There are some things you can do to prepare yourself for your operation:

Nothing to eat and drink – fasting ‘Nil By Mouth’ (NBM)

The nurses on the ward will give you clear instructions about fasting. It is important to follow these.

If you have taken food within 6 hours before anaesthesia or liquids 3 hours before anaesthesia, it could come up into your throat and enter your lungs during anaesthesia. This would cause choking or serious damage to your health.

If you are a smoker

You should not smoke during your hospital admission. This avoids breathing problems during the anaesthesia. Stopping smoking for at least 8 weeks prior to anaesthesia is highly recommended.

Your normal medicines

You should continue your normal medications unless told not to by a doctor. Medications should be taken with small sips of water only.

Please ensure you bring all your medications or your ‘PHY’ card or all medication cards so that the anaesthetists can look at all your medications.

Your anaesthetist will meet you before your operation.

He / She will

• Ask you about your health, medicines you are taking, allergies, previous anaesthetic procedures and about your family history. You should also volunteer information regarding any medical problems.

• Discuss with you the types of anaesthetic that can be used for your operation.

• Discuss with you the benefits, risks and your preference.

• May recommend certain type of anaesthesia which suits you best.

At your bedside, he/she will

• Look at your health check results

• Listen to your breathing and your heart

• Examine your jaw, neck, teeth and your mouth opening.


These are drugs which may be given before your anaesthesia to alleviate anxiety. These drugs maybe in the form of tablets, syrups or injections. Special instructions will be given to you regarding how and when these need to be taken. Some may cause drowsiness.

Other drugs may be given to optimise your medical condition before your anaesthesia. Example: a nebuliser if you are asthmatic

When you are called for your operation

• The nurses will instruct you to change your clothes. Please remove your contact lens, glasses, dentures, makeup, nail polish and jewellery and put them away for safe keeping.

• You will then be transferred onto a trolley and taken to the theatre complex. A member of staff on the ward will accompany you to theatre.

• You will be received by one of the operating theatre staff at the reception. They will check you for your identity and the type of operation you are going to have. Then they will ask you for your medical details as your final check.