Below are some common questions about your hospital stay based on the hundreds of people we have treated. If you have any further questions, please arrange a free, no obligation consultation below.
When do I need to arrive at the hospital?
In most cases, you will be asked to attend the hospital around 7am on the day of your operation. After being shown to your room and completing some initial checks, you will meet several members of the team including Mr Alkhaffaf, the anaesthetist and the surgical assistant. You will have the opportunity to ask any further questions and confirm that you still wish to proceed with surgery by signing a consent form.
What time will I have my surgery?
In the majority of cases, the operating list lasts all day and there will be several patients undergoing surgery. The order of the operating list depends on the complexity of the cases taking place that day. The order of the cases is planned well in advance, but a final short planning meeting takes place in the morning and the final list order is confirmed. Following this, you will be given an approximate time to expect your surgery to take place.
What if my surgery takes place later in the day?
The nursing team on the ward will allow you to drink clear water up to 2 hours before your proposed surgery time to ensure that you remain hydrated. We encourage you to bring something to occupy your time (such as a book or an electronic tablet), particularly if your surgery is planned for the afternoon.
What happens right before I have my surgery?
Right before you leave your room, you the nursing staff will undertake a ‘second check’ to ensure all your details are correct. You will also be given some medications, including a blood thinning injection. A member of staff will walk with you from your room to the operating theatre complex an take you into either an anaesthetic room or the operating theatre where you will be taken through another brief checklist.
Following on from this, the team will prepare you for your general anaesthetic which includes placing a small cannula (also known as an intravenous line) in the back of your hand. You will be asked to hold an oxygen mask to your face as the anaesthetic takes effect.
How safe is the anaesthetic?
Modern anaesthesia is extremely safe. Our team are highly experienced and all aspects of your care will be undertaken by medical staff who are well versed in managing patients undergoing weight-loss surgery. Mr Alkhaffaf works with the same anaesthetists, assistants and theatre team for all of his cases, ensuring that any variability is minimised and that procedures are carried our safely and with minimum risk.
How long does the operation take?
Surgery typically takes between 30 and 90 minutes to perform depending on the procedure. Click on our comparison tool to find out more.
Patients also spend approximately 15 to 20 minutes in the theatre complex before surgery undergoing additional checks and anaesthesia and then between 30 and 60 minutes recovering from anaesthesia before being taken back to the hospital ward.
How many incisions will I have?
For the sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and gastric band, you will usually have four or five small keyhole (laparoscopic) incisions which are typically between 5mm to 15mm long. These will be closed using a combination of dissolvable sutures and skin glue ensuring you have the best chance of healing neatly. The incisions will be waterproof within 24 hours allowing you to have a shower.
Is it possible that my surgery will not go ahead as planned?
All steps are taken to minimise the risk of not being able to proceed with your surgery as planned. Whilst this is exceptionally rare, findings at surgery can be unpredictable and your safety is placed as the most important priority. Reasons that may result in either a change to the planned procedure or the complete abandonment of your operation include:
- A large liver (due to not strictly adhering to the liver shrinking diet)
- Severe adhesions or scarring (such as those from previous surgery or medical conditions such as endometriosis)
- Technical factors that would make the procedure unsafe to undertake
- An unexpected finding that requires further investigations
- A complication of surgery
Mr Alkhaffaf will discuss your chosen procedure and possible alternative plans should issues be encountered on the day of your surgery.
When will I wake up after surgery?
Immediately following the completion of your surgery, you will be woken up in the operating theatre before being taken in your bed to a recovery area. The recovery nurses will ensure that any symptoms of discomfort or nausea are well-controlled and that the effects of the anaesthetic have largely worn off before you are taken back to your room. Many people don’t remember this part of the journey due to the strength of the medication we use.
How much pain will I be in after surgery?
The amount of pain and discomfort that people feel after surgery varies. Some people will have very little or none, whilst most will have some symptoms. This is due to a combination of the incisions and the carbon dioxide gas that we use to be able to perform the surgery (commonly referred to as ‘gas or wind pain). Mr Alkhaffaf takes additional steps to minimise these by removing as much gas as possible at the end of the surgery and using local anaesthetic to the wounds.
What will I be expected to do when I return to the ward?
When you return to the ward, the nursing staff will continue to look after your needs. You will be asked to drink water and encouraged to mobilise with help from the nurses and healthcare assistants. The prepares you for your discharge the following day. Mr Alkhaffaf will see you at the end of the day to confirm that your procedure went ahead as planned.
How long will I be in hospital?
Most people are in hospital for no more than one day following their operation. Sometimes it is necessary to stay in longer to ensure that you are drinking enough and that symptoms of discomfort and nausea are well controlled.
Will I be given medication to go home with?
As part of our enhanced recovery programme, we ensure that all the necessary medications to minimise pain and nausea are provided before, during and after surgery. You can be assured that you will be sent home with the necessary medications.
Will I be given a sick note?
Sick notes are available from the ward and will be generically completed to state that you have undergone ‘surgery’ without stipulating the type of procedure. Please ensure you ask for yours before leaving. For the most, we provide a two-week sick note for you to present to work. If you require longer, this can either be arranged in advance during your consultation with Mr Alkhaffaf or after by contacting your GP.
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