Guidance for adult patients having an operation during COVID-19

What to expect going for an operation during the pandemic?

CPOC has produced a series of Frequently Asked Questions to address some of the concerns that you may have about going to hospital during the pandemic and to offer some advice on how you can best prepare for your operation

The NHS is working to restore surgical services after they were stopped to help hospitals cope with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This series of FAQs aims to address some of the concerns that you may have about going to hospital at this time and to offer some advice on how you can best prepare for your operation.

Click the link below to download the FAQs in full as a leaflet, or scroll down to open each individual adult FAQ.

In conjunction with the FSSA, Association, RCSEng and the RCoA, CPOC has published guidance on the COVID-19 and timing of elective surgery. An updated multidisciplinary consensus statement on the significant number of patients who have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 requiring surgery and the multisystem consideration required for safe surgery can be found here. 

Download the patient information on the consensus statement below. 


NHS staff throughout the UK have been working hard to plan and prepare for how their hospitals can safely restart surgery during the pandemic. All providers will plan their services so that the care of patients requiring surgery under anaesthetic is as safe as possible at this time.

Centre for Perioperative Care
FAQs for patients having an operation during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

What can I do to prepare for my operation and minimise risk?

If your procedure is not an emergency, you may find that you need to wait a while until the day of your operation. However, you can use this to your advantage. There is much you can do during the waiting time to prepare yourself for surgery and improve your health. Evidence shows that fitter patients recover quicker from surgery and experience fewer complications. What we understand about the virus also shows that those people in better health usually develop milder symptoms and recover quicker from COVID-19.

If you are as fit as possible ahead of the procedure, the healthcare team may allow your surgery to be treated as a ‘day case’. This means that you will be able to leave the hospital the same day of the operation and minimise risk even further. Please note that some operations always require you to remain overnight in hospital after the surgery.

Below are some steps you can take to improve your physical and mental health ahead of the operation and to increase your ability to fight coronavirus:

Steps you can take

Would you like to download the guidance for young people 'My Operation and Coronavirus'?
Click below to access the above FAQs as a leaflet.