skip to main content

Spinal and Neurosurgery Pre-Op and Anaesthetic Assessment Unit

You may be asked to have the following tests done:


Lung Function Tests

You will be asked to perform some breathing test into a machine which will measure the size of your lungs and how efficiency they work.

4 hours before the test

Please do not drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks (e.g. coffee, tea, chocolate, cola within 4 hours of your appointment)

2 hours before tests

Please do not smoke or eat a heavy meal for 2 hours prior to your appointment time.


What is an ECHO?

An echo or Heart Scan is a procedure looks at the structure of your Heart using sound waves to produce an image. The test is not painful and are no side effects.

You will be asked to undress down the waist and lie on the bed. 3 electrodes will then be placed on your chest in order to monitor the heart beat.

Ultrasound Gel is also put onto your chest (this ensures a good contact between skin and probe). The technician will move the probe around the chest to various positions to obtain specific images. The test takes up to 30 minutes to perform.


Why Perform Blood Test?

To ensure fit to undergo surgery and to get a set of baseline results


What is an Ultrasound examination?

An ultrasound examination allows pictures to produce by using sound waves. Gel is put on the body and a small probe is moved over the skin. Ultrasound is used to examine many parts of the body such as liver, kidneys, bladder, veins and arteries, tests, muscles and ligaments.

Ultrasound is extremely safe with no known side effects.

After the examination, you will be free to go home and resume your normal diet.


What is MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This is a scanning procedure that uses a combination of a strong magnet, harmless radio waves and a computer to produce very detailed picture of your body.

How long will I be there?

The scan time varies from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the information requested by your doctor.

After you have been scanned, you can carry on with your normal activities immediately.


What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?

An ECG is a recording of your heartbeat. It is straightforward test that is painless and has no side effects.

The heart beats by producing small electrical signals. It is from the surface of the skin that we are able to detect theses signals, and by using an ECG  machine, record them onto paper.

The technician will ask you to undress down to the waist and lie down on a couch. Stick on electrodes will be placed on your arms, legs and chest. Wires from the ECG machine will then be connected to the electrodes. You will be then asked to relax while the recording is being taken.

The test takes approximately 5-10 minutes to perform.


What are X-rays?

An X-ray is a widely used diagnostic test to examine the inside of the body. X-rays are a very effective of detecting problems with bones, such as fractures.

X-rays are a type of radiation. Radiation is a general term that refers to any sort of energy that can travel through space as with a wave or a particle. Examples of other types of radiation include:

  • Light
  • Radio waves
  • Microwaves

Due to their high frequency, X-rays can pass through the human body. This makes X-rays ideal for looking inside the body.


What is CT?

CT stands for Computed Tomography. This is a scanning procedure that uses a combination of x-radiation and a computer to produce detailed images of your body in several sections.

What does CT scan show?

A CT scan provides images of thin section through your head and body. Images data can be manipulated to enhance the tissue and bone details dependent on the area of interest.


You may also be seen by the following Specialists

Consultant and registrar: To discuss your current health problems, to go through consent form and answer any outstanding questions.

SHO (Senior House Officer): Assessing general health before you get admitted onto the ward.

Nurse Practitioner: Carries out all your observation including you height and weight and gives out leaflets containing information about surgery, general anaesthetic, risks of blood clots and MRSA screening.

Psysiotherapists: See some patients and talk about your general health, carry our spirometre tests and listen to your chest.

Anaesthtist: ‚ÄčTakes into account your results of any tests which have been carried out to decide your fitness for anaesthesia.


For inquiries, please contact Ms. Teresa Hill-Daykin at 01159249924 ext 64341


Last updated: November 2017