If you have an urgent problem requiring immediate surgical assessment you will be referred acutely to the General Surgical Department, at North Shore or Waitakere hospitals (depending on where you live and how serious your condition is). You will initially be seen by a member of the junior medical team who will assess your condition and decide whether you need to be admitted to hospital. If you are admitted to hospital, the team will perform further investigations, and more senior members of staff will be involved where necessary.
If your problem is not urgent, your GP/family doctor will write a letter to the General Surgical Department detailing your medical history and requesting an appointment in the outpatient clinic. The letters received by the department are reviewed by a consultant surgeon who determines who needs to be seen first. Very urgent cases are normally seen within a couple of weeks, while other cases may have to wait much longer.
When you have your appointment a diagnosis will be made, and in some instances surgery may be required. The steps involved in the surgical process and the likely outcome will be discussed with you at your appointment.
If surgery is advised you will be placed on the elective surgery waiting list. The waiting list is ordered according to the severity and urgency of each condition. Most surgery is performed at North Shore Hospital, but Waitakere Hospital does perform some minor surgery.
You may be required to attend a pre-admission clinic before your surgery to ensure that you are fit and well enough to undergo the surgery.