The anaesthetist will need to talk with the patient before surgery. Traditionally this used to occur in hospital the night before the operation. Now most patients arrive in hospital on the morning of surgery, often shortly before the scheduled time of the operation. The anaesthetist needs to ensure that the patient is fit for the surgery, plan the type of anaesthetic, and organise pain relief for after the operation.
The Hobart Anaesthetic Group has organised a system where patients can be seen preoperatively in our rooms at 303 Macquarie St. This is usually for the more complicated operations, but also for patients with significant medical conditions or who have particular concerns about the operation or anaesthetic. This appointment is coordinated between the surgeon and anaesthetist involved. Our staff arrange an appointment for the patient at a time before the operation.
Most patients having more minor procedures will see their anaesthetist in hospital prior to their operation. We ask patients to fill in a health questionnaire. This aids the anaesthetist. The questionnaire is often mailed out with the appointment details if time permits. If patients can bring details of their past medical problems and medications (including herbal medications) that again helps the consultation. The anaesthetist will discuss options for anaesthesia and pain relief, order tests if necessary, refer patients to other specialists for an opinion if necessary or may even advise not to proceed with surgery.
There is a fee for a preoperative assessment. Medicare provides a rebate for this, but a gap may be charged.