The day of your surgery

To help achieve your best possible health outcome, take some time to learn what is likely to happen on the day of your elective surgery. Plan to bring someone with you. It’s essential someone helps you get home safely, or—in some very specific situations—that you have someone who could possibly help with certain decisions about your care. Find out where you need to go, what you can expect to do, who and what to bring, and the type of clinicians who will support you throughout your experience.

Day surgery admission

All patients arriving at Mercy Hospital for Women on the day of surgery will be admitted through the Day Surgery Unit on Level 1. The Day Surgery Unit will admit you if you are having same-day surgery, as well as if you need to stay overnight.

You will be asked to arrive at Day Surgery at least two hours before surgery to allow for any tests and to meet your treating team. Please note, wait times can vary depending on other operations scheduled that day and emergencies. Please bring a book or activity to pass the time.

On the day of admission, you will need to:

  • bring all medications in their labeled boxes and bottles, except strong pain relief or sedative medications. Please bring a list with the full name and dose of these medications. If you need pain relief or sedation medications, they will be provided to you as requested by your anaesthetist.
  • bring an adverse drug alert card, or a list of adverse reactions supplied by your general practitioner
  • bring any physical aids (hearing aid, walking stick or frame, CPAP machine for sleep apnoea, etc)
  • bring relevant x-rays or scans, ultrasounds, pathology results or any other results or reports
  • remove all jewellery, including any piercings
  • remove make-up and contact lenses
  • leave all valuables at home
  • bring your Medicare, Health Care or Veterans Affairs cards, if you have these
  • bring your private health insurance details (if you are a private patient)
  • tell nursing staff if you need a medical certificate when you arrive.

Please note, visitors cannot go into the admission or recovery areas. We have limited waiting room space and suggest that your visitors wait at Heidi Cafe on Level 4.

If you are booked for an overnight stay, please bring a bag with toiletries, nightwear, dressing gown, slippers and a book or activity to pass the time.

For day surgery, please bring:

  • a responsible adult carer to take you home and stay with you overnight after your anaesthetic
  • comfortable day clothes or loose fitting clothing.

For overnight surgery, please bring:

  • a dressing gown and slippers, or comfortable day clothes and shoes
  • personal hygiene items
  • a book or magazine to read, or an iPad or tablet with headphones
  • a notepad and pen to jot down any questions you may wish to ask your care team.


Patients are asked to arrive at a certain time for admission. Patients are generally admitted according to theatre list order. During admission, nursing staff will discuss the structure of the day including outlining an approximate wait time.

If you have a medical power of attorney, please make sure they accompany you to your admission.

On some occasions, surgery may need to be cancelled due to emergency surgery taking priority. If this occurs, the surgical wait list booking office will contact you with a new appointment as soon as one is available.

Theatre admission

During admission

  • Some admissions can take up to 90 minutes.
  • Nursing and medical staff will confirm with you the operation you are admitted for.
  • The consent form you signed for your operation will also be confirmed.

You will discuss your procedure with:

  • an interpreter (if required)
  • clerical staff
  • nursing staff
  • allied health staff, such as a physiotherapist (if required)
  • an anaesthetist
  • a surgeon.

You will be encouraged to ask and confirm any questions you have.

Additional tests such as blood tests, urine test and ECG (to record heart activity) may be requested.

We will explain the risks and national health safety standards, such as prevention of falls and maintaining skin integrity.

You will be transferred to a recliner chair in a waiting area where you will remain until it is your time to go to surgery.

Please note, wait times can vary depending on other operations scheduled that day and emergencies.Please bring a book or activity to pass the time. You will be asked to present to Day Surgery at least two hours prior to surgery to allow for any tests, and to meet your treating team.

You will change into a theatre gown and cap and walk to the operating room with your nurse. After surgery, you will wake up in the recovery room before being transferred to Day Surgery for discharge, or to Level 6 for an inpatient (extended) stay.


Theatre nursing staff will meet you at the check-in bay in theatre where you will be asked to identify yourself, and confirm your operation and consent. You will be escorted by the anaesthetic nurse into the anaesthetic room and then into theatre for your operation.

Theatre recovery

Once your operation is finished, you will be taken into the post-anaesthetic care unit where you will begin your recovery from your anaesthetic and operation.

Once you are stable, you will then be transferred to the Day Surgery Unit or the inpatient ward if you are staying overnight or longer.

Last reviewed September 28, 2017.

Emergency surgery at our public hospital

Emergency surgery is a procedure that must be performed straight away. Without emergency surgery, a patient's health is at risk. Learn more about emergency surgery at Mercy Hospital for Women.

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