Surgery - What to Expect - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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Surgery - What to Expect

What you need to know before surgery

  • Be sure not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgey unless otherwise instructed by your physician. This includes the use of gum, mints, water, coffee and soft drinks. If you do not follow instructions about NOT eating or drinking and having an adult to drive you home, your surgery may be canceled.
  • Medications - Stop all herbal supplements and diet aids. Stop all blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Aspirin) unless otherwise instructed by your physician. You should take all heart and blood pressure medications or medications ordered for colon surgery as directed, the morning of surgery, with a small sip of water. 
  • Shower the night before and the morning of surgery using Hibiclens? soap, also known as Chlorhexadine. Hibiclens? is available at all local pharmacies without a prescription. If you do not have Hibiclens?, bathe in an antibacterial soap.
  • If you smoke, do not smoke after midnight or the morning of scheduled surgery. This is important to prevent post-procedure respiratory conditions.
  • Men should shave the evening prior to surgery. Women should not shave their legs 2-3 days prior to surgery.
  • Fingernails - you may wear polish; however leave one finger without polish as it will be used to monitor your oxygen saturation.
  • Dress casually - wear clothing that is loose fitting and comfortable.
  • If you become ill or have fever the day before surgery, notify your physician immediately.
  • Leave personal valuables, such as jewelry, money, and credit cards, at home.
  • You may wear your glasses, dentures or contact lenses (don't forget a case for storage), but they should be given to your family for safekeeping while you are in surgery.
  • If you are scheduled to stay overnight, please leave belongings in your vehicle until your room assignment has been made.
  • Your anesthesia practitioner may attempt to phone you the night before your surgery.
  • In most cases, plan to arrive at least one-and-one-half to two hours prior to your scheduled surgery start time.

What to bring with you to your surgery

  • A list of your current medications.
  • 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.
  • A list of prior surgeries and the dates the surgeries were performed.
  • A list of prior surgeries and the dates the surgeries were performed.

What to expect at the hospital

Once you arrive at the hospital and check-in, you will be escorted to a pre-surgery preparation area. Here, you’ll complete all the necessary preparation in anticipation of your joint replacement, your vitals will be checked, and a nurse will start your IV. The surgeon and the anesthesia provider assigned to your care will also visit you prior to surgery.

Inside the operating room, you will be cared for by a team of physicians, nurses and skilled technicians. The total time required for your surgery will depend on the complexity of your procedure. Generally, most joint replacement surgeries last between one-and-one-half to two hours, not including the preparation and recovery times.

You can expect to receive antibiotics for about a day after surgery, as well as medications for pain and perhaps medications called anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. Your care team will monitor you closely and help you with any pain or discomfort you are experiencing after surgery.

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

A parent or legal guardian must stay with pediatric patients during the entire stay. Bring a favorite toy to make the stay more comfortable.

Going Home

  • If your surgery is an outpatient procedure, you can expect to leave the facility within two (2) hours after the procedure. The average length of stay is five to six hours from admission to discharge.
  • A responsible adult who can drive you home must accompany you at the time of discharge. You cannot drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after your outpatient surgery. Please make arrangements for a driver before the surgery. It is important to have someone stay with you the first 24 hours after your surgery
  • If you are having major surgery, you should plan to have someone at home to help with your care after discharge. If you need support with discharge planning, ask your nurse to schedule a visit with a case manager while you are here.
  • If needed, you doctor may decide to admit you to the hospital, we will contact your family to make plans for your stay.
  • The average hospital stay for joint replacement is about three or four days after having a hip or knee replacement.  You will remain in the hospital until you are able to walk longer distances and are making consistent progress:
    • Get in and out of bed
    • Get up and down from the chair and toilet
    • Get in and out of the shower by yourself
    • Walk with assistance for 200 feet
    • Use the stairs if you have them at home
    • Get dressed
    • Get in and out of your car
    • Perform your knee exercise program on your own

State-of-the-Art Technology for Surgery

Computer-assisted surgery is a giant step forward in joint replacement and CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics is committed to providing the east Texas community with the latest technology advances. The Stryker Navigation System, exclusively available at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler, is an advanced surgical technology that helps the orthopedic surgeon more precisely align knee and hip implants in total joint replacement surgeries. The Stryker Navigation System utilizes tracking devices that collect and send information to the surgeon to provide a comprehensive understanding of the joint mechanics before finalizing the joint procedure. With this information, the surgeon can make adjustments within a fraction of a degree, facilitating more exact placement of the implant. This helps to ensure optimal strength, stability, and range of movement in the new joint.

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