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The Elective Surgery Centre (ESC) - North Shore Hospital Campus, Waitematā DHB

Public Service, General Surgery, ENT/ Head & Neck Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Plastic Surgery, Urology

Frequently Asked Questions

“Now I’ve got my letter confirming the date, what happens before I come in for my operation?” – The day before your operation, you will be called by one of our nurses, who will discuss with you when you should stop eating and drinking, prior to surgery. They will also tell you what time you should plan to arrive at the ESC and when you should stop taking any medication if required. You should inform us if you take aspirin or blood thinners, such as warfarin. You will also need to arrange transport to and from the hospital on the day. Patients that are discharged from the ESC on the same day of surgery will need to make prior arrangements to be collected from the hospital and then have someone responsible to look after them over the subsequent 24 hours, after surgery. Please bring your carer's name and contact number with you so we can contact them for you when you are ready to go home.  

Where is the Elective Surgery Centre?” The ESC is based on the North Shore Hospital Campus, right next to the multi-level car park building. It is clearly signposted from the car park and within the hospital grounds. Click here for a map

“What do I bring with me on the day?” – If you are staying overnight, you will need to bring some comfortable and practical sleepwear, slippers and your toiletries. If you have any X-rays, doctor's letters or ACC documentation, please bring these along with your current medications, yellow medication card (if you have one) and your Community Services Card, if required. If you wear glasses or need walking aids, please bring these along with you and perhaps some reading material if you wish. We do also have individual TVs for each bedspace for your entertainment. If you are a day patient, please bring loose fitting, comfortable clothes to go home in. In all instances, please try to avoid bringing any valuables with you, as we cannot take responsibility for them if you do bring them in.

“What happens when I arrive at the ESC on my day of surgery?” – When you arrive, you will be greeted by our receptionist, who will take your details and ask you to take a seat in the waiting area. From there, you will be collected by one of the pre-admission Nurses. Your support person may stay with you until you are taken through to the Pre-op area to get ready for your operation. Once in the Pre-op area, the nurse will measure your weight, blood pressure, temperature and height and then the surgeon and anaesthetist will come and see you and get you to sign your consent forms. We will ask you to change into a gown and give you a dressing gown and socks for you to wear, whilst you wait. Once this is all done, you will wait until the theatre team eventually collect you and take you through to the operating theatre. There may be some occasions when you could wait in this area for quite a while, but there are newspapers, magazines and a TV to help break up the time.

“Can I have visitors?” – Yes, visitors are always welcome at the ESC and we ask that visitors respect the patients on our ward and keep to visiting between 8 am and 8 pm. If the visitors have any issues, please contact the ward supervisor. 

“What happens after my operation?" – When you do eventually go home from the ESC, either on the same day or after a longer stay on our ward, we will provide you with instructions on how to take care of yourself, any prescriptions required, details of any follow up appointments and a medical certificate if required.

“Can I drive home afterwards?” – After having any kind of surgery and/or anaesthesia, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home, so you will need to have arranged for somebody to collect you and take you home. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol, operating machinery or signing any legal documentation for 24 hours after your operation.


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This page was last updated at 3:25PM on August 2, 2021.