Preparing for surgery
Do I Need To Prepare For Surgery?
If you and Dr Bhimani have decided that surgery is the best course of action given your level of pain, loss of normal function and given that non-surgical treatments have not adequately solved the problems, it is imperative that you clearly understand what to expect from the surgery and what will be required of you in terms of the post-operative treatment and rehabilitation in order to attain the best possible results long-term.
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 with fewer problems and concerns.
If at any stage of the process you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Dr Bhimani to discuss.
What Do I Need To Think About Before Surgery?
Before surgery, Dr Bhimani 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 and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.
It is important that you discuss with Dr Bhimani any medications you are taking to understand which ones you should stop taking before surgery and when.
Please go through the list of pre-operative advice below carefully:
Dr Bhimani may discuss 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 or anti-inflammatory medications or warfarin or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimise bleeding.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
Update Dr Bhimani about any infections you have or acquire before your surgery. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry post-surgery.
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.
How Do I Prepare For Day Surgery?
If you are having Day Surgery, remember the following:
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. The combination of anaesthesia, 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 keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting 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 controlling the pain.
For joint replacement surgery, you may expect life to return to the way it was — but without the pain. In many ways, you are right. But it will take time. Dr Bhimani will encourage you to use your "new" joint as soon as possible. Although it may be challenging at times, following Dr Bhimani’s instructions will speed your recovery.
You are a partner in the healing process. The success of your surgery is dependent upon your commitment to your recovery. This video from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons will help you get started.
Relieving pain and suffering is central to the practice of anaesthesia, which involves administering medications to eliminate sensations, including pain. This allows doctors to perform medical and surgical procedures without causing undue distress or discomfort to the patient. Most people undergo anaesthesia at some stage in their lives, such as during the birth of a baby or during surgery. They may be anaesthetised for a short, simple day surgery or for major surgery requiring complex, rapid decisions. Modern anaesthesia is relatively safe due to high standards of training that emphasise quality and safety.
Dr Bhimani regularly works with the following anaesthetists:
Dr Nick Maytom
BSc Med, MBBS (Hons), PGCertCU, FANZCA
Specialist Anaesthetist and Director of Acute Pain Service
Illawarra Anaesthetic Secretarial Service 8/328B Crown St,
(02) 4228 5055
Dr Tanya Selak
Wollongong Surgical Associates
372 Crown St
02) 4226 6111
Dr James Cameron
Consultant anaesthetist in Wollongong (2007-present)