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Pre-operative assessment

Patient information A-Z

What is a pre-operative assessment?

Before your planned operation or procedure under general anaesthetic (surgery while you're asleep) you must have completed a pre-operative assessment.

We carry out all pre-operative assessments at Addenbrooke's for cases at both Addenbrooke's hospital and Ely Day Surgery Unit. During this appointment a specially trained nurse, or health care assistant, will review your medical history, current medications, and provide your pre-operative instructions.

Our aims in the assessment clinic

Our aim is to optimise our patients’ health to ensure they are in the best possible condition before surgery. This helps limit cancellations, complications during, or after surgery, and improve post-operative recovery afterwards.

What happens at the pre-operative assessment clinic?

  • Taking an accurate and detailed past medical history. We will discuss all previous surgeries, and current medical conditions. Please bring any supporting information from clinic appointments outside the trust as we do not have access to surrounding hospitals medical records. For example Pacemaker identification cards, recent clinic appointments for long term medical conditions or details of recent surgeries
  • Recording current medication - Please bring a list of all your prescribed medication as we do not have access to your GP records.
  • Taking a height/weight and blood pressure measurement.
  • You may also require a blood test and/or heart tracing (ECG) and/or urine sample.
  • All patients will require a pre-operative skin swab to test if MRSA (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is present on the skin.
  • Planning for what happens when you leave hospital after your procedure.
  • We will provide you with fasting instructions for the day of your surgery.

Important Information

Without a pre operative assessment your operation could be cancelled, so it is essential you attend.

If you are unwell, or unable to attend your appointment, please ring our admin in advance to let us know.

Please be aware that if you are more than 15 minutes late to an appointment you may be asked to re-book and return another day. This is to ensure our later appointments can proceed on schedule.

Privacy and dignity

We aim to maintain your privacy and dignity in pre-assessment at all times, particularly if you are required to remove any clothing during your assessment, which will be carried out in a private consultation room with well fitting curtains.

We look forward to meeting you.

The pre assessment team

Further Information

Pre Operative Assessment

Day Surgery and Theatres

Ward L2

Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre


Addenbrooke’s hospital

Hills Road



01223 250888

Nearest Car Park

Car Park 2

Opening Times

The clinic is open Monday-Friday 08:00-18:00. We have additional evening and weekend appointments, but these are by appointment only.

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