Any surgical procedure is a big deal, especially when having a joint replacement. Preparation for surgery can begin months before the actual procedure, so knowing what to expect the week before is crucial.
Medications, even those necessary, may be discontinued before your procedure to ensure your safety during surgery. Knowing which ones you must stop and how soon to stop them is essential for a successful surgery.
At Orthopaedic Specialists in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Brandon Downs provides the proper tools and information to prepare you for surgery. Dr. Downs is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in joint replacements and robotic surgery.
How soon do I need to prepare for surgery?
Preparation for surgery begins as soon as Dr. Downs informs you that a procedure is necessary. You may need more imaging before surgery or start physical therapy.
Depending on the type of procedure you're having, it could be a week until your surgery or several months.
When you need a joint replacement, our team offers classes on what to expect before, during, and after a total hip or knee replacement.
Taking the joint replacement surgery class is a great option to help you prepare for the weeks and months after surgery.
We offer these informative classes Monday through Thursday at 11:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon.
Preparing for surgery isn't just a mental process; you may also need to prepare meals, rearrange your home, and set up physical therapy appointments before your procedure.
What to do the night before surgery
You have spent the last few weeks or months getting mentally and physically prepared to have surgery — and it all comes down to the night before.
Following all the pre-operative instructions properly is the key to a successful and non-stressful day of surgery. You must follow all the instructions we give and a few other pointers on the night before surgery, which include:
Shower or bathe
You can shower or bathe the night before or the morning of surgery. We may provide you with special soap with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Avoid shaving over the surgical site
Don't shave over the surgical site the night or morning before surgery. Shaving puts you at risk for minor cuts, increasing the chance of infection after the procedure.
Brush your teeth
You can brush your teeth the night before and the morning of surgery, but avoid swallowing too much water. You may take any prescribed medications we allow with a small sip of water.
Avoid solid foods
Follow our instructions when it comes to eating and drinking before surgery. In most cases, you should not have any solid foods or liquids after midnight on the night before the procedure.
Pack a surgery bag
If you have a joint replacement, you may need to spend a day or two in the hospital after surgery. Pack a bag with comfortable clothing, a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and books or magazines to help pass the time.
Five medications to avoid before surgery
One of the most crucial aspects of surgery preparations is knowing what medications you can and can't take before your procedure. When scheduling your surgery, let us know all the medicines you're taking so we can advise which ones you can continue and which to stop.
You must stop several medications several days to weeks before surgery, depending on your health and the type of surgery you are having. Five medications to avoid before surgery include:
Aspirin is an antiplatelet medication that prevents blood clots by keeping platelet cells from clumping together. You have a higher risk of bleeding during surgery if you continue to take aspirin.
Plavix is another antiplatelet medication that prevents blood clots from forming. Like aspirin, it increases the risk of surgical bleeding during the procedure.
Warfarin, or Coumadin, is an anticoagulant, which is a type of blood thinner. It prevents clots by thinning out your blood, which increases the risk of bleeding during surgery.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication that prevents pain, fever, and inflammation. However, it can also increase the risk of complications during surgery.
Eliquis is another type of anticoagulant that thins your blood to prevent clots. Like warfarin, you should stop this medication before the day of surgery.
You should also inform our team about any herbal or holistic vitamins you take, as some may lead to complications during and after surgery.
To discuss your medications before surgery, don't hesitate to call Orthopaedic Specialists today or request an online appointment at one of our six offices in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.