Preparing for Orthopedic Procedures: Tips for Managing the Night Before Surgery

June 26th, 2014

 Generally, physicians will first encourage and promote non-surgical treatment options to address orthopedic problems. However, whether due to an injury or simply general “wear and tear,” our bodies often reach a point where conservative treatments are not effective and surgery is indeed the best option. For those looking to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle - or simply to regain basic movement and functionality - a surgical procedure may be a necessary step to getting your joints back in working order. 

While orthopedic surgeries such as ACL repairs, hip replacements and herniated disc surgeries are all very safe, successful and routine procedures, patients still frequently experience anxiety on the night before surgery. If you’re looking for some advice on how to best approach your surgery day, you’ve found the right article! The days leading up to your scheduled surgery don’t have to be full of worry and anxiety. Get informed and find out how to best prepare for the procedure and plan for the recovery. 
Packing & Preparing for Surgery
Here at Rothman, we provide outstanding orthopedic care and a wide range of surgical procedure for patients suffering from knee, hip, spine, foot, hand, shoulder and elbow conditions. In fact, our team of world-renowned surgeons perform over 40,000 procedures each year!
Over the years, we’ve had a chance to work with all kinds of patients and we’ve discovered that in general, those who are most informed and most prepared are the ones that approach surgery day with confidence. That’s why we encourage you to take some time to consider how you can pack and plan to reduce the potential anxiety that might sneak up on you the night before surgery.
What Should I Pack?
A good book or something else to keep you occupied while you are waiting and before and after your procedure
The medications you are currently taking as well as a written list of what they are and the prescribed dosages
Small bag of personal toiletry items if your surgery will require an overnight stay (don’t forget to bring glasses or contact lenses and case)
A comfortable outfit to change into after surgery
Ask your surgeon for any other instructions on what you should pack
What Should I Leave at Home?
Expensive jewelry and other valuables (including large sums of money)
Electronic equipment
Large suitcases
What Should I Have Planned Beforehand?
Arrange for a trusted individual to be your support person and your ride home
Plan to bring loose fitting clothing to wear home - pick an outfit that will easily fit over the surgical site and any dressings
Talk to your surgeon beforehand to discuss any special decisions that need to be made concerning your procedure (example: type of anesthesia used, type of bone or ligament replacement material)
The Night Before Surgery: Things to Remember
1. Physical Prep: Take out any piercings, remove your makeup and leave your jewelry at home. You should also remove any nail polish. If your surgeon has requested special cleaning or preparation of the surgical site, be sure to follow those instructions.
2. Consumption Prep: Most likely, you will be asked to avoid eating or drinking, beginning the night before surgery. Ask your physician about whether you can still take your usual medications.
3. Practical Prep: Double check to make sure your small bag of packed personal items has everything you need. Remember to call your doctor right away if you have a cold, fever, severe asthma, chest pain or a skin rash prior to surgery. Your procedure may need to be rescheduled if you are not in good health.
Tips for Avoiding Day of Surgery Anxiety
Our best advice for keeping calm and confident on surgery day is to be well prepared beforehand. The more informed you are, the more relaxed you will be. We’d recommending calling the day before your procedure to go over all instructions one last time. It’s helpful to even investigate small details, such as the parking situation at the hospital. And lastly, be sure to get a good night’s rest and relax, knowing that you’re receiving the best possible care from qualified Rothman specialists


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