Preparing for Surgery
Once you and Dr. Dumont decide to proceed with surgery, you should begin to take steps to ensure a successful outcome. Undergoing surgery is often a team effort. Dr. Dumont and the surgical team strive to give you the best possible tools to succeed by addressing as thoroughly as possible the structural abnormalities that are contributing to your pain. Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems. Having a support system around you of family members and friends that will help you, especially in the early phases, is often quite important.
Before surgery, Dr. Dumont will perform a physical examination to fully assess your injured joint and ensure the best possible surgical plan is in place. It is also important to review your medical history and ensure sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Diagnostic tests such as blood tests and further imaging may be performed prior to your procedure. You may also need to obtain clearance from your primary care physician to undergo surgery. In some cases the anesthesia team may need to evaluate you during a separate visit prior to your surgery date.
- 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 overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your injured joint. Obesity is a leading cause of early joint degeneration.
- If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding. You should clear any medication changes with your primary physician.
- 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.
- Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections are resolved.
- Arrange for someone to help you out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry
- 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 arms
Preparing for Procedure
If you are having day surgery, remember the following:
- Do not eat anything or drink anything after midnight the day of your surgery. Eating or drinking may result in your surgery needing to be rescheduled.
- Get some rest prior to surgery – try to go to bed early.
- Have someone available to take you home, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours. If you are having lower extremity surgery, you cannot drive until you are cleared to weight bear on that extremity and are no longer taking narcotic pain relievers. No patient should drive while still taking narcotic pain relievers.
- The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. Do not eat while riding home after surgery. 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 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 in controlling the pain