Need to Know Surgery Information

  • You will need to have pre-operative testing done. This will include blood work, and possibly a chest x-ray and an EKG. Sometimes other additional tests are required such as a stress test or pulmonary function studies. These tests need to be completed prior to surgery.
  • You may be asked to donate your own blood. This will need to be done in the weeks prior to surgery (usually with in 15 days of surgery). If you will be donating blood, you will also need to begin taking iron pills. You should begin taking iron pills when you begin your blood donations. Iron pills can be purchased over the counter. Some people may have stomach discomfort with this medication. If this occurs, decrease the number of times per day that you take the medication. Please be aware that iron often causes dark stools, which are not harmful. Iron may also cause constipation.
  • Maintain your level of fitness and nutrition prior to surgery to the best of your ability. Walk or continue with fitness activities that you can tolerate without pain and exercise. Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • If you smoke cigarettes, it is strongly advisable that you stop smoking completely. Research indicates that smoking adversely effects bone healing and will delay or impede your full recovery following surgery. Additionally, inhaling smoke irritates the breathing passages and may lead to respiratory problems during surgery and after surgery.
  • Complete your errands prior to surgery including house cleaning and grocery shopping. The less concerns you have upon discharge will help the transition home much easier.
  • If you have young children or a family member of whom you are the primary caregiver, arrange for alternative care fro them after your surgery. This will allow for a restful recuperation period.
  • If you are having extensive surgery, or if you are already having difficulty, some people find it helpful to rent or purchase an elevated toilet seat. During the rehabilitation process, the occupational therapist will help you determine if you need another adaptive devises or medial equipment before discharge from the hospital the day before surgery.
  • Eat lightly the day before surgery.
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight prior to your surgery!
  • Shower the surgical area the night before with Hibiclens for 10 minutes and do not apply any lotions. Hibiclens can be purchased at any pharmacy.
  • If you are having a cervical (neck) surgery, you will need to shave from the chin down to the base of the neck.