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Day Surgery Unit and Theatre Admissions

Patient information A-Z

Based on L2 in the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre

Patients are admitted to L2 and prepared for their operation. All patients will be transferred to the operating theatre from L2 and then back to L2 or onto a main ward after their operation.

L2 is open for admissions from 06:30.

Where is L2?

From main hospital reception:

  • Walk towards the concourse, then turn left following sign to ‘all wards and departments’.
  • When you reach the main hospital corridor, turn right and walk along the corridor following signs to the ‘Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre’ (ATC).
  • Continue just past the ATC reception and then turn left following signs to ‘day surgery and theatres’, the reception desk is on the left – also marked pre-assessment.

Preparing for your surgery

On the day of your operation it is very important that you follow these instructions carefully. If you eat or drink when you should not, your operation will be cancelled.

When to stop eating (including chewing gum) depends on the time of your surgery.

(The section that applies to you is highlighted).

For morning admissions: please do not have anything to eat after midnight and come to L2 at 07:00. You may drink water until 06:00.

For afternoon admissions: please have a light, early breakfast (cereal or toast and a drink) no later than 06:30 in the morning. Please do not eat anything after this and come to L2 for 11:00. You may drink water until 10:00.

If your surgery is scheduled for a later time in the morning / afternoon your doctor / nurse will inform you of what time you may drink water until.

Please bring any medications you might have with you. These may be taken on the day of surgery (unless otherwise specified by your doctor / nurse) with 50ml water while you are fasting. If you are unsure please ask your consultant or call us on 01223 256584.

If you smoke you are advised to stop/ reduce your consumption prior to surgery and anaesthetic. Please do not smoke for three days prior to surgery.

For your own health do not drink alcohol in excess. You should not drink any alcohol for two days prior to an anaesthetic.

What to bring to hospital

  • Your consent form (if you were given one at your previous appointment)
  • All your regular medications, including your GP prescription
  • If you have a medical exemption card, please bring it with you
  • Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes and low heeled shoes
  • A dressing gown, slippers and toiletries
  • Hearing aids, glasses, as appropriate
  • Something to do while you are waiting (e.g. book, newspaper)
  • Only bring one small holdall as we have very limited storage and your bed space may change
  • Please ensure you have a supply of paracetamol or ibuprofen at home (if not contra-indicated/ allowed) for pain relief. You will be prescribed additional pain relief if required.

What not to bring to hospital

  • Personal belongings or valuables (eg jewellery, iPods, laptops, large sums of money or credit cards)
  • All jewellery and body piercings should be removed and left at home
  • Contact lenses
  • Please remove all make up, nail varnish and false nails.

What will happen on the day of surgery?

When you arrive at L2 please report to the reception desk where you will be registered and the admission process started. You will be asked to wait in a waiting room or cubicle. You will be reviewed by the surgeon and anaesthetist when you will have the opportunity to discuss any final issues or concerns.

The nurses will record your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Where necessary, we may take blood samples or send you for further tests. The nurses will prepare you for your operation according to your position on the operation list. We have several different operating theatres running on any given day and the times will vary, but we will keep you informed.

Please be aware that your admission time is not the time of your surgery, and a wait will be involved.

We understand that waiting for surgery can be an anxious time and we will try and keep you informed as to when your operation will be.

Will my family / friends be able to come to L2 and wait with me?

L2 has a very limited space therefore we ask that only one adult comes with you. If we are particularly busy, we may have to ask your relative to wait in another area and to return later.

Please note that unfortunately there are no facilities for children (under 16 years) or babies in L2.

Friends / relatives may be asked to leave for privacy and dignity reasons when a patient is moved to the pre-operative area as patients will be waiting in single sex areas.

How will my family and friends know which ward I am going to?

If your relative / friend is not waiting with you, please ask them to call us on 01223 216545 and we will inform them of your location.

What will happen to my property?

Your clothes and property will be placed in a hospital carrier bag or in the small bag you have brought with you.

The staff will transfer your property to the ward you have been allocated to. If you are returning to L2 following surgery your property will remain on the ward (in a locked cupboard).

When will I be discharged?

This all depends on the type of operation you are having. If you are a day case you will be discharged as soon as you are deemed fit. If you stay overnight we request that your escort collects you from the discharge lounge. We advise that your escort calls 01223 216545 to ensure you are ready to go home. If you are being transferred to a main ward you will be informed of your expected date of discharge. Most wards aim to discharge patients early in the mornings.

Please ensure you have made appropriate arrangements for transport home. You must not drive yourself home and use of public transport will be at your own risk and responsibility.

You must arrange for a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours after your operation, or your operation may be at risk of cancellation. Information regarding your recovery and medications will be given to you prior to discharge.

Non-urgent advice: We recommend speaking with your GP urgently:

If you experience any of the following complications once you are home:

  • Uncontrolled pain, feeling faint or dizzy
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding, redness, swelling, bruising, discharge or pain from around the wound site.

For less urgent issues call NHS 111 for advice or visit your local minor injuries units at the following locations:

Thank you for your co-operation.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151