Before you arrive

Before you arrive for your procedure

Before you arrive at Bowen, there are a few things to double check and think about. Read the information below to make sure you are prepared for your stay with us.

Before you arrive for your procedure

Assessing your health prior to admission

If there has been any recent changes in your health, please ensure that your anaesthetist, surgeon or nursing staff are advised as soon as possible, as it may be necessary to postpone your procedure.

For example, if you develop a cold, flu, infection, vomiting, diarrhoea, laceration or breakdown of skin, or suffer an asthma attack prior to your admission to hospital.

If you’re needing to confirm your admission time, please phone our reception on 04 479 2069 the working day before your surgery.

Eating and drinking before your anaesthetic

If you are undergoing surgery, your stomach must be empty. So it is very important to ask your specialist whether you should fast (not eat or drink, which includes chewing gum and sweets) before admission, and from what time.

Here are some general guidelines, but you will receive specific instructions from your specialist:

Adults and children over 2 years
Do not eat anything for 6 hours before your admission time. You may drink WATER freely up until 2 hours before your admission, then nothing more. Remember, milk is considered a food.

Children under 2 years
Cow’s milk or formula may be taken up to 6 hours prior to admission time, and breast milk up to 4 hours before admission. WATER only may be drunk up to 2 hours before admission.

These instructions are for your safety and wellbeing. Please follow them closely. If your specialist or anaesthetist gives you other instructions, you must follow them. Your operation may have to be postponed if you do not comply with these guidelines.

You will have discussed with your specialist any regular medications you are taking. Please bring all your usual medications in the original containers to our hospital with you, including any herbal and dietary supplements.

A detailed list from your general practitioner will help our specialists chart the correct medications for you.

If you are being admitted on the day of your surgery, continue to take your regular medications as prescribed unless advised otherwise.

Patients on anticoagulants need to take special care
Any anticoagulants (drugs that reduce blood clotting) for example Warfarin should not be taken prior to surgery without consulting your specialist.

Aspirin or Disprin
Is usually, but not always, discontinued in the week prior to surgery. Please check with your specialist.
Failure to stop taking your anticoagulant medications as advised could result in your surgery being postponed.

We recommend that you avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs (other than medications your specialist prescribes) during the 24 hours prior to your admission.

In case of traffic congestion, please allow yourself plenty of time to get to the hospital. It is always better to be early rather than late, and you will feel more relaxed. If unavoidable circumstances delay your arrival, please call us as soon as you can on 06 873 1111.

It is always a good idea to organise transport home from the hospital on the day of your discharge as well.

– Your admission forms and health questionnaire if you haven’t used our online eAdmission portal (please bring copies if you have posted them to us)
– X-rays and scans relevant to your surgery
– All your usual medications (including herbal and dietary supplements) in their original containers – please refer to important ‘medications’ information
– Your medical insurance company’s letter of prior approval
– ACC’s letter authorising your treatment in a private hospital
– Glasses and physical aids (walking sticks, hearing aids, etc)
– Comfortable clothing and footwear
– It is a good idea for children to bring their favourite toy or blanket.

If you are staying overnight please also pack:
– Suitable nightwear and dressing gown
– Slippers
– Toiletries
– Reading and writing material.

– Large amounts of cash
– Jewellery
– Other valuables.

We will do our best to ensure the safety of your valuables, however Bowen Hospital accepts no responsibility for patients’ possessions.

If there is anything else you would like to know, please feel free to contact us.

Your journey with us