Your surgery at Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence (MEOC)

Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence (MEOC) is a purpose built surgical hub for patients requiring orthopaedic (bone) surgery.

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Your surgery at Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence (MEOC)


Mexborough Elective Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence (MEOC) is based at the Mexborough Montagu Hospital and treats people from Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster and Rotherham. If you are waiting for orthopaedic surgery you may be offered surgery at the MEOC. The consultants within the MEOC will be the same as those who would treat you in your local hospital. 

Because MEOC is only treating patients having planned orthopaedic surgery, the risk of your operation being cancelled is likely to be lower than if you were having your operation in one of our busy general hospitals. 

Your surgery will be performed by expert surgeons and anaesthetics, and a highly skilled team of nurses and physiotherapists. For this reason, it is likely that you won’t need to stay in hospital overnight after your surgery and therefore will be ready to go home the same day. However, a few patients may need to stay in hospital overnight, especially if your operation is towards the end of the day. If this is the case, we would expect you to be able to go home the following day. 

Not all patients on waiting lists will be able to be treated at MEOC. If you have a lot of other medical problems, you may still need to have your operation in your local hospital. 

Preparing for your operation

It is really important that you are as fit as possible before your operation. The fitter you are the more likely your operation will succeed with fewer complications. 

Please do seek advice about lifestyle improvements from your GP, such as reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking, weight loss and increasing exercise, to ensure that you are as healthy as possible. 

You will attend a pre-operative assessment at your local hospital where we will check various medical details such as your blood pressure, blood count (whether you are anaemic) and kidney function. If you are diabetic, we will also test how well controlled your diabetes is. This is because it is important to have all these health conditions as well controlled as possible before your operation to prevent complications. 

It would be really helpful for you to check your own blood pressure if you are able to do so or get it checked at your GP. If it is above 160/90, you are likely to require medication and the sooner this is started the sooner we will be able to go ahead with your surgery. 

Similarly, if you suffer from diabetes and your HbA1c has not been checked for 6 months or was over 69mmol/mol the last time it was checked, please arrange to have this checked 

again and work with your diabetic adviser to improve this. It is very unlikely that your surgery will be undertaken if your diabetes is not well controlled and if your HbA1c is above this value. 

If you are on certain blood thinning medicines, or medicines for high blood pressure, you may need to stop these for a few days before your operation. If this is the case we will give you clear instructions and will also tell you when you should start them again after your surgery. 

If you take medication regularly, please ensure that you have a supply of these at home for after your discharge.

If you are having a hip or knee replacement you will attend Joint School at your local Trust who will provide information prior to your surgery. Your physiotherapy team will provide you with some exercises to do before your operation which will help you to develop the strength in your muscles and therefore recover more quickly after the operation. 

We will ensure that you have been given information to help you to be fully informed about your condition and what the various treatment options are. You will then be able to make a properly informed decision with your surgical team about whether surgery is the best treatment for you. 

Your surgeon will meet you before the date of your surgery to explain the details of your operation, what benefit you are likely to get from it and any risks or complications which might occur. They will ask you to sign a form which gives your consent (or permission) for us to perform the operation. It is important that you realise that at any time in the process you can change your mind or ask for more information. 

We will also provide you with further information and videos about what to expect when you come for your operation and most importantly how to prepare for it and what you will need to do to ensure you have the best possible recovery. 

The day of your operation


You will be told what time to arrive at Rockingham Ward at Mexborough Montagu Hospital for your operation and where to report to. It is very important to follow the instructions about when to stop eating. 

Morning operations – 7.30am admission. Nothing to eat after 2am, this includes food, milk, sweets, chewing gum and fizzy drinks. You are encouraged to drink water or clear fluids before your operation. Please do not drink after 6am but you can have sips of water until you are admitted.

Afternoon operations – please arrive at the time stated in your admission letter, this will be between 10.30am and 12 noon. Nothing to eat after 7am, this includes food, milk, sweets, chewing gum and fizzy drinks. You are encouraged to drink water or clear fluids before your operation. Please do not drink after 10am but you can have sips of water until you are admitted.

It is also very important that you continue to drink water until you arrive at the hospital. Once there, you will be advised how long you are able to continue to take fluids. If you get dehydrated, you may get a headache or feel dizzy after your operation and that will delay your recovery.

Who will you see? 

When you arrive you will be seen by a nurse who will ensure that everything is ready for your operation. 

You will also be seen by your surgeon who will answer any questions about the operation. They will put a mark on your leg if you are having hip or knee surgery to ensure that the correct side is identified. 

You will also be seen by your anaesthetist who will confirm your medical details and explain the anaesthetic to you. 

Your anaesthetic 

Most patients, especially those having a hip replacement or a knee replacement will have a spinal anaesthetic. This is where a small injection is administered in your back which makes your leg completely numb so you cannot feel any of the operation. Most patients then choose some music to listen to during the operation. You can bring your own earphones and music playlist on an electronic device. 

Occasionally, if a patient is very anxious, the anaesthetist can offer some sedation, which for most patients is enough to allow them to listen comfortably to their music. 

A few patients having different types of orthopaedic procedures may require a general anaesthetic and if this is the case, your anaesthetist will discuss this with you. 

Your recovery

Your operation will take from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the surgery you require. Once it is finished, you will be taken to our recovery ward where you will sit up and have a drink before moving to our day surgery area or inpatient ward. 

Over the next four hours, the nurses will give you something to eat and drink, and once any numbness has worn off, you will be helped to get dressed. 

The therapists will explain any exercises you need to do after you go home. The nurses will give you a package of tablets to take at home and will explain which ones are to be taken and when. It is important after you go home that you take your medicines regularly as this will ensure that you are comfortable and able to sleep well and do all your exercises. 

The physiotherapy team will help you to walk and show you how to use your crutches. 

Going home

For lower limb surgery, once you are walking safely on your crutches and have practiced using stairs you will be able to go home. This is usually about 4 hours after your operation. 

If your operation finishes late in the day you may need to stay in hospital overnight and go home the following morning. Please be reassured you will not go home unless it is safe for you to do so. 

If required you will be referred to the District Nursing team from your local area and information about this will be given to you on discharge.

You will need to arrange for a friend or relative to collect you from hospital after your operation and ensure that they remain with you for at least the first night after your surgery. 

After you go home

Once you are at home you will need to continue to take your medicines regularly and do your exercises. A member of the MEOC team will contact you the day after your surgery to ensure that everything is going well for you and answer any worries or questions you may have. Remember that it is really important to do your exercises regularly as this will make a big difference to your recovery. 

Contact us 

Nurse base phone number: 01709 649312

More information about the MEOC can be accessed here.

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