When getting ready for surgery, patients often believe that their fates are in the hands of the surgeons, nurses, and hospital staff. But this is only partly true – patients themselves can and should play a part in ensuring that their surgery and recovery go smoothly.
Let’s talk about some helpful tips in preparing for orthopedic surgery, and where you can go in Miami Lakes and Plantation for outstanding orthopedic care.
How to Prepare for Orthopedic Surgery Pre-Op
Preoperative planning can play a critical role in the successful outcome of your surgery:
Do Ask Questions
Write down your questions and concerns about your health and the surgery for your orthopedic doctor to answer beforehand. It’s important to understand the procedure and the recovery plan so there are no surprises, such as how much time you will need to take off from work.
Do Arrange for Help
Even for outpatient surgery, you will likely require someone else to drive you home. The effects of the anesthesia will take some time to wear off.
Ask a friend or family member to help you out with normal tasks during the initial period of your recovery. Outpatient surgery may only warrant help during the first day, but more extensive surgery may require a helper to be on hand for the first several days or more, as you may not be able to perform certain simple movements at first.
Ask your orthopedic doctor about how much help you will need after your surgery.
Do Bring Necessities
Bring the following items on the day of surgery:
- Hearing aids, eyeglasses, or other items, especially to help you communicate with your doctor after the surgery
- Your ID
- Comfortable clothes that are easy to take off and put on
Talk to your orthopedic surgeon about what limitations you’ll have after the surgery. It may be best to wear a button-down shirt so you don’t have to put it over your head and move your shoulders around when getting dressed again.
Don’t Eat or Drink Before Surgery
Do not eat or drink anything before your surgery – your orthopedic surgeon will probably advise that you stop eating and drinking at midnight before the operation. This is because the anesthesia will relax everything in your body, and you don’t want food going upward in your esophagus during the procedure.
Don’t Take Any Medication
Unless instructed otherwise, stop taking medications before the surgery. Depending on the medications you’re taking, your orthopedic doctor may advise you to stop taking one or more of them during the week or two before the surgery, especially blood thinners.
Don’t Wear Jewelry
You will be given a bag for your clothes during the surgery, but it’s best not to bring valuables. Don’t wear any jewelry, including wedding rings – leave them at home.
What to Do Post-Op After Orthopedic Surgery
The time after surgery is critical to your recovery. The outcome of your surgery largely depends on what you do and don’t do afterward:
Do Follow Your Orthopedic Doctor’s Instructions
Post-op instructions vary depending on your condition. Disregarding your doctor’s instructions may have severe consequences, such as not taking prescribed antibiotics. An antibiotic is frequently recommended for post-op recovery in order to prevent any infections which may have been acquired at the healthcare facility.
Do Eat and Hydrate
You may not feel like eating or drinking anything after the surgery, but do drink something mild to avoid dehydration. Consider drinking a sports drink, which may taste better than water during the first day. If the anesthesia is making you feel nauseous, eat dry crackers or toast to calm down your stomach.
Do Engage in Gentle Exercise
A short walk or light stretching can help prevent complications and side effects. A physical therapist can explain the best exercises and stretches for you during your recovery.
Anesthesia can severely impact your judgment and motor skills. Most medical facilities now require that you have someone you know to drive you home after having surgery.
Don’t Lift Heavy Objects
Unnecessary straining could cause your surgical wound to reopen.
Orthopedic Surgery in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
Whatever orthopedic issue you have, The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center is equipped to treat you. Dr. Tosca Kinchelow is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who can diagnose and treat orthopedic issues related to the entire arm, from the shoulder to the fingers.
To schedule an appointment, call us today at (888) 908-9036 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you, so you can return to what you love doing!