Once the decision has been made to proceed with surgery then it is very important that proper preparation for the procedure is carried out. Proper preparation is crucial as it can affect both the outcome of the surgery and your recovery time.
Suggested Pre-Surgery Preparations Include:
- If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking compromises blood flow to your organs, which leads to less oxygen and vital nutrients getting to the surgical site. This results in a delay in the healing process and slows down and can compromise recovery.
- If you drink it is important not to consume any alcohol for at least 48 hours prior to surgery.
- If you use any other types of controlled substances, seek proper advice from your local general practitioner and inform the surgical team. Narcotics and other drugs can have a negative impact on your surgery.
- Ask your doctor for any pre-surgical exercises. If you are having hip or knee replacement surgery, doing exercises to strengthen your upper body prior to the procedure will help you cope with crutches or a walker which you will need to use after surgery. Also ask about the exercises that will be prescribed after surgery. If you familiarise yourself with these post-operative exercises and practice them now they will be easier to perform following the surgery.
- If you are on any blood thinners (like Warfarin, Clopidogrel, or Aspirin) please inform your doctor as it is very important to deal with these medications before your surgery and cease them 10 days before the procedure.
- You may be required to take several types of tests, including blood tests, a cardiogram, a urine sample and a chest X-ray. Your local general practitioner generally arranges these tests and scans; however we may need to conduct further investigations for you.
- If you are planning on having any dental work such as tooth extraction or fillings, please schedule them well in advance of your surgery. It is also important not to schedule any dental work, including routine cleanings, for several weeks following your surgery since these can seriously compromise the outcome of your orthopaedic surgery.
- Notify your doctor if you come down with a fever, a cold or any other illness in the week before the surgery.
- Leading up to the scheduled surgery, avoid doing any gardening or time spent in the garage or shed to prevent being scratched or cut by a sharp object especially on or around the site of the planned surgery. We cannot proceed with your joint replacement if there are any dirty wounds in the vicinity of the area to be operated on as such wounds increase the risk of infection.