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Theatres at North Devon District Hospital

Theatres at North Devon District Hospital

Our department is proud to offer individualised care. We are warm, friendly and approachable, making sure those who come to our department feel supported throughout their journey with us. We work with our colleagues across the Trust to deliver excellent care, whether you are with us for planned (elective) surgery, emergency care, or if you come to us as an inpatient from another department.

We use state-of-the-art technology and pioneering techniques, with our latest advances including our Da Vinci Robot and our ability to offer particular hip and knee operations as day surgery. This not only boosts your recovery, but it can also help you return home to a familiar environment much sooner.

We have nine operating theatres at North Devon District Hospital. Four are located on Level three, offering a range of specialties including trauma, elective orthopaedics, general surgery, paediatric surgery and emergency surgery. We have two theatres for day surgery, one for gynaecology and breast surgery, and a dedicated obstetric theatre. We also have an ophthalmology theatre within the Vanguard Eye Unit.

Please see the drop-down menus below to find out more information on what will happen before your surgery and how to prepare. You can also find out more about what to expect on the day, and what will happen afterwards.

More about us

If you are coming to us for surgery and need to stay as an inpatient, you will be looked after by our excellent teams on one of our wards.

Jubilee Ward is a dedicated ward for elective orthopaedic surgery.听

Lundy Ward and King George V ward look after people who have had recent surgery. Children who have had an operation will stay on Caroline Thorpe Ward. If you have had a caesarian section, you will stay on Basset Ward, our postnatal maternity ward.听

Contact us

If you would like to speak to us, please contact our main switchboard on 01271 322577 and ask to be put through to the team you would like to speak with.听

Meet the team

Our friendly department is made up of Theatre Support Workers, Operating Department Practitioners, Theatre Nurses, Anaesthetists and Surgeons.We also have other Allied Health Professionals such as Radiographers. We will introduce ourselves to you when you arrive in our department and make sure you feel comfortable. Please ask us if you have any questions, we are here to help.听

Where to find us

The Operating Department at North Devon District Hospital has nine theatres spread across three areas:

Main theatre suite, level 3:

  • Theatres 1 and 2 - elective Orthopaedic and Trauma
  • Theatres 3 and 4 major and emergency surgery

Level 2:

  • Theatres 5 and 6 - Day surgery

Ladywell Unit:

  • Theatre 7 - Gynaecology and Breast Surgery (next to Petter Day Surgery)
  • Theatre 8 - Obstetric

Vanguard unit, Level 0:

  • Eye theatre 鈥 Opthalmology

Pre-op assessments

We will carry out a pre-assessment to make sure you are fit and well to go ahead with your procedure. This is especially important if you are due to have a general anaesthetic, and we will take into account your medical history and any complicating factors.听

This assessment may be face-to-face or a telephone call, depending on the type of procedure you are having. You may also need to have screening or diagnostics tests prior to your surgery, and we'll need to know the results of these before you arrive.听

You'll also receive information about your procedure including what to expect, what to bring with you, and important information about your recovery after your procedure and at home. Our Booking Team will contact you to discuss the date of your procedure.

Day surgery unit

Situated on Level 2, our unit is for surgical procedures that can be carried out in a day surgery setting. This means you can be admitted and discharged on the same day you have your operation.听

Our Day Surgery Unit has a waiting and reception area, four bays and two side rooms with 20 trolley spaces rather than beds. There are also anaesthetic rooms, two operating theatres and a recovery area.听

Visitors who wish to support family members can wait in the waiting area, but cannot go through to the DSU ward. This is to protect the privacy and dignity of our patients.

Pre-op assessments

We will carry out a pre-assessment to make sure you are fit and well ahead of your procedure, as well as confirm that a day surgery setting is suitable for your care. This is especially important if you are due to have a general anaesthetic.

This assessment may be face-to-face or a telephone call, depending on the type of procedure you are having. You may also need to have screening or diagnostics tests prior to your surgery, and we'll need to know the results of these before you arrive.听

You'll also receive information about your procedure including what to expect, what to bring with you, and important information about your recovery after your procedure and at home. Our Booking Team will contact you to discuss the date of your procedure.

Coming in for a day surgery appointment

Your appointment letter will advise what time to arrive at Day Surgery, which will be either early in the morning or at lunchtime.

Depending on your procedure and where you are on the theatre list:

  • For morning procedures, you will probably be ready to go home by lunchtime/early afternoon
  • For afternoon procedures, you will probably be ready to go home during the evening

Please note that the time stated in your letter is not the time of your operation. This depends on theatre lists, types of surgery taking place, and other important considerations that may affect timings on the day.

Occasionally, you may need to stay all day, or you may be asked to arrive at a different time. We apologise for any inconvenience, we are committed to delivering the highest quality care which means that we sometimes have to alter our schedule for the benefit of our patients.听

Going home

Once you have had your surgery and have returned to the ward, you will be given light refreshments before you are discharged to go home.

It is really important that you have someone to collect you, and if you have had a general anaesthetic, someone needs to be with you for at least 24 hours following your surgery.

Find out more

There is a variety of patient information leaflets describing procedures that are carried out in Day Surgery and what to expect in Day Surgeryhere

Coming in for an operation

Your appointment letter will advise where you need to go and what time to arrive.

Please note that the time stated in your letter is not the time of your operation. This depends on theatre lists, types of surgery taking place, and other important considerations that may affect timings on the day.

Occasionally, may be asked to arrive at a different time. We apologise for any inconvenience, we are committed to delivering the highest quality care which means that we sometimes have to alter our schedule for the benefit of our patients.听

What happens on the day of my operation?

Preparing for your arrival

At the start of every operating session the whole team meets to discuss every patient and their individual needs (Team brief), this is to make sure that everyone is prepared for you and your surgery.

A theatre list will have been scheduled and agreed upon, taking into consideration which patients medically need to go in which order, and the estimated length of time for each procedure.

Sometimes procedures can take longer than anticipated or there is an emergency which interrupts the list, this can cause delays or cancellations. We make every effort to make sure that this does not happen. The nurses on the ward will keep you informed.

Before your operation

Before you come to theatres you will have been seen by your consultant (or a member of their team) and an anaesthetist who will make sure:

  • You have given your consent听
  • You have been well informed听
  • You are prepared for your surgery

When the operating theatre is ready, a staff member will walk you to theatre or collect you with a bed/trolley/wheelchair. You will be taken to an anaesthetic room where your team will introduce themselves and carry out their usual safety checks.

The anaesthetist will then give you either a local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic, and the team will safely transfer you to the theatre.听

After your operation

You will be taken to a recovery room and we will support you whilst you recover from your anaesthetic. This involves carrying out regular observations, managing pain relief and keeping you comfortable.听

As soon as you are ready, we will transfer you back to the ward and hand over your care so that you can continue your recovery.听

General surgery

The general surgical team encompasses a full range of emergency and elective inpatient and day case surgery. All consultants have extensive general surgical experience coupled with strong interests in several specialist fields. We are one of the only specialist hernia and abdominal wall surgery units in the country.

We offer a wide range of investigations and treatment for benign and malignant surgical diseases. All forms of minimal access surgery are performed, when appropriate, including laparoscopic cholecystectomy, hernia repair, colonic resection and anti-reflux surgery.

The team of consultant general surgeons also provide a consultant-led 24/7 emergency surgery service and daily surgical emergency clinic.

Last updated: July 14, 2023

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