Preparing for Surgery & Procedure

Preparing for Surgery

Once you and your Doctor decides that surgery will help you, you’ll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and need to create a treatment plan for the best results afterward. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step for success of the surgery. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly with fewer complications.

Working with Your Doctor

Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery
  • Discuss with your doctor about the options to prepare for a potential blood replacement, including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery
  • If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. However, you should not have dieting during the month before your surgery
  • If you are taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you may need to stop taking them atleast one week before surgery to minimize bleeding
  • If you smoke, you should stop or cut down, to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery
  • Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems, should be treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later on
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by daily multivitamin with iron
  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up
  • Arrange for someone to help you out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry
  • Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often
  • Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls
  • Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms

Preparing for Procedure

If you are having a day Surgery, remember the following:

  • Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours
  • Do not drink or eat anything in the car on trip to home
  • The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours
  • If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and apply ice compression as directed. This will help to decrease swelling and pain
  • Take your pain medicine as directed. Take pain medicine if you feel uncomfortable, but before the pain becomes severe. Once the pain become severe, it may become difficult to control the pain