Preparing for your treatment

Patient care is at the heart of everything we do at The London Clinic. 

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About our patient care

We promise that you’ll be looked after by some of the best consultants in the UK. 

We do all we can to prepare you for treatment so you are physically and emotionally ready to take your next step.

In an appointment, we’ll ensure that you are fully aware of exactly what your treatment involves. 

Our consultants offer expert advice in our private consulting rooms. 

They’ll also take a medical history to understand the impact your symptoms are having on your health, wellbeing, and lifestyle.

At The London Clinic, each moment of your care will be carefully considered. We aim to help you return to your everyday life with as little disruption as possible.

We’ll talk you through every stage. From the moment you arrive, to getting ready for your procedure and preparing to travel home. We’ll be there for you.

Pre-assessment health check 

You’ll have a pre-assessment appointment to review your general health and wellness. This will help our care team plan your treatment safely, and make the admission process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Before this appointment, you'll be given a questionnaire to complete - this should only take about 10 minutes.

Patient laughing with a member of staff

When you come to your pre-assessment appointment, you're welcome to bring a friend or family member. Please bring the following:

  • Your appointment letter, if you have one
  • A list of all medications you currently take, including their strength and how often you take them
  • If you have any health conditions, please bring any letters or test results related to that condition
  • Any updates regarding your contact details or those of your next of kin.

As part of your assessment, you'll have some or all of the following tests or investigations as needed:

  • Recording of your height and weight
  • Blood pressure/heart rate/respiration/oxygen saturation level
  • Blood tests
  • An ECG (electrocardiogram) – which is a way of recording the rate, rhythm and electrical activity of your heart
  • MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and CRE (carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae) screening

You may also need to be seen by a physiotherapist or dietician depending on the type of surgery you will be undergoing you will be informed of this at the time of your booking.

We do this to ensure the treatment is right for you. It’s also important for us to identify any issues early on to avoid any delays.

Sometimes the assessment may reveal an unexpected concern such as high blood pressure.

If this is the case, you may need to return to the clinic for a second appointment and need to be seen by an anaesthetist. Or this might need treating before you can proceed with your surgery. In rare cases, we may need to change your admission date and move your treatment day.

Following your appointment, you will be given information about:

  • Fasting instructions (as applicable)
  • Medication advice
  • What to expect on the day of admission
  • A guidance information sheet specific to your procedure (where possible)

If you're sick, have a cold or flu, or if there have been any recent changes in your health before your surgery, call your surgeon to let them know and they can decide what the best course of action may be if anything needs to change from your original treatment plan.

Anaesthetic

If you're having surgery, you'll need to prepare for your anaesthetic. There are three different types of anaesthetic:

When you are put to sleep and do not feel pain during your surgery.

When you are injected with a small amount of medication to help you relax but you are not asleep.

When you are given an injection to numb an area so you cannot feel pain at the location of the surgery.

If you're having a procedure under sedation or general anaesthetic, you'll need to avoid food for six hours and water for two hours.

This is unless you have been advised otherwise by your consultant.

You can have a light meal such as toast and butter six hours before surgery.

Try to have sips of water up to two hours before your surgery. Avoid chewing gum two hours before your surgery.

If your involves sedation or general anaesthetic and you're going home on the same day, you'll need to arrange for a friend or relative to take you home by car, and not by public transport, and look after you for 24 hours after the procedure.

This is to make help you while you fully recover from the side effects of the anaesthetic.

What to bring with you

If you’re staying with us overnight, you’ll need to pack a hospital bag. Here is an easy guide on what to bring with you:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Personal hand sanitiser
  • Baby wipes 
  • Face masks
  • Pyjamas 
  • Underwear
  • Slippers
  • Medication 
  • Medical documents

We recommend you also pack a change of clothes that’s loose-fitting and comfortable for the journey home. 

We also recommend bringing a good book or some magazines to keep you occupied after surgery.

Bring your phone and a charger so you can keep in touch with your family and friends for support before and after surgery.

Conditions that may need extra preparation before treatment

You will need to follow the standard protocol for any surgical procedure. 

You should try to stop smoking and drinking alcohol in the weeks before your operation. 

This will help you recover faster and greatly reduce your chance of complications.

You might need to follow a special diet to lose a small amount of weight before the surgery itself.

Your specialist weight loss dietitian will talk you through a diet plan with advice on what you can and cannot eat or drink.

You might have to follow specific instructions before an endoscopy or colonoscopy procedure.

For example, you may need to take a medicine to clear out the contents of your intestines for a colonoscopy or not eat for a few hours before an endoscopy.

You might need a number of physiotherapy sessions to prepare for your surgery.

These will help strengthen your body so you can recover faster after surgery.

Your consultant oncologist will discuss possible side effects with you before cancer treatment. 

Knowing what to expect beforehand can ensure that you’re better prepared for them.

During your appointment, your consultant will be able to advise you on what you need to do to prepare. This may include specialist advice on diet and exercise.

You’ll always have a two-week cooling-off period so you can weigh up the risks and benefits of treatment. 

Medication

Your care team need to know exactly what medicines you usually take, so we can prescribe and administer them as your doctor intended. 

This includes any oral medication used to manage diabetes, anticoagulants or blood-thinning medication. 

Your consultant or anaesthetist may ask you to change how you take your medication for your treatment to be effective. 

If that’s the case, we’ll adjust your prescription temporarily around the time of your surgery.

Following surgery, your consultant will recommend how you can restart taking your medication.

Your dedicated pharmacist will ensure that there is enough supply of your regular and new medications during your stay. 

You will need to bring all of your medicines with you to the hospital. Be prepared to come with a recent copy of your repeat prescription if you have one.

Please bring the following in their original boxes:

  • Tablets, capsules, powders, or liquids
  • Injections, such as insulin
  • Patches, sprays, inhalers, or nebules
  • Suppositories or pessaries
  • Eye, ear, or nose drops
  • Herbal remedies
  • Vitamins or supplements
  • Skin creams, lotions or wash (including medicated shampoo)
  • Any other medication

If you have any questions about your medicines before arrival, please contact your consultant at any time.

 

More information

We have interpreters on hand to help you understand information about your procedure if English is not your first language. Just let us know in advance if you need or would like one.

If you have a carer or you're a carer of a patient coming to us, let us know in advance so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

If you're having surgery, take a shower or bath with soap on the day of your procedure or the night before. We also advise that you remove all body piercings, contact lenses, make-up and nail polish before your operation to reduce the chance of infection and to allow your care team to assess your skin and nails for healthy circulation.

It's best if you avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your surgery.

You'll get more benefits the sooner you stop, so if you can stop earlier than that, do. It'll go a long way to helping your recovery.

As part of our all-inclusive package, specially trained physiotherapists will help you get a head start on your recovery.

You'll have your own personalised plan including gentle stretches and exercises to help get you back on your feet.

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Contact us today to find out more information on preparing for your treatment.