- Please call the hospital to schedule your pre-admission appointment to sign consent forms and discuss financial matters and anesthesia prior to surgery. If indicated you may also require some blood tests and an EKG.
- In case medical or cardiac clearance is required for the surgery, it should be submitted at least a week prior to the surgery. This is crucial as surgery cannot be performed until the clearance is received.
- Please stop taking all aspirin products, herbal or vitamin supplements and anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve and Motrin at least seven days prior to the surgery. If you are on blood thinning medications such as Coumadin, Plavix and Warfarin, ask your doctor about the discontinuation of this medication prior to the surgery. This is crucial as these medications increase the risk of bleeding and complications of anesthesia. If required Tylenol (Acetaminophen) may be taken prior to surgery for pain relief or headache.
- Please inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking and clarify as to what can and cannot be taken prior to the surgery.
- Please inform your doctor of any change in your medication between your pre-operative visit and the day of the surgery.
- Also inform your doctor if you develop any illness prior to surgery even if it’s a minor problem such as a skin problem or a cold. An infection in the body increases the risk of operative site infection. The lungs should be clear before giving any local, regional or general anesthesia. If the doctor feels that the change in health will affect the outcome of the surgery, the surgery may be postponed to a later date.
- If you are unable to undergo the surgery, for any reason, kindly inform the doctor as soon as possible.
- Unless instructed otherwise, “Do Not Eat Anything After Midnight Prior To Your Surgery”. You may be allowed to take certain medicines, with a small sip of water, on the day of the surgery.
- Shower with an antibacterial soap prior to the surgery to help prevent infection. However, this can be skipped if you are advised to wear a cast or splint.
- Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery as you will not be able to drive yourself home.
Apart from the specific instructions given to you depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, the basic general instructions that you should follow after your surgery are as follows:
- Take pain relieving and other medications as advised. Pain relieving medication should be taken with food. After the first 48 hours of surgery, take the pain medication only when needed.
- Do not drink alcohol, drive a vehicle, operate any machinery or sign a legal document for the first 24 hours after the surgery as the effect of the sedative and/ or the aesthesia administered during the surgery may last for the first 24 hours of the surgery.
- Use ice packs to control swelling. However, make sure that the ice bag does not leak into the dressing. Ice packs can be used liberally for the first 48 hours and even later, if required.
- Follow the specific restriction of activity, as advised. Remember that it is easier to prevent developing pain rather than managing it once it has already developed. Rest for a few days after the surgery and keep the operated extremity elevated, above the level of your heart, to control swelling.
- Keep the dressing clean and dry to promote wound healing.
- Try to begin physical therapy a day or two after the surgery. Exercises in the first week are usually aimed at regaining joint motion. Strengthening exercises are initiated later. Regular exercises are critical for a successful outcome.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks.
- Schedule your follow up appointment with your doctor as advised.
Please consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Increased drainage from the incision
- Increased redness around the operated area
- Increased swelling that does not decrease with ice and elevation
- Foul odor
- Fever greater than 101°F
- Coldness, numbness or blanched white or bluish color of the fingers or toes
- Sudden calf pain or shortness of breath
- Chest pain