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Perioperative care

Perioperative care is where healthcare professionals are involved in your care before, during and after you have surgery. Most patients having major surgery will go through the perioperative medicine service.

Our departments are perioperative medicine (POM), surgical pre-assessment and prehabilitation. Our team is made up of anaesthetists, nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, dietitians, psychologists, health care assistants and administrative staff.

We're one of the leading trusts for perioperative medicine in the UK, and one of the few trusts in the NHS to have a funded prehabilitation service for our patients.

We focus on screening and assessing you before you have surgery, using electronic and face-to-face tools. We then use this information to help you understand the risks of surgery, and to advise you on the best ways to prepare for surgery (if that is the decided treatment).

The services we have to support you leading up to and following your surgery include anaemia treatments, exercise advice, and specialist input from dietitians and psychologists.

You can find us at surgical pre-assessment on C level, Southampton General Hospital.

You may be contacted by the following services:

My Medical Record screening

Through the My Medical Record application, we'll ask you to fill in a health screening questionnaire. This will help the clinical team to understand more about your health, and arrange any investigations needed. You can also use the My Medical Record application to see your upcoming appointments, letters and results from your clinical teams.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET)

You may be asked to perform a cardiopulmonary exercise test to check how your body will cope with the stress of major surgery, and to help guide your treatment options. The results will be shared with the surgical team.

Fit for surgery school

These live weekly online surgery school seminars are offered to patients who might have surgery. They are designed to help educate you and your family on how best to support your health whilst waiting, how to prepare for surgery and what to expect when coming into hospital and after. A range of staff members from our team will present the seminar including nurses, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists, dietitians and administrative staff.

Shared decision-making clinic

This is a detailed discussion you will have with an anaesthetist about the risks, benefits, and options of having an anaesthetic and surgery. It will look at your personal circumstances and health, alongside the potential surgical and medical options available, to help you to understand and decide on the most suitable treatment for you.

Perioperative anaemia service

We have a specialist service dedicated to investigating and treating forms of anaemia (low red blood cell levels) before any possible surgery. This is picked up on blood tests performed as part of your routine investigations and the anaemia nurses will contact you with the recommended course of treatment.


We offer prehabilitation to support you with exercise, nutrition and your emotional needs. This involves completing a health screening questionnaire, individual assessment and creating a personalised support plan.

Surgical pre-assessment

The surgical pre-assessment team do an in-depth screening with you before any surgery goes ahead. This appointment could be over the telephone, via video call or face-to-face. You may speak to a nurse and/or an anaesthetist. This is to make sure your surgery can go ahead as safely as possible and that your surgical team are able to meet your needs. You can ask questions about what to expect from surgery, your recovery and the next steps at this appointment.