Preparing for surgery
Once you and your Doctor decide that surgery is the next step, you'll need to learn what to expect from the surgery and 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 will help you recover more quickly and
have fewer problems.
Working with Your Doctor
Before surgery you are likely to be referred
to an investigation clinic at the hospital where
you'll undergo routine tests, such as blood tests
and x-rays together with a physical examination,
and at that time you'll be provided with more
detailed information regarding your in-patient
Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family
physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
If you are taking
"coumadin" (warfarin), you will need to
stop taking it one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
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 infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all
infections have cleared up.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and
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
Preparing for procedure
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
If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that
extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start
getting 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
controlling the pain.