Preparing for your surgery

Our outpatient clinics are designed to prepare you for surgery in one visit, and will involve investigations and information tailored to you. Unfortunately this may mean that your appointment could last a few hours. 

During your appointment you will meet one of our surgeons, who will explain your condition and the proposed surgery. Some of the tests you may have include:

  • an x-ray to look at your lungs
  • an ECG to analyse your heart rhythm
  • breathing tests to assess how well your lungs are working
  • a transthoracic echocardiogram, which uses ultrasound to look at the structure and function of your heart
  • blood tests and swabs.

A nurse practitioner and nurse case manager will take your medical history, and answer any questions you have such as when the operation might be and how much time it will take to recover.

If you are accepted for surgery, after your pre-assessment your name will be added to the surgical waiting list. We aim to give you a date for surgery within 18 weeks of referral. If your operation is urgent, we aim to admit you within eight weeks of attending the outpatient clinic.


If you require heart valve surgery, a dental assessment is needed to ensure that you are in good dental health. This is important as bacteria around your teeth can cause infections in your heart.

More information

Further information about preparing for surgery can be found in our cardiac surgery patient information booklet.