Education and Pre-Operative Instructions - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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Education and Pre-Operative Instructions

Once you and your physician have determined joint replacement surgery is your best course of treatment, you should take the time to understand the surgical and recovery processes. To help you get started, please take a few minutes to review the Patient Guide. It is specific to Knee Replacement, but includes much information that is applicable to any joint replacement procedure.

The Patient Guide also includes details about each of the following, the instructions provided for each step support your long-term success and recovery.


In order to help reduce your wait time on the day of your surgery, we will contact you by phone a few weeks prior to your surgery to complete your registration process. When you arrive at the hospital on the day of surgery, you will simply need to check-in, verify your information and provide your insurance card.

Blood Donation

During or after your joint replacement surgery, you may require a blood transfusion. Although we regularly stock all types of blood at the hospital, you or your physician may decide to have blood donated specifically for you. Some patients choose to donate their own blood in advance of surgery – known as autologous donation. Others ask compatible family or friends to donate – known as directed donation. Preparing blood donation is particularly important if you have a medical condition that would make it difficult for you to donate. Your physician will advise you if a donation is right for you.

Physical Exam

Before your scheduled date of surgery, your physician may order a complete medical examination by a physician. Generally, the appointment will consist of a complete medical/family history and physical exam. The complete medical exam should take place before your date of surgery and may be scheduled in conjunction with your pre-operative education class session.

In addition to your physical exam, you will also need to undergo a series of tests to help make sure you are healthy and ready for joint replacement. Your pre-admission testing will be scheduled at the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Pre-Admission Surgery Screening (PASS) office within one to two weeks of your scheduled surgery. Find out more about the PASS process.

Pre-Operative Education Classes

Our comprehensive pre-operative education class helps prepare patients for their surgery, post-surgery days in the hospital, and ongoing therapy and recovery after discharge. In order to participate in the joint replacement program, patients are asked to join in this educational process. Research has shown improved outcomes and greater patient comfort and satisfaction as a result of proper education and preparation.


During your pre-operative education class, you will learn and practice all the exercises you will need to do before and after surgery. Performing these exercises regularly and properly is perhaps the most important factor in speeding recovery and determining long-term success of your new joint.


Talk with your physician about your specific medications. During your PASS appointment, a nurse will review your list of medications and tell you which medicines you must stop taking before surgery and which medications you should take the morning of surgery.

Infection Prevention

There are several steps that you can take to help prevent surgical site infections. These steps start a few weeks before surgery:

  • In the weeks before surgery, you should schedule a dental exam if you have not had one recently.
  • Approximately two weeks before your operation, begin using an antibacterial soap when you shower.
  • It is recommended that you do not shave the surgical area for three days prior to surgery.
  • The night before surgery, you should take special care to cleanse the area that will be operated on with the special soap (chlorhexidine) given to you during your pre-operative education class. You will also be given chlorhexidine wipes to use the night before surgery after you shower.

Day of Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your surgery, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Do not smoke.
  • If you wear contact lenses, please take them out or bring your lens holder.
  • Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Dentures may be worn until we ask that you take them out.
  • If you are going to stay in the hospital overnight or in the ICU, please leave all your belongings with your family until you have a room on the surgical unit.
  • Please shower with the soap given to you before you go to bed and again the morning on the day of your surgery, if ordered.
  • Do not get this soap in your eyes or ears.
  • Your family should wait in the surgery waiting area during your surgery.
  • Two visitors are allowed in the pre-operative area while you are waiting on surgery.

Important Reminders

  • You must bring your driver's license or state issued ID card. Your name will be listed on your medical record exactly as it appears on this card.
  • Please have a responsible adult with you to drive you home after surgery
  • If you do not follow instructions about NOT eating or drinking and having an adult to drive you home, your surgery may be canceled.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes the day of surgery
  • A parent or legal guardian must be with any unmarried patient under the age of 18 years old.
  • Your anesthesia practitioner may attempt to phone you the night before your surgery.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications
  • Please bring a list of prior surgeries and the dates the surgeries were performed.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, call (903) 606-8840, or fill out our online form.