If you’re scheduled to have surgery to repair damage to ligaments, tendons or joints, or to replace a joint, here are some things to consider before you go in for surgery. Being prepared will help to make the experience less stressful.
Things you should ask your consultant about before the surgery are:
You may need to arrange for someone to bring you to and take you from the hospital if:
If you live alone, it might be advisable for you to organise for a family member, a friend or a carer to be with you on your return home. They can help with washing, dressing and cooking, as you might not be unable to perform these tasks for yourself post surgery.
It’s often useful to pre-prepare a few meals or buy ready-made meals for after the surgery, to make life easier after the operation, especially if you won’t be able to bear your full weight or can’t use both arms.
You’ll need to provide certain information prior to surgery to ensure that your operation, stay and discharge go smoothly. This applies whether the treatment is carried out on the NHS or privately.
You’ll either attend a pre-op appointment or be contacted for a pre-operative assessment which is normally carried out by a nurse. They will ask about your general health, past medical history, medication you are taking and home circumstances.
They will also perform blood tests using test and swab. This is to ensure that you don’t have any other medical conditions which could prevent you from undergoing surgery. They’ll also do a pregnancy test if you’re a woman of childbearing age.
Depending on your operation and how long you’re staying in hospital, these are items that you may need during your stay:
Occasionally personal circumstances can mean that you are no longer able to attend your surgery.
If this happens to you and your surgery is taking place in an NHS hospital, you will need to contact the staff in admissions or your consultant’s secretary, so that they can assist with rescheduling your surgery.
For a private operation, you will need to contact the consultant’s secretary who will inform your surgeon and the private hospital.
If you become unwell, even with a cough, cold or slight fever a few days before your operation, it’s worthwhile contacting your surgeon via his secretary to ensure that your operation can go ahead.