Planning Surgery

 selecting your operation date

Before you can have your operation, you will be required to answer some routine health questions and to have some basic checks carried out by a nurse.  This is to ensure that, if you are going to need a general anaesthetic, it can be given safely. It is important that any conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes are under the best control before surgery. Routine blood tests and skin swabs will usually be taken.  Occasionally, you may be required to be seen by one of the anaesthetic team prior to your operation. If it is decided that having a general anaesthetic is not the best option for you, because of another health condition, alternative options can be discussed. Many procedures to the lower limbs can be undertaken using spinal or epidural anaesthetic which have a lesser chance of affecting the heart or breathing.

 Agreeing a date for your operation

If you are going to use a health insurance policy to fund your operation you should ring your provider as soon as a date for the surgery has been agreed.

Approval is required before your operation can go ahead and an approval code will be issued by your insurer. Physiotherapy, to commence after your surgery, can be arranged directly through the Nuffield hospital. Information relating to when to start physiotherapy depends on your operation but advice will be given.


In addition you should arrange for someone to take you to and from the hospital on the day of your operation. This is important for 3 reasons: if you have had a general anaesthetic you should not drive for 48 hours, you may not be able to properly control the vehicle and, you may cause damage to your knee that will affect the outcome. Information relating to when you can start to drive depends on what procedure you have had done. Typically you may be able to drive 6 to 8 weeks after a knee replacement. It is recommended that you have someone at home with you for the first night.


Nuffield Health - Information for patients coming into hospital

Nuffield Health - Patient Information

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital - Information for patients coming into hospital


Continue to: Aftercare

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