Preparing for Surgery
Once you and your Doctor decide that surgery is the best plan, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery. You and your Doctor can work together to create a treatment plan for the best results after surgery. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. In order to recover quickly and reduce the possibility of complications, you need to understand the process and your role in it.
Working with Your Doctor
Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to confirm you have no
conditions that could interfere with the surgery or it’s outcome. Tests such as blood tests and X-rays are usually performed a week before any major surgery as a routine practice.
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to determine which medications you may need to stop taking before surgery
- Discuss with your doctor the potential need for blood replacement including donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments prior to surgery
- In order to minimize bleeding you will need to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. You will need to stop taking them one week before surgery as a precaution
- 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 treated before surgery to reduce the risk of
- Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron
- Report any infections to your surgeon since all infections must be cleared up in order to perform surgery.
- Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like shopping, cooking, and laundry
- Put frequently used items within easy reach before surgery to reduce the strain of reaching and bending post-surgery
- Remove all loose rugs 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 Day Surgery, remember the following:
- Have someone available to take you home
- Do not drive for at least 24 hours after surgery
- On the trip home in the car, do not drink or eat anything
- 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
- Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine when you become uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty in controlling the pain