Patient Resources

Getting Ready For Surgery

It can be useful to be prepared before you have your surgery. Take some time to read these instructions. If possible, share them with your loved one or caregiver so that he or she also knows about what to expect.
When Surgery Is Scheduled
Make arrangements for a family member or other caregiver to help you immediately after surgery
If you are having a total joint replacement procedure, schedule your Preoperative Education Class for 2 to 4 weeks before the surgery
Read up on the procedure and ask your doctor any questions you have
Prepare ahead of time for your return home. It will make it easier for you later
You can find many useful resources and other information on this website
TIP: Ask your doctor which of your medicines you should stop taking before surgery. Also ask which ones you should take on the day of surgery
Anti-inflammatory Medicine
Your doctor may tell you to stop any prescription and over the counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medicines that you are currently taking for your joint pain before your surgery. Make sure your surgeon knows about all the medications you take, including vitamins, herbal supplements, prescription, and OTC medicines.
TIP: If your doctor requests that you stop anti-inflammatory medicines, ask what you can take instead for any joint discomfort.
What To Bring With You To The Hospital
  • Health insurance cards or documentation that includes the insurance company name and policy number, and a picture ID
  • An up-to-date list of all the medicines you take, including dosages and when you take them. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements, prescription, and OTC medicines
  • Bring lightweight, loose-fitting, comfortable clothes such as pajamas, lightweight robe, sweatpants, shorts, and tee shirt for therapy.
  • Bring comfortable, low-heeled shoes with closed heels and toes. Non-skid or rubber-soled shoes are preferred. Walking or tennis shoes are a good choice. 
  • Basic toiletry items are available. If you prefer your own, you can bring them. It can be a good idea to bring lip balm.
  • Bringing a book, magazine, iPad, or hobby item can help you relax
Please Do Not Bring
  • Please leave valuables at home. This includes jewelry, large sums of money, computers, etc.
  • Please do not bring your own medications. Make sure to bring a list of what you are taking.
TIP: A healthcare professional will help you with dressing and teach you how to manage on the day you are discharged
The Night Before Surgery
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. This includes gum, hard candy, water, soda, coffee, tea, beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages
  • You may brush your teeth the night before and morning of surgery
  • If you take regular medicine, take the ones that your doctor has told you to take
How to Prepare For Your Return Home
Get your house ready at least 2 weeks before your scheduled surgery by taking these steps. If you cannot do it yourself, ask someone for help. Doing these things ahead of time will help to make your return home easier.
  • Remove clutter from rooms and hallways. Make sure there is nothing you can trip on
  • Organize your living areas so that you do not have to do too much lifting, bending, or reaching
  • Move heavy objects and things you use often to an area at waist level (counter height)
  • Do some cooking and store meals and soups in the freezer so you have plenty of things to eat
  • You may want to move some of the things in the lower part of your refrigerator and freezer to higher shelves to make them easier to reach
  • If you have steps, you may want to set up a place to sleep on the main floor of your home for a short while
  • Set up a firm chair with armrests
  • Arrange for extra help with household tasks if you think you will need it
TIP: Keep an icepack in your freezer in case of joint swelling after surgery. You can also use a bag of frozen peas.

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