Preparing for surgery
Once you have decided to go ahead with surgery, it is important to be familiar with what will happen before and after the operation. Having surgery can be a stressful process and it is important to be physically and mentally prepared to ensure a successful outcome. Understanding this process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems. Discuss all your concerns with your surgeon.
It is important that you are in optimal health. It is likely that you will be referred for routine tests, such as blood tests and x-rays. You will also need a physical examination. Should there be any concerns related to your health that may have an impact on your postoperative recovery you may be referred by to your GP or specialist for optimization of your medical conditions.
The following general points are important to consider:
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your GP to see which ones should be stopped before surgery.
- If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint and on your body in general. Losing weight will also make the surgery easier from a technical point of view and will improve the recovery. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.
- If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to inform your surgeon as some of them may need to be stopped to decrease the risk of intraoperative and postoperative bleeding
- If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
- Any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems should be treated before surgery to reduce the risk of later infection.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
Detailed information regarding your hospital stay, the type of anaesthetic to be used, the likely postoperative course and any special postoperative instructions such as physiotherapy or rehabilitation programs will be provided closer to the time of surgery. You will have an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have at this time.
If you are having 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 the trip home. The combination of anaesthesia, 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.
- Ensure you have somebody at home with you for the first night after surgery.
Should you have any concerns do not hesitate to contact our office on (02) 8005 5111.
It is also important to be prepared for your return home after surgery.
- Arrange for someone to help 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.