Preparing for Surgery

The decision has been made, the date is set. There are some things you can do prior to surgery to make the recovery period easier.

When it’s all over and you are at home recovering the boredom blues might set in. Stock up before the surgery on blues fighting ammunition. Books, videos, CD’s, puzzles and journals can all help ward off the blues. You might even want to consider a wireless keyboard or laptop so that you can recline comfortably and still surf the web.�

Take some time to prepare extra dinners and freeze them for later. You aren’t going to feel like cooking for a while afterwards. Make arrangements for extra help at home. Depending on your surgery you may need someone to assist you in bathing and dressing. Chances are you won’t be able to do most housekeeping tasks immediately post op. Line up some friends or family to help out. If you have children make babysitting plans. You may not be able to care for them for the first several days. Make sure you have someone to drive you to and from appointments until you are able to do so. Take advantage of everyone that says, “If there is anything I can do just let me know.” Grab them before they can get away and sign them up for babysitting, housecleaning or whatever will need done.

Medically there will be other things you need to get done before the operation. You will need to have lab work and xrays done. You may have diet restrictions. If you are banking your own blood for use after surgery you will have two or three appointments a couple of weeks apart. Failure to follow any of your doctors instructions can result in the surgery being cancelled or rescheduled. So make sure you understand all pre-operative orders.

Don’t plan on sleeping the night before surgery. Most sources say “Get a good night’s sleep.” Well let’s be realistic, chances are you will be too nervous to sleep. So don’t count on getting a good night’s sleep and you won’t be disappointed.

The day of the surgery make sure you arrive at the hospital or surgery center at the appropriate time. First you will be asked to put on a paper thin backless gown. You will then be asked to walk down a hallway modeling the lovely gown for all to see. They will draw any blood needed, start IV’s and prep you for surgery. The anesthesiologist will come in and explain the anesthesia. Your surgeon will come in to answer any last minute questions. Then it is off to the operating room.

Home After the Surgery

Now is the time you will be thankful you listened to all of our pre-op advice. Everything should be all set for a quick, uneventful recovery.

Follow all instructions given. Listen to your physical therapist. Proper therapy is crucial to an uncomplicated recovery with most orthopedic operations. As you begin to feel better don’t over do it. Many of us feel so good after we are allowed out of bed that we try to do it all. What happens then? We end up back in bed in more pain! Take it easy and best wishes for a speedy recovery!