We appreciate that for many people, being a patient in hospital is an unfamiliar experience, which can be a source of concern. Throughout your stay at The McIndoe Centre you will be in the care of skilled professionals, committed to providing you with the best possible treatment.

In order to prepare you for your forthcoming stay at The Mclndoe Centre, and answer some of your questions, we have produced this guide to help you through your admission and to give you some idea of what to expect.

1. Becoming a patient: Initial consultation

Before your treatment, you will have a one-to-one consultation where your surgeon will advise you, listen to your concerns and discuss what you want to achieve. The risks and benefits will be outlined to you and we will talk about the length of stay needed for your procedure. This is also the opportunity to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have. It is a good idea to make a note of the questions you would like to ask and bring them with you to your consultation.

Please be aware if you decide to book a consultation with any of our consultants, we may require your BMI in advance for safety reasons. Your BMI must not be higher than 40 to be able to have your procedure with us. If you are unsure of your BMI score, please use the calculator below. 

BMI calculator

Speak to one of our Patient Service Advisers to book a consultation

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2. Second Consultation

In keeping with our ethos of providing excellent patient care, we advise a second visit to consult with your surgeon prior to any procedure. This allows you more time to be certain that you have made the right choice about surgery and have no further questions.  

3. Pre-assessment

Following your consultations, we advise that you take time to process all aspects of your procedure. The hospital will contact you if we feel you should be medically assessed. This is a health check to ensure that you can safely have the operation.

What does a pre-assessment involve?

During the assessment, your medical history will be discussed and the relevant tests will be carried out. Routine tests include blood tests, an ECG or a chest x-ray. Depending on your health status and type of procedure, there will be some tests that may include infection control swabs and blood pressure measurements.

As long as all your results are within normal limits we will then be ready to confirm your operation date. On occasions, this may need to be delayed due to further investigations. If this is the case, our team will keep you informed as to what is happening and what you can expect.

Spread the cost of your treatment

Are you considering treatment, but unsure about the best way to pay for it? If so, you might be interested in the payment plans we offer to fund your treatment.

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4. Treatment letter

After your consultant has booked you into The McIndoe Centre, the Admissions Department will provide you with written confirmation of your admission.

This letter will include the following information:

  • The time you are due to arrive at the hospital
  • Restriction on eating and drinking appropriate to your procedure
  • A registration form for your completion and return to us
  • A medical questionnaire for your completion and return to us
  • A pre-paid envelope
  • Any relevant patient advice leaflets providing information regarding your procedure

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To ensure that you have a smooth admission, it is important that you complete and return the registration form and the medical questionnaire in the pre-paid envelope as soon as possible. If you do not have time to send it back, please bring it with you on your admission.

Please check all your documentation carefully, including the time and date of your admission. In some instances where the order of the operating list has not been finalised, some patients may be asked to phone the hospital the working day prior to admission to obtain their admission time and starving details.

If you are claiming from an insurance company for your procedure, it is your responsibility to contact them well in advance of your admission, to check that you are adequately covered. You may also be provided with a pre-authorisation number, please bring this with you on admission.

5. Before you arrive

You will need to:

  • Follow your fasting/starving instructions
  • Reduce or stop smoking prior to admission and during your stay
  • Remove all nail varnish; ‘extensions’ from your fingers and toes
  • Shower or bath prior to admission but do not apply any body lotions, skin creams or facial make-up.

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Items including soap, towels and tissues are provided for your personal comfort. However, we suggest you bring the following with you:

  • Appropriate clothing for your discharge from hospital
  • Personal toiletries
  • Any medication that you are currently taking together with a repeat prescription
  • All relevant x-rays/scans/medical results that you have in your possession
  • Your completed insurance claim form or your pre-authorisation details if you are an insured patient.
  • The completed registration form and medical questionnaire if not already returned to us.


Please bring any medication that you are taking (along with the repeat prescription) including inhalers, eye drops, contraceptive, herbal and homeopathic pills etc, in the packaging in which they were originally dispensed, and hand this to your nurse on arrival.

If you are a diabetic and wish to bring your own equipment please do so, although the hospital is fully equipped to treat diabetic patients.

If you are allergic to certain medications and are uncertain of the name please check with your GP so that you can advise the nurse on arrival.


We request that you do not bring any valuables or jewellery with you into the hospital. If you do, we do not accept liability for them under any circumstances.

6. When you arrive

Please arrive as close to the admission time given, as this minimises delay and helps ensure a speedy transfer to your room. You have been asked to attend the hospital a little earlier than your scheduled operation in order to allow time for necessary preparation by your consultant, anaesthetist and nursing staff. The catering staff will also take an order for a light post-operative meal from you.

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On admission you will be asked for your pre-authorisation details if you are insured. If you are a self-pay patient and have not already paid, you will be asked to settle the account on admission by credit card. Any cheques must be sent at least 10 working days before surgery.

7. During your stay

Shortly after being shown to your room, a member of our nursing team will complete your personal admission assessment. The nurse will discuss your individual requirements with you and assist you with the necessary preparations. You will also meet the consultant and anaesthetist, who will ask you to sign a consent form.

The nurse will check your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature and ask you to provide a urine sample for analysis. You will be asked if you have any allergies and be given an identity band to wear.

Waiting times

Please note that the time between your admission and your operation will depend on the number of patients on your consultant's operating list. We would appreciate your understanding should delays or changes be necessary and our nursing staff will endeavour to keep you informed.

Ophthalmic and maxillofacial lists can often run late as they are very specialised and busy. If the time of return to the ward from recovery is delayed in the evening then obviously, it makes more sense for the patient to stay overnight at no extra cost rather than travelling very late.

8. Going to theatre

General anaesthetic procedure

You will be asked to change into a theatre gown, wear anti-embolism stockings and remove any make-up. On arrival, the nurse will hand over all relevant information to the theatre staff.

Local anaesthetic procedure

In some instances it is normal practice to wear a theatre gown over your clothes eg, for ophthalmic surgery patients.

9. Post-surgery

General anaesthetic procedure

Post-operatively, you will be cared for in the recovery area of the operating theatres and then returned to your room. There will be a period of close observation and your nurse will record your blood pressure and pulse at regular intervals.

Pain management

Making sure that pain is well controlled is vital to your recovery. Your pain score will be regularly assessed and the appropriate pain relief will be given. You will also take a supply of pain killers home with you and must take them regularly for the first 24 -48 hours even if you are not in pain.

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After a short time, depending on your surgery, you may be ready to enjoy some refreshments or a light snack.

If you have special dietary requirements or food allergies, please complete the section on your patient questionnaire.

If you are having a general anaesthetic, you will be advised by the ward hostess to choose a lighter option snack and special requirements following specific surgery will be taken into account.

10. Going home

Your consultant will tell you when you are ready to go home and will advise you of your post-operative instructions. A certificate for work can be arranged by your nurse.

You will be given a discharge summary to hand to your GP outlining the nature of the procedure performed, the drugs you have been prescribed and any follow – up treatment or appointments that you may require.

A follow-up phone call is made to all day patients, approximately 24 hours following discharge, by a member of the ward nursing staff. This call is made so that patient progress/recovery can be monitored and any questions can be answered by the nurse.

If you have any concerns or queries following discharge please phone the hospital on 01342 488055 and ask for the ward who can advise and/or liaise with your consultant.

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Should your consultant prescribe drugs for you to take home, we can provide these for you. Please note that a charge for each item will be made. If you are an insured patient you are advised to check with your medical insurance policy as to whether take home drugs will be covered or not.

You may prefer to stock up on your pain killer of choice and have it at home ready for your use; it must be taken regularly for the first 24-48 hours after discharge.

Following general anaesthesia your judgement may be affected. Anaesthetics can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness or dizziness. Therefore you should take the following advice for the 48 hour period after discharge:

  • Do not drive a car
  • Do not climb ladders, operate machinery or operate anything requiring skill or judgement
  • Do not take any sleeping tablets
  • Only drink alcohol in moderation
  • Do not make any vital decisions or sign legal documents

Find out more about The McIndoe Centre

We provide outstanding patient experiences

As a nationally recognised hospital of excellence in plastic, reconstructive, ophthalmic and maxillofacial surgery, we have demonstrated ourselves to be: effective, responsive, caring, safe and well-led. Recently rated ‘good’ by the CQC, we are committed to treating our patients and each other with kindness, respect and dignity resulting in life-changing outcomes. 

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