Once you and your surgeon decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the operation and also create a treatment plan for the best results afterward.
Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Working with Your Surgeon.
Before surgery, please discuss with your surgeon any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are often performed before the operation.
Discuss any medications you are taking with your surgeon and your GP to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery. Often, if you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, you will need to stop taking most of them ten days before surgery to minimize bleeding. Consult your surgeon about all medication changes prior to making any change.
If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will make the anaesthetic safer and help decrease the stress you place on your new joint or repair.
If you smoke, you should stop (ideally for 2 weeks prior to and 6 weeks after your operation) to reduce your anaesthetic and surgical risks. Smokers have higher complication rates including infection, delayed wound healing rates and delayed bone growth and soft tissue healing.
Please have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet and report any infections to me. Elective surgery usually will not be performed until all infections have cleared up.
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.
Preparing For Day Surgery. General advice.
If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following:
Have someone available to take you home. After shoulder surgery, do not drive until your surgeon has provided a clearance to drive.
Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home – the combination of anaesthesia, food and car motion can 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 (elbow or knee), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Your surgeon will advise on how to manage your pain medication post operatively.
In any stage if you have any concerns regarding your operation either before or after, you should speak to your surgeon.