Preparing For Surgery
Nothing else has worked so doctors tell me that surgery is the only way to make the pain go away and let me enjoy a normal life again.
What do I have to do before surgery?
1) You’ll go through pre-admission testing which means
- blood work
- opt for the Bloodless Medicine Program or donate your own blood for the surgery
2) Approval for surgery from your primary doctor who is always kept in the loop because who knows you better?
3) Back to a pre-op class for about two hours: a requirement whether you’re having knee or hip replacement. In the class, you’ll be told and shown on plastic models what to expect. Benefits include:
- Get information you may not have thought to ask about
- Ask questions that may not have occurred to you before
- Be in class with others who will be having similar surgery, so you realize you’re not alone
4) A month or so before surgery, you’ll begin a physician-supervised exercise program so you’ll be in the best possible shape. Increasing upper body strength is important to help you use a walker, crutches or cane in early post-surgery days.
5) If you’re overweight, losing weight is important in helping you reduce stress on your new joint.
6) Get any dental work done as bacteria can enter the body through your gums. Have needed extractions or periodontal work done before your surgery.
7) Your surgeon may advise you to stop taking some of your current medications which could interfere with surgery.
- Always make sure your surgeon is aware of all medications you take, including over-the-counter, vitamin supplements, minerals, etc.
- Keep a list of everything you take on your computer so it can be printed out for each doctor
8) Check with your local pharmacy to make sure he has any anti-coagulation medicine on hand that you may need post-op for the prevention of blood clotting.
9) Whatever you do, stop smoking if you’re a smoker
10) Check your insurance to make sure your surgery, hospital stay and medications are covered
Packing for the hospital
What to take:
- Basic toiletries (toothbrush, hair brush)
- Eyeglasses (no contact lenses)
- Dentures if you have any
- Hearing aid
- Your list of medications
- Phone numbers that you call regularly
- A book or magazine
What not to take:
- Medications unless directed by your hospital doctors
- Valuable jewelry
- A large amount of cash
- Credit cards
For further questions or instructions, visit the Patient & Visitor section of the AtlantiCare web site, or ask your physician or nurse.