provide preoperative instructions regarding food and medication intake
Offer advice for pre-surgery health optimisation
Recommend supports that may benefit recovery and return to the home environment
The National Bone Bank
If you require total hip replacement surgery, you will be introduced to a representative from the National Bone Bank to discuss bone donation. Bone discarded during hip replacement surgery (the femoral head) is useful in limb reconstruction, and stabilisation surgery, improving stability, mobility and quality of life for recipients.
The National Bone Bank will explain the donation process and provide you with a leaflet so that you can make an informed decision. Bone donation requires patient consent. Click here to go to the National Bone Bank page.
Approved For Surgery
If you are approved for surgery, you will receive a letter from the Admissions Department confirming that have been placed on the Hospital’s surgical waiting list and indicating when you are likely to receive a date for surgery.
If you are deemed to be a high anaesthetic, surgical or postoperative risk, the Preoperative Assessment will defer surgery. They may recommend lifestyle adjustments or refer you to your GP or consultant for further investigation and treatment. Elevated blood pressure, heart complaints, and excess or inferior weight are just some of the conditions that influence the decision to defer. If you wish to pursue surgery at a later date, a full preoperative reassessment is recommended.
Irish National Orthopaedic Register (INOR)
The Irish National Orthopaedic Register records information on patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery. The purpose of the register is to monitor implant performance and improve patient safety and care. Data is confidential and can only be recorded with patient consent.