If you need an operation
If you require an operation Penny operates at Hobart Private Hospital. This hospital is collocated with the Royal Hobart Hospital. The Hobart Private provides a broad range of support for patients across minor and major surgeries, with access to high care areas and critical care as necessary. Penny does not carry out surgery in the North of Tasmania.
Anaesthesia and Preoperative assessment
In the lead up to surgery an appointment may be made for you to meet with the anaesthetist and also the Hobart Private Hospital runs pre-assessment clinics where you meet nursing staff.
For anything other than minor surgery many anaesthetists wish to meet with you before the surgery. This may be whilst you are in hospital, or they may contact you by phone or an appointment may be made in the days leading up to the surgery. This is particularly important if you are having to undergo more major surgery, you have a complex medical history, or you have specific issues you wish to discuss. The preoperative anaesthetic assessment will often involve making a plan for the type of anaesthesia to be used, and also for pain relief during the postoperative period.
Your anaesthetist will discuss pain relief following your surgery. When you go home most patients manage with paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory drugs should not be used by some patients and you need to clarify this with your anaesthetist).
The Hospital Pre Assessment clinic is designed to smooth your admission to hospital and also to allow the hospital to tailor your care specifically to your needs.
Smoking is bad for your health and is bad for recovery from abdominal surgery. It is preferable to stop smoking several weeks before your operation as this will assist your recovery and decrease complications associated with the surgery. If this is not possible it is important to stop smoking as soon as possible. Your family practitioner can assist you with access to patches and the QUIT helpline is also available.
Preparation for surgery
It is a good idea to increase your exercise before surgery as this will increase your fitness for surgery and help your recovery e.g. walking for half an hour daily is a good start.
Nausea and Vomiting
Many patients are worried about feeling sick after their operation. Nowadays all patients will be given medication during their anaesthetic to prevent nausea and vomiting. If you have had major problems in the past with nausea and vomiting around the time of surgery please discuss this with your anaesthetist. Anaesthetist have many different types of medications they can use to minimise and prevent perioperative nausea and vomiting.
Driving after surgery
After an operation it is wise not to drive until you are pain free and can move without any limitations. Following laparoscopic (key whole) abdominal surgery you will need to refrain from driving for 1-2 weeks. Following a laparotomy (open abdominal surgery) you will need to refrain from driving for at least 4 weeks. Always check with your car insurance company about their views and policies.