Once you and your doctor decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and how to actively participate in the treatment plan for the best results afterward.
Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process, and your role in it, will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems.
Working with Your Doctor
Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don't have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes.
- Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
- Discuss with your doctor about options for preparing for potential blood replacement, includes donating your own blood, medical interventions and other treatments, prior to surgery.
- If you are overweight, losing weight before surgery will help decrease the stress you place on your new joint. However, you should not diet during the month before your surgery.
- If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
- If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
- Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
- Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
- Arrange for someone to help with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.
- Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery, so you won't have to reach and bend as often.
- Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.
- Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.