Preparing for Your Surgery
Please use this guide to prepare for your surgery. The guide not only provides information on how to prepare for your surgery, but it also provides useful information on what to expect and how to plan for your care after surgery.
We understand that undergoing a surgical procedure can be stressful. Our team will talk to you about the type of surgery you are having and answer any questions you might have. We hope this guide will be useful to you.
Night Before Surgery
- No food or fluid after midnight the night before surgery, except for a sip of water to take your anti-inflammatory medication.
- Arrange for a friend or family member to bring you and pick you up from surgery. Also, arrange for a responsible adult to stay with you for at least 4 hours after surgery.
- If you smoke, you are advised to refrain from smoking the day before surgery.
- If you are scheduled to have surgery at a surgery center, the day before surgery the nurses will give you a call to go over your medical history, current medications, as well as give you an arrival time to check-in at the surgery center. That time is usually 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) prior to your scheduled procedure. It may be as early as 5:45 am. Surgery times may change due to unforeseen events. We will keep you informed if there are unexpected delays.
- If you do not follow these guidelines, your surgery may be canceled. If there are necessary exceptions to these instructions, a nurse or the doctor from the surgery center will discuss them with you.
On The Day of Surgery
- Please wear comfortable clothing, flat shoes, or slippers.
- Please bring a form of ID along with your insurance card.
- Leave your valuables at home.
- If you wear contacts, please remove them prior to surgery, and please bring your glasses.
- If your child is undergoing surgery, please bring their blanket or toy. Also, please bring an approved car seat.
- The first post-operative appointment will be 5-7 days after surgery. We will remove the bandages and check the wound site. You can wash with soap and water; keep the wound site clean and dry. You will either begin Physical Therapy, have a splint made (depending on the type of surgery), or be given a Home Exercise Program (HEP) at the first therapy appointment.
- The 2nd post-operative appointment will be 10-14 days after surgery. We will remove the stitches at this time.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications (e.g., Relafen, Lodine, Motrin, Mobic, Celebrex, etc.)
- Take one (1) pill the morning of surgery with a sip of water. Then one pill twice a day (one pill after breakfast and one pill after dinner with food) beginning the evening of your surgery.
- Pain Medication (e.g., Norco, Percocet, etc.)
- Take one (1) pill every 4-6 hours for pain as needed. Please drink lots of water while taking your pain medications.
Types of Anesthesia
Anesthesiologists use a wide variety of drugs, in multiple combinations, in order to ensure that patients remain comfortable, relaxed, and free of pain during surgery or other procedures. Drugs administered by anesthesiologists are categorized as follows:
- Local anesthetics. Blocks transmission of nerve impulses without causing unconsciousness.
- General anesthetics. Brings about a state of unconsciousness.
- Analgesics. Relieves pain before, during, or after surgery.
- Sedatives. Brings about relaxation/calmness in a patient and reduces anxiety; induces sleep at higher doses.
- Muscle Relaxants. Works to paralyze skeletal muscles in order to facilitate intubation or surgery.
While only certified anesthesiologists can administer certain types of anesthesia, such as general, epidurals, and spinals, some physicians/surgeons can apply local anesthetics without the presence of an anesthesiologist.
General anesthesia places the entire body, including the brain, into a state of unconsciousness (sleep) during which the patient has no awareness and feels nothing, and will remember nothing of the surgical experience. General anesthesia is administered by injection or through a breathing mask, or sometimes both. In order to control your breathing, patients are intubated, which is the insertion of a flexible tube down the windpipe. The tube is inserted after the anesthesia is given and removed as you are waking up and breathing adequately. Upon awakening from anesthesia, patients may experience disorientation and/or a mild sore throat from the intubation.
Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA) – When possible, the anesthesiologist will use a Laryngeal Mask Airway device instead of intubation because it is quicker and causes less discomfort for the patient. An LMA is a tube with an inflatable cuff that is inserted into the pharynx (the upper part of the windpipe).
Regional (or Local) Anesthesia
Regional anesthesia is the injection of a local anesthetic around major nerves or the spinal cord to block pain from a large region of the body, such as a limb. Regional anesthesia provides muscle relaxation as well as postoperative pain relief since its numbing effects can last 8 to 12 hours, depending upon the dose. This reduces the need for pain medicine after surgery, as well as other side effects of surgery, such as nausea. If necessary, you may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax or sleep during surgery.
Type of regional anesthesia include:
- Axillary Nerve Block. A local anesthetic is injected around the nerve that passes through the axilla (armpit) from the shoulder to the arm to numb the feeling in your arm and hand. Typically used for surgery of the elbow, forearm, wrist, or hand.
- Bier Block. A local anesthetic is injected intravenously to numb a limb, typically the arm, and then a tourniquet is applied to prevent the anesthetic from leaving the area. Typically used on surgeries of hand or arm that last less than an hour.
MAC (Monitored Anesthesia Care)
Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) is the intravenous administration of mild sedatives to help a patient relax and relieve anxiety during minor procedures that do not require general anesthesia. These procedures, such as biopsies and colonoscopies, typically require the injection of a local anesthetic to numb the surgical site.
Thank you for choosing Summit Orthopaedics for your upcoming surgical procedure. We take pride in providing the highest quality care in a safe environment. At Summit Orthopaedics, you will always be treated with compassion and concern for your well-being.