This article covers the need to effectively optimise patient status preoperatively to help maximise postoperative outcomes. The article is well written and emphasises close liaison with anaesthetic colleagues particularly regarding airway assessment and nausea and vomiting. As is becoming common now, the case for routine postoperative antibiotics is not supported with a brief coverage of the evidence as pertains to oral surgery. Particularly useful is the consideration of paediatric and geriatric patients. The need to consider anatomical airway differences on the child, and generalised decline in physiological reserve and increased comorbidity in older patients reinforces the author’s point of meticulous preoperative work up. This is a useful article that all surgeons would do well to read to better their patients’ outcomes.