Preparing for Surgery
Preparing for Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Rebeccann Richter (“Becca”) is the medical secretary for Dr. Branam. She assists patients with setting up surgeries. She can help you with pre-op planning such as pre-op physicals, pre-certification with your insurance company, etc. She can be reached at 513-475-8690.
Once you and your surgeon decide that surgery will help you, you will need to learn what to expect from the surgery and create a 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 primary care 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, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.
- Discuss any medications you are taking with your surgeon and your primary care doctor to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
- Discuss with your surgeon about options for preparing for potential blood replacement, including 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, anti-inflammatory medications, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them 7 days before surgery to minimize bleeding.
- If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
- You should have any tooth, gum, bladder, or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection after surgery.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that is 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 out with everyday tasks after surgery 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.
Preparing for Same-Day Surgery
- If you are having same-day surgery, remember the following:
- Make sure that you do not eat or drink anything at least 8 hours prior to your surgery.
- Have someone available to take you home, as you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
- Do not drink or eat anything in the car on the trip home as the combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often cause nausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry before trying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first 24 hours.
- If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand, or elbow), keep the extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
- Take your pain medicine as directed. Take the pain medicine when you start feeling uncomfortable but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty in controlling the pain.