Preparing for Sugery
Outpatient Surgery Center
Surgery Centers are facilities where surgeries that do not require a hospital admission are performed. They provide a cost-effective and convenient environment that is less stressful than the large hospital environment. At Seattle Orthopedic Center, you and your surgeon have the convenience of all your orthopedic services provided within one facility to assure optimal coordination of your care.
Time of Surgery
Seattle Orthopedic Center staff will call you two days before your surgery. Allow 30 minutes or more for this pre-operative phone call. During the call you will be given pre-op instructions and go through a health interview with the nurse. This is also when you will receive the time to be at the Surgery Center. If you have not received a call from the staff by 3:00pm on the day prior to your surgery, please telephone (206) 633-8181 and ask about your surgery.
The patient will be instructed not to take anything by mouth (food, gum, candy, etc.) after midnight prior to the day of surgery. Exceptions to this include medication taken by the patient deemed appropriate to take with a sip of water the morning of surgery. Diabetic patients will be counseled on an individual basis according to needs and the time of surgery.
Five days prior to surgery stop taking Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogril (Plavix), Ticlopidine (Ticlid), Pentoxifylline (Trental). Please contact your prescribing physician to discuss stopping this medication prior to surgery.
Clothing: Patients are advised to wear loose fitting clothing that will accommodate bulky dressings, soft goods and casting materials.
Patients are advised to leave all valuables at home and to remove jewelry from the affected limb.
Escort: Patients are instructed to arrange for an adult over the age of 18 to escort (designated driver them home after their surgery. If having general anesthesia, patients will also need to have an adult stay with them for the first 24 hours after surgery. Failure to make these arrangements may result in cancellation of surgery. Escort’s name and telephone number are obtained at the time of the pre-op interview.
Soft Goods: (include braces, slings, post-op shoes, Ice Man units, etc.): The patient is instructed to bring any of these items given at the pre-operative visit for application following surgery in the ASC. If not given before surgery, these will be dispensed by ASC personnel post-operatively and appropriate forms will be filled out.
Arrival Time: Patients will be instructed as to what time to arrive at the ASC prior to surgery on the given date. This will generally be one hour prior to the surgical start time.
Preparing your Home
Prior to surgery, you should ensure that your home is safe for your return (i.e. no current home improvement projects underway). Please be aware that when you first return home you may not be able to move as much as you did before, and you will be taking medications that can affect your coordination and balance, so it is best to have your home prepared before returning from surgery and a room arranged where you will spend most of your time recovering.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the following recommendations, please discuss them with your physician, nurse or therapist prior to surgery.
Below is a list of questions to ask yourself when preparing your home for a safe recovery.
General Home Safety
- Are there telephone or electrical cords across the floor?
- It is important to remove cords and area rugs from pathways to prevent tripping.
- Are your rooms cluttered?
Avoid too much furniture or objects such as throw rugs on the floor.
- Are your floors polished and slippery?
Use non-skid wax, and be sure to wear rubber- soled, non-slip shoes.
- Do you have pets?
If you have a dog that jumps on you or walks between your legs you may want to consider having a friend or family member watch your pet while you recover from your surgery. Cats and dogs can be a trip hazard, and larger dogs that jump may knock you off balance.
- Do you have a firm chair with a straight back and arm rests? Is the seat high enough to get on and off easily?
- Can you live on one floor or will you need to climb stairs daily to your bedroom or bathroom? Are there stairs inside and/or outside your home? Are there handrails that provide support when going up and down the stairs?
- Is there a non-skid mat or safety treads in your tub or shower?
Rubber bath mats help prevent falls.
- Do you have a tub or shower stool?
Sitting on a seat and using a hand-held shower head saves energy and improves safety during bathing, especially for people with movement restrictions.
- Are there grab bars on the edge of the tub or shower walls and next to the toilet?
Grab bats are not mandatory, but can be very helpful if you need additional support. Commercial grab bars that require drilling holes in the walls provide sturdy support. Some clamp-on styles are also available for the edge of the tub. Towel racks are not recommended for support, as they can easily be tom from the wall. Consult with your occupational therapist if bars are needed.
- Are your shelves so high or so low that they involve stretching, bending or twisting?
Reorganize the kitchen so that frequently used items are within easy reach. This could mean leaving pans on the stove or counter top, and placing a couple of glasses, dishes and mugs on the lower overhead shelf.
- Do you have a high stool or elevated chair available for use at the kitchen counter?
A high stool or elevated chair promotes safety for the person with balance difficulty and leg weakness while cooking at the stove or preparing foods at the counter.
- Do you have a utility cart for easy transport of dishes, utensils and food from the counter to the table?
A utility cart is helpful for people using both hands to walk with a cane, crutches or walker, or for those with balance problems. An apron with pockets for carrying items room to room can be helpful too.
- Is your bed at a good height to get in and out of bed easily?
A good height is approximately just above the bend of the knee to the mid-thigh region.
A sofa bed, futon or water bed is not recommended.
Preventing Blood Clots:
One of the major risks facing patients who undergo surgery is a complication called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein. It commonly occurs in the thigh or calf. Deep vein thrombosis can develop after any major surgery. People who have surgery on the legs and hip are especially at risk. Please access this link for more information and to see how these blood clots can be prevent.