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Elective Surgery

If you need surgery, your surgeon sends a referral to the Elective Surgery Clinic. You are then placed on the elective surgery waiting list and treated in turn. The amount of time you wait for your surgery depends on your urgency category.

Your surgeon tells us what category you are.

The three urgency categories are:
Category 1- Urgent – Admission is preferable within 30 days
Category 2- Semi-Urgent – Admission is desirable within 90 days
Category 3- Non-Urgent – Admission within 365 days is desirable

We aim to treat patients within these times.

The nurses in Elective Surgery Clinic will assess your health before we give you a date for surgery. We start by looking at your Patient Health Questionnaire which is part of the paperwork that you fill out with your surgeon.
Our nurses may also call you to ask questions about your health. This helps us to decide if you need any appointments or tests before your surgery.

If you need a preadmission appointment before your surgery we will contact you.

Preadmission Clinic

Preadmission clinic is part of the Elective Surgery Clinic.

The role of preadmission clinic is to make sure you are fit for surgery. We also make sure you have all the information you need before your admission to hospital.

You will usually see a nurse and a doctor at your preadmission appointment. Some people may also see a specialist anaesthetist. Depending on the type of surgery you are having, you may also see a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, or specialist nurse.

If you do not attend your appointments it may delay your surgery.

Frequently asked questions

  • Am I still on the waiting list?

    When you go on the waiting list you will get a letter. This letter will tell you the date you went on the waiting list, and your category. The amount of time you wait for your surgery depends on what urgency category you are.

    While you are on the waiting list we will send you a letter every three months asking if you still want your surgery. You then call us to tell us to keep you on the list or take you off.

    This is so we can stay in contact with you and you can tell us if your circumstances change.

    We will not take you off the waiting list unless you or your surgeon ask us to.

    Occasionally, if we have attempted to contact you lots of times, and you do not answer, we may take you off the waiting list. For this reason it is important that you tell us if you are going away or moving house.

  • How long does my preadmission appointment take?

    Most appointments take about one hour.

    If you are having a joint replacement you need to plan to be at the hospital for at least 4 hours. This is so you can see all the people involved in your care, and have the tests you need.

    You can bring some lunch or buy lunch from our cafeteria.

    If you need a medical certificate when attending appointments please tell our staff on the day.

  • Do I need to fast for my preadmission clinic appointment?

    No, you don’t need to fast for preadmission clinic.

    You only need to fast when you are coming for your surgery, or if your doctor asks you to fast for blood tests.

  • Do I have to take the first surgery date I am given?

    It is helpful if you try hard to take the first surgery date we give you, but you don’t have to. You can refuse two dates. You must take the third surgery date we give you or we may take you off the waiting list.

  • Where will I have my surgery?

    South West Healthcare has surgeons operating at our Warrnambool and Camperdown hospitals. Your surgery could be in Warrnambool or Camperdown.

  • What do I do if I lose my fasting instructions?

    Please call the Elective Surgery Clinic during business hours on (03) 5564 4254. If it is after hours and your surgery is the next day please call our main switchboard on (03) 5563 1666.

Page last updated: 3 November 2023

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